“ Genre: Romance / Author: Valerie Frankel / Paperback / 320 Pages / Book is published 2008-10-02 by Little Black Dress „
Peg isn't what you'd call lucky in love. The complete opposite actually, as not one but all of her boyfriends have gone on to marry the woman of their dreams within an average of six months of breaking up with her. Fed up of being the Last Girlfriend who encourages men into marriage with other women, she decides that a radical overhaul is needed. Cue Peg leaving her beloved New York and moving to a farm in Vermont in the hope of meeting the countrified man of her dreams. There, she finds herself embarking on the Inward Bound retreat programme after a less than stellar start at the farm. Will Peg finally be able to turn her desperate love life around?
I borrowed this book from my local library after finding the back cover blurb rather entertaining. On reading it though, I was somewhat disappointed. I found Peg to be a character that got on my nerves, rather than one I had any sympathy for. Career-wise, she is a seemingly successful interior designer so you might expect her to be a strong and independent woman but as soon as she gets even a whiff of a "hot" guy, she's happy to settle for whatever she can get. In essence, she comes across as one of those women who just has to be in a relationship or her life isn't worth living and from early on at the retreat, I started to hope that she would have some kind of revelation that it's not particularly healthy to be like that. I won't say what conclusions she did or didn't come to on her exit but really, I just wanted to slap her out of that mindset!
For me, the central character is a deal-maker or deal-breaker. If I can't get on with the main character, there's not much chance of me really enjoying a book. I'll probably carry on reading, if only because I'm one of those people who can't bear to admit defeat with a book, but more often that not I won't relish a book unless I'm drawn to the main character. Sadly this wasn't the case here, hence my three-star rating.
Elsewhere, this book has a few great reviews from people who found it funny, touching and generally, a riot. I can't work out what I was missing while reading it as it didn't come across anything like that for me. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad book and it's definitely not unreadable by any stretch of the imagination. If I'm going to sum it up in one word though, that word would be bland. It's not awful, it's not fantastic - it's just ok. On the flip side, some Amazon reviews were voicing thoughts not too dissimilar to mine (that it was fine but nothing special) so I guess this is one of those books that people either think is wonderful or pants. It's a shame because the plot sounded good but the book itself was forgettable and not what I'd hoped.