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When eighteen year old Jem, Ginny's only daughter, heads off to Bristol for university, Ginny's not sure how she'll cope and for a while she doesn't. From being falsely accused of shoplifting to the untimely demise of a beloved canine she's not feeling great. But then she decides to rent out her spare room, in the hopes of meeting a new friend to keep her company and instead meets the charming Perry who proves to be a catalyst for a series of unfortunate events. Not to mention she gets a new job - working for the guy who 'caught' her shoplifting! Meanwhile, up in Bristol Jem has met a charmer of her own, the trouble is she's the only one who thinks he's charming and his presence in her life causes more harm than good. Then there's Gavin - Jem's father and Ginny's ex husband - who can't help but get involved with every woman who walks past him. They're an eclectic bunch.
This is a classic Jill Mansell, funny, uplifting and unputdownable with likeable characters (and a couple not so likeable ones) that I would definitely read again. One of the best/worst things about Jill Mansell's books is that moment (there's one in every book) where one of the characters gets the wrong end of the stick about something and so doesn't go ahead and do what they want to do and the audience knows that they should and its all so frustrating!! It makes me feel like I'm going to get a stomach ache and from that point on I absolutely HAVE to keep reading just to make sure it's definitely all going to come right in the end.. This has one of those moments, so brace yourselves. Luckily the ending is as satisfying as expected.
I laughed and I cried and it took me all of five minutes to devour it.
This is a review of Jill Mansell's 2007 book 'Thinking of you' which I picked up ages ago and it's been on the bookshelf waiting to be read ever since.
The story is about a mother (Ginny) aged around 40 who really misses her daughter Jem when she heads off to Uni. She engineers all sorts of excuses to visit her daughter in Bristol (which is a fair trip from her home in Cornwall) and realises her daughter's hectic social life as a student doesn't really include her. Ginny's entire life collapses around her when the family dog dies and her friend pinches her good looking boyfriend....
I'm not giving any more away about the book in case you actually want to read it! All I can say is that for me, it was a very slow starter and I had a few attempts to get into it but after 100 pages or so, it did get better and the plot really was quite clever.
The issues that are raised in the book are typical of 'empty nest syndrome' and the need to 'get a life' (in a nice way) when people move on and out of your life. I loved the characters that Ginny meets when she starts working at a posh restaurant close to where she lives.
My favourite bit is when Ginny gets caught shoplifting by a handsome stranger (Finn) and whilst it's just a terrible mistake he doesn't believe her and wants to call the police. Luckily, Ginny gets over the experience and manages to make friends with Finn.
Ginny's ex husband Gavin is also an excellent comedy character with his insults and cutting remarks, somehow Ginny remains friends with him but mainly for Jem's sake.
Other than it being a bit of a slow starter, the only other criticism I have for this book is that it is a 2007 book and her daughter Jem still uses 'all the film in her camera' to take photos. Surely by now we were all on digital or is it a case of how soon we forget. I just thought that bit was a bit old fashioned for modern times but maybe that's just me!
I have read the other reviews on this book and I think some people found it a bit too steady and boring but for me it was just right for having a few early nights in and not too taxing whilst keeping me still guessing what would happen to all the main characters. I won't spoil the ending for you!
I think Mansell has a good grasp of relationships and particularly the types of tricks men can get up to. I have read other books by this author and will pick up more by her in the future, I'm sure.
Ginny Holland is the heroine of Jill Mansell's latest novel 'Thinking Of You'. Ginny is a single mum whose teenage daughter is leaving her for her fantastic new dream life at university and Ginny is feeling rather left behind. She struggles to come to terms with the fact that her daughter has flown the nest and she is no longer needed.
Ginny decides, rather reluctantly, to start afresh and get a new job and a new lovelife. But as is the case in chick-lit, the path to happiness is far from smooth. Her fantastically good-looking new boss thinks she's a shop-lifter (honestly, she didn't intend to steal the peacock . . .) and it seems the charismatic Perry Kennedy only wants her to be a social worker for his sister.
On the whole I enjoyed this book. Jill Mansell has returned with her typically comical yet touching storyline that is told through a series of characters ranging from the truly lovable to the downright hideous.
Writing fun characters is one of Mansell's strong points in my opinion and there are many of these in 'Thinking Of You'. Ginny's boss, Finn Penhaligon is one of those characters that you imagine yourself falling in love with, handsome, charming and strong, but with a softer side that makes you wish he was real. On the other hand you have Perry Kennedy who irritates you with his self belief and lack of morals, but is still important to the story and isn't completely dislikeable. In fact the only character that I found myself annoyed with was the heroine herself. Whilst you ultimately want her to triumph and you are on her side when she is faced with betrayal, there were times when I thought she was a little wet and defeatist. It is clear that she is missing her daughter, with whom she has had a very close relationship until now. However there were times, such as when she drives to see her daughter in the middle of the night, when I just wanted her to pull herself together and have a bit more 'oomph' about her.
The storyline is typical of this kind of book and it has you feeling all the emotions; frustration at the turn of events; laughing at the strange scenarios Ginny finds herself in; annoyance at the arrogance of some of the characters; and, of course, pleasure at the happy ending. It is quite predictable, but in my opinion this isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's the familiarity of the story that draws me to this particular genre and so I quite like the fact that I know what I'm getting.
The setting is a sleepy town, where everybody knows everybody else and gossip is rife. It is the perfect setting for the story in my opinion and helps the various sub-plots to intertwine and the characters' dark secrets to come out. The fact that everybody knows everybody seems to, in a strange way, make the characters feel more familiar to the reader as well. It is very easy to get involved in the characters and to feel as though you are a part of their little group.
Overall, it is an enjoyable book. It isn't the best of its kind and it isn't Jill Mansell's best work, but having said that, I would recommend it as a good summer read - it is easy to read and passes the hours nicely.
I read every night in bed and the quality content of the book can always be judged by how long it takes me to read. If I am really engrossed in a book I will read to the early hours of the morning, a boring book will have me asleep in minutes and therefore takes months to read. During a stressful time in my life I read (or tried to read) War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. I never got past the third chapter in 3 months but had many a good night's sleep. A good Jodi Picoult will usually last me 3 to 4 nights.
Thinking of You, took me 2 weeks to read.
The story is of Ginny a divorcee, living in Cornwall, whose only child, Jem, flies the nest to go to university in Bristol. Ginny is left alone with her dog , her sex mad, toy boy loving best friend and neighbour Carla and hopeless, girl crazy friend and ex-husband, Gavin. Ginny misses her daughter dreadfully; the house is unbearably empty without her. Ginny realises that she will now have to make a life for herself and has to let her daughter go.
After a couple of disasters that rock Ginny's life she decides that she really does need to move on and embarks on an amusing quest to find a flat mate. Ginny also manages to secure herself a job which she adores but for more than one reason. We see Ginny's life change, not always for the better as she becomes emotionally involved and then single again with regularity. Ginny takes on a lodger Laurel, who predictably was another complicating and frustrating character in the storyline.
Ginny's emotional involvements are a ridiculous part of the story. I wondered, whilst reading this if Jill Mansell has ever been in love herself? I felt her characters lacked passion. Her portrayal of Ginny's daughter Jem and her relationship was more believable.
The story flits from Cornwall to Bristol and follows Ginny, her daughter and their abilities to sabotage their own lives and happiness. It is one of those frustrating reads that has the characters making ridiculous choices. Both mother and daughter mess up in different ways, we follow their journeys as they try and rectify their mistakes. I thought some of the story line was weak and not very realistic, I found it terribly frustrating to read and at certain points in the book I even felt like tossing it aside in disgust.
Entwined in this storyline is a celebrity encounter, neurotic parents, back stabbing friends, love triangles, matchmaking, betrayal, cheating, love matches and mismatches and misunderstandings galore. The book does transport you to an idyllic visualisation of Cornwall and a more sedate way of life. Jill Mansell does have the ability to bring her characters to life and you do feel part of this story as it unfolds. Ginny's ex-husband Gavin was an amusing addition to the story, he was tireless in his search for the perfect bimbo and his antics were sometimes quite entertaining.
I would only recommend this book if you have nothing better to read or if like me you need to catch up on some sleep. It is an easy simple read and quite witty in parts. Unfortunately whilst reading this book my mind drifted off elsewhere on a few occasions. It is very easy to get into and once you start you will definitely finish it but it is not the sort of story line that will impact your life or one that you will remember for a very long time.
I read the paperback version printed in 2007 by Headline Review and cost £7.99.
I bought my copy of Thinking Of You by Jill Mansell from Asda for a bargain price of £1 and it was well worth it. This is the third Jill Mansell book that I have read and I have become quite hooked.
This is a brief description of the plot....
Ginny is distraught when her daughter goes away to university, although she will never tell Jem this. Ginny decides to try and get her life back on track hoping she won't miss Jem as much. Starting with getting a new job and a new group of friends. Is it going to be that simple though especially when both Finn and Perry enter Ginny's life.
The character of Ginny was well thought out and i'm sure many people can relate to the idea of how it feels when a child leaves home. At first for Ginny she feels this is the end of the world but I liked how she soon
realises that she must move on and pull herself together. Even though she misses Jem she can't stay at home and wait for her to come home and not have a life herself. When she was supposed to come home one weekend and then cancelled I couldn't help but feel sorry for Ginny.
Ginny's daughter Jem was also a good character as well, I liked how she didn't realise how much her mum was missing her. The character did annoy me slightly as she didn't realise that her mum missed her but then again Ginny never let on that she was missing her.
Finn was a great character and I liked how a backstory was created for him. This really helped to portray the kind person he was. Rather than the reader just seeing what he was like the first time he met Ginny.
The book flowed very well with all the little sub plots helping to gel the story together. This is one of my favourite things about Jill Mansell's books. I like how she doesn't limit the story to the two main characters.
Regarding the plot, well it is typical chick lit so as the reader you can see the ending coming a mile away. I don't really mind this and it certainly didn't ruin the book. I found the characters helped to bring the story to
life. Especially as at times I felt like shouting at some of them for being dense as they couldn't see what was going on in front of their faces.
At times I couldn't put the book down especially when there was banter between Finn and Ginny, the book always managed to make me smile. The book kept my interest throughout and for the most part the story didn't drag. The only slight downside was Laurel's character on the whole she was ok but the odd parts were a little boring. There were plenty of twists and turns, some that I saw coming and one that I never saw coming.
In conclusion this is another great book from Jill Mansell and I have to recommend it. It really did leave me feeling happy and is well worth a read.
This book is about a teenage girl, Jem, who is off to university. It follows the story of her and her mum, Ginny. Ginny misses her daughter lots but Jem doesn't miss her half as much and is beginning her new live at university. Ginny knows that she should start a new life too but things seem to keep going wrong for her. She meets somebody that she likes and he accuses her of shoplifting, not exactly what she was expecting. I don't want to say too much more about it because it'll spoil the book if you do decide to read it.
I absolutely love all Jill Mansell books and this one was no exception. As a student at university I found it really good as it related to some of the things that have happened to me. As usual books by Jill Mansell keep you guessing right up until the end, you don't know whats going to happen next.
A really good read. I would recommend this book and all other Jill Mansell books.
This is a new romantic novel from the Sunday Times No.1 bestselling author. Ginny Holland's daughter Jem has headed off to university, leaving single mum Ginny with a severe case of empty nest syndrome. To make matters worse, the first gorgeous man she's clapped eyes on in years has just accused Ginny of shoplifting. So Ginny decides to advertise for a lodger but what she gets is lovelorn Laurel, who can only talk about her ex-boyfriend. However Laurel has a dangerously charming brother, Perry, and add to that the offer of a great new job, and things are looking up!until Ginny realises that her potential boss is all too familiar. Is it too late for Ginny to set right the first impression she made when Finn Penhaligon got quite the wrong end of the stick? And is either Finn or Perry quite what they seem?