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Review of Tickled Pink, a novel by Christina Jones.
I am reviewing the paperback version of this book, published by Harper Collins in 2002. It has 486 pages, the cover price is £5.99 and the ISBN number is 0007126867.
This book is available from amazon.co.uk priced at £4.01 (Kindle), £19.99 (Audio Book) or from 0.01p (used).
The story is set in a sleepy English village called Steeple Fritton. Steeple Fritton is the sort of rural idyll that many a town dweller aspires to retire to, however for the younger locals, the village is a bit of a dump. The bus shelter is the only meeting place for the teens; the youngsters are just waiting for the day when they can leave the village. For older residents, The Crooked Sixpence, a pub run by a curmudgeonly landlord called Hogarth and a couple of shops are the sole attractions of Steeple Fritton. The Nightingale family run the villages' only bed and breakfast accommodation, but business is slow and although it had at one time supported Mr and Mrs Nightingale and their grown up daughter Posy, times were becoming very lean indeed, mainly due to the few accommodation seeking customers passing through the village now preferring to stay at a boutique spa hotel housed in converted manor house a few miles out of Steeple Fritton.
The story line opens with Posy Nightingale in the village church where she is attending a wedding. It is not a happy day for Posy for the groom is her fiancé Richie. Richie is marrying Sonia, a girl her cheated on Posy with. Posy and Richie had been playmates as children and their friendship had developed over the years. Sonia had become pregnant during her short fling with Richie and he had felt honour bound to marry her.
Not unnaturally Posy is heartbroken and feels she needs to flee Steeple Fritton.
Meanwhile in another part of England, the life of 49 year old Lola Wentworth is also in pieces. Lola had worked for the best part of 30 years for 'Marionette Biscuits' manufacturer, Nigel Marion. She was also the mistress of the biscuit tycoon, she lived in a flat he owned, drove a car he owned, wore clothes he chose for her and she looked forward to the day when Nigel retired and left his wife Barbara to live with Lola permanently.
A sudden illness and Nigel's subsequent death pulled the rug from under Lola's feet and her comfortable lifestyle was snatched from her. She felt she had no option but to run away.
The two fleeing women meet up as a result of various events with explosive results.
Throw into the mix an American visiting his ancestral roots, a villager's bad boy grandson, a hippy called Tatty, a steam powered traction engine and a middle aged father who impersonates Meat Loaf as his party piece and you have a page turner of a novel!
**==My Thoughts and Conclusion==**
This is a fun, fluffy, heart-warming novel. I have read several other books from this author and enjoyed them. Tickled Pink is in my opinion, Christina Jones' best novel yet. It is written with a wealth of tongue in cheek humour which I found both amusing and entertaining.
The characters are definitely over the top, yet they are likeable, well drawn and totally fitting to the genre. A crisp and sharp way with dialogue is one of this author's strong points and this novel is no exception. Ms Jones' descriptive powers are also very good; she has a knack of drawing you into the plot within a few pages.
Yes, it is chick lit and does not pretend to be anything else. I read a great deal and will happily read virtually anything from sci-fi to biographies, historical fiction to crime thrillers, military accounts to chick lit, dependent on my mood. This type of novel is my choice for those occasions when I want to be amused and entertained rather than educated or improved!
I found this to be a very absorbing book with a decent story line, good characterisation, and most importantly for me, it was not too predictable. I actually started this novel one morning and had finished it by tea time on the same day.
It is perfect holiday reading material and as such I would recommend Tickled Pink to others. My one negative comment about this novel is the title, I do not 'get' the relevance of the title and can see no valid reason or link for titling the book 'Tickled Pink'!
Thank you for reading
©brittle1906 June 2013
N.B. My review may be found on other sites under the same user name.
Christina Jones is not a name I recognised when I looked through the pile of books my daughter had brought for me as holiday reading, but I see she has many books to her credit and Tickled Pink is supposed to be slightly different as the Romance is there but in a different way. Set in a quiet village, this book is made up of friendships and rivalry, sadness, grieving, fun and laughter and lots of surprises.
Posy is the main character, and the story starts as Posy watches Ritchie, her childhood sweetheart marry someone else. Sonia was pregnant and Ritchie was standing by her. Posy decides to leave her parents where she helps them run their ailing Bed and Breakfast and find work somewhere else as Steeple Fritton isn't big enough for her to avoid Ritchie and Sonia. She leaves on her former police BMW1100 motorbike, which she painted peacock blue and sugar pink!
Ellis a good looking young man has been sent to stay with his Grandmother in Steeple Fritton to keep him out of trouble, he has other ideas though!
Lola, a grieving well dressed middle aged woman also leaves her home on the same day as Posy, eventually their paths cross but it's not all smooth and lovely.
Steeple Fritton has a few shops and we meet the people who run them and their families plus there is a church, school and a run down pub, called the Crooked Sixpence, run by a miserable man called Hogarth. As in many villages there is always an assortment of village worthies who add a bit of fun to the story.
Flynn, a handsome American arrives after a stay in Ireland and is to find out about something left to him in a will by a distant relation and spices things up a bit, but we all know the path of true love doesn't run smooth! Together they try to help Posy's parents Dilys and Norrie keep their B&B from bankruptcy.
Obviously I don't want to give too much away, but on the back of the book it mentions that Posy and Lola have some radical rethinking and one of their assets is a Showman's traction engine. The story is such that I didn't want to put the book down, I couldn't help but laugh at times and really enjoyed this novel.
The book has 485 pages and the cover shows flags flying for a carnival against a blue sky and a pair of flowery pink wellies. This copy cost £5.99 but you may get it cheaper elsewhere, it was easy reading but very different from the general romances on the market as it is written with great feeling for the characters and how they are suffering with what life as dished out.