What happens when three friends had planned to go on a three week holiday together, with their kids and no husbands - and one drops out..?
Imogen (organized, domestic goddess) with her three little darlings, Sophie (her friend from boarding school, bit dizty but friendly) with her two girls where supposed to spend three weeks in a rented house in Cornwall with their friend Caroline, but when Caroline drops out at the last minute and GP single parent Jo (friend of Sophie, never met by Imogen) and her son step in, the resulting tentions are both heart-pulling and funny. And very realistic.
With daggers drawn over 'chore duties', parenting types and good-old manners, it very quickly draws the reader into the mess, and seeing it from all sides, it really does show the blemishs in everyone character.
And when an attractive Surfing Teacher is added to the mix, jealousy spices things up even more
All the characters are all very realistic, and I'm sure most of us know people like the women is this story, and if really honest, can identify the flaws in Imogen, Sophie and Jo in ourselves. I know I did.
Imogen, who organised the holiday, is frighteningly capable and a bit of a control freak. With three children who are at the centre of her world, she's determined that this holiday will be perfect. But is Imogen's tidy life quite as happy as it seems?
Sophie is Imogen's oldest friend, dating back to the days when they would chat long after lights out at their Home Counties boarding school. Sophie knows she should be feeding her offspring organic cous-cous, but they love McDonalds' apple pies too much - and where's the harm in that? But is there more to Sophie than dogged loyalty to her rather overbearing old mate?
And then there's Jo, an acquaintance of Sophie's roped in at the last minute when the first choice of housemate pulled out. An East London GP and single mother, and very easy going with her son, she appears to be the polar opposite to Imogen. A group holiday seemed such a good idea back in January ...
This was my first Annie Sanders book but it definitely won't be my last. In fact I have another two of their novels to read - Goodbye, Jimmy Choo & Busy Woman Seeks Wife.
It always interests me how two authors can write one book - I always want to know who writes which chapters/characters. However you can't tell because the story flows effortlessly!
I really enjoyed Warnings of Gales and thought it was really well written. You always hear of people going on holiday together so it's an interesting topic. Not only that but all three characters were so different it made the book difficult to put down.
I found Imogen both irritating and likeable at the same time. At times she - as Jo thought - seemed to muscle in on everything but she had everyone's best interests at heart really. Sophie seemed the most laidback of the three women, and felt she was the referee most of the time between Jo and Imogen. Jo was my favourite character and thought she was really great. She was independent but showed her vulnerable side when Finn went missing.
Finn was my favourite of the children and the most prominent. I was really interested in what Jo was hiding about Finn's dad.
Of the men I like Hugh and Matt but couldn't stand Guy. He was so willing to shove his children in boarding school without a second glance just so it furthered his career. He came across very selfish and even a bit racist about Finn. I was glad Imogen changed her mind about Jakarta - I knew she would!
I really enjoyed how the chapters of the novel were days of the holiday and enjoyed the easy way the book was written. I also liked the nod to Imogen's weather-obsession with each chapter starting with the days forecast, that was a nice touch.
I really enjoyed the book and can't wait to read more from Annie & Meg!
First reviewed at http://chicklitreviews.wordpress.com
Warnings of Gales is a novel by Annie Sanders. Annie Sanders is not an actual person but is in fact 2 people, Meg Sanders and Annie Ashworth. They are 2 consumer journalists who have written 10 non-fiction books between them and this is their second novel, the first was called Goodbye, Jimmy Choo.
This is the story of 3 women who rent a holiday home in Cornwall for the summer. Add to that their children of various ages, occasional visits from husbands, emotional baggage, great expectations and the Great British summer weather, well its a recipe for disaster or is it??
This book was lent to me by a friend who weve holidayed with before but only for a few days at a time, was she trying to tell me something?
There are 3 main characters in the book. Imogen is the organised one, she has chosen the holiday venue, organised an itinerary of places to go and activities for the children not to mention menu plans and enough food to feed the five thousand. She has 3 children whom she adores and organises her life around them not leaving much time for herself. She is determined this holiday will be perfect especially as after the summer the whole family is planning to move to Hong Kong with her husbands work taking the children away from all their friends and schools.
Sophie is Imogens old friend from boarding school days. She has 2 girls but her style of childcare is much more laid back than Imogens. Sophie doesnt get flustered, she doesnt really plan things but just goes with the flow.
Then there is Jo who steps into the holiday after another friend drops out at the last minute. She is a friend of Sophies and has never met Imogene (if she had she probably wouldnt have agreed to come on holiday with them). Jo is a GP and single mother to Finn. Jo likes to do her own thing, she is very laid back (much to Imogens disgust), just wants to relax and she cant cook and doesnt tidy up after herself. Her style of child rearing is very laid back, her son stays up really late and often calls her Jo rather than mum.
Three women with very different backgrounds and personalities cooped up in one house for the summer unsurprisingly results in a few arguments, some laughs, tears and some life-changing decisions. Add in a little romantic spice courtesy of the hunky surf instructor Matt and this is a great book to read on your holidays providing you havent gone with two of your friends!
The book has all you need for a good light read there are funny bits, a few dramas, some romance. The characters are all good fun and you get to know them and understand their little ways. You can identify with them, you feel Jos stress when her son goes missing and Imogens worries about moving to Hong Kong. This is a light-hearted read if you are looking for in-depth character analyses and complicated plot-lines then this isnt for you. I think this would make a great summer holiday read for those of you who like a little light-hearted harmless read for fun.
ISBN - 0-7528-7774-7
Published by Orion Books 2005