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Jenny Colgan: Where Have All The Boys Gone
A novel where a young girl called Katie is living in London has realised that all the men about town are married, taken, gay or too old. She comes to a conclusion that there's no men life in the world for her or her friends.
Her friend Louise is going through a depressing time after splitting with her boyfriend and finding out that he had secretly been seeing Katie's free spirited Sister Clara, She then took it in her stride to just get laid by any man whether he be married on not it just made her feel wanted.
Olivia, Katie's boss and friend is far too busy and too hip to date but always on the lookout.
The girls go for drinks in the new opening bars around London and still not finding any men interested in them Katie calls it a night and on the way home is mugged for her ancient mobile phone, after discovering that the law is useless and cannot do anything about the mugging she decides she needs a new lease of life.
Katie's job is in PR and when she sees the opportunity for a new job role in Fairlish Scotland after scanning the newspaper and comes across the job for a press officer advertised by a Forestry Commission. After taking a day off work and not telling Olivia she gets a ten hour train to Scotland, she was shocked to see a woman with a sheep on a leash on the train and the fact that there is not a single city in mile just green upon green everywhere was fields. When the train pulled in the station of Fairlish she noticed she was in the middle of nowhere and it wasn't too late to get the train back to London as it was due in a 10 minutes after that it would be a few days before the next train was due.
The man who was coming to meet her and the rest of the applicants for the job was a middle aged farmer type bloke called Harry Barr, When he realised Katie was the only one he wasn't happy about it and after exchanging a few words with Katie she realised it was a massive mistake and with a few minutes to spare she hopped back on the train back to London.
When Olivia gets a new position for a PR job to help out Fairlish Forestry Commission she decides to send Katie back to Scotland to help sort out their problems on a 3month basis, Katie then remembers she had given Harry her business card and that's how Olivia ended up with the Job, Grumbling about it she heads off home to pack.
After Louise found out she begged Katie to take her with her and because Katie feels responsible for her sister taking Louise's boyfriend she had no choice, Louise then took time off work and the pair of them packed up and took the long drive in Katie's car to Fairlish.
When they arrived they found themselves knee high in mud freezing cold and wet through then being taken in to a old residential house by a horrible strong spoken woman, this is home for 3 months, not the comfort of the cushy hotels their used to and the blankets stiff with the room temperature minus freezing they decided to spend the night sleeping in their clothes.
After a horrid breakfast Katie decided to find out what her new job had to offer while Louise was off exploring, she goes to the office where Harry was at work and discovered her reason for being there.
Harry takes her to out to the forest where she finds out a group of golfers with some investors want the forest taking down and build a golf course there instead and it's Katie's Job to stop this happening has quiet and discreetly as possible, Harry doesn't want anyone knowing. Katie is willing to help Harry and sets to work thinking how this could all peice together.
Katie comes to a conclusion that she must find the main man against the forest been there for its nature and in comes a very dark and handsome Iain, Katie finds herself batting on both sides after discovering Harry and Iain don't meet eye to eye and then decides to befriend Iain without Harry knowing. The main reason being that he's very dishy and she hasn't had a man in donkeys years, but when she agrees to meet him for a drink in one of two pubs in the little village called the Mermaid she soon discovers something strange.
Telling Louise about the ''date'' she tags along, they decide to go for a pasty in the pie shop before meeting Iain and have a running with the shop assistant Kelpie having finished their pasties they head off to the Mermaid and discovers MEN lots of MEN, Men everywhere, Landlord, fishermen, army men, lumberjacks locksmiths and a vet which Louise wastes no time getting to know.
Iain then takes Katie on a date to a restaurant which has to be booked in advance but since he knows the chef he gets VIP treatment, Katie tells Iain about the situation with harry and he agrees to help her by organising a slot on the radio for her to announce that Fairlish is having a ball with auctions to help save the forest, after accidently spitting the truth about the secret with Harry over a turned on microphone at a market fair the village agree to help save the forest hence the ball.
Katie gets help from women and all over the country women come to Fairlish to see the town of men, Katie takes harry to London after her appearance on the radio the media want to help and get her a slot on Richard and Judy Show.
Katie then realised how Harry scrubs up well when she takes him to a bar down in London and all the women like his style.
Katie then heads back to Fairlish for the ball and many more funny moments and Drama to this story.
Where have all the boys gone is by far my favourite novel by Jenny Colgan, Jenny being Scottish herself really captured this story with her amazing words, its a great read and I just couldn't put it down. Louise is a very funny character but at the same time intelligently dippy.
I have and would recommend this to anyone who likes to have a good read about a girls world in dilemma, I actually am a pen paller and my copy has been to Germany, Canada and American and each one of my pen pals who read it rated it highly.
So purchase a copy snuggle up on the sofa with some chocolate and a cup of coffee because your in for a treat.
Any single girl who has lived in London may wonder "where have all the boys gone?" as the title of this chick lit novel suggests.
Our heroine in the novel Katie is doing great in her career but no man is in sight and those that are out there are arrogant, married or gay. After a series of disastrous dates she reads that in London women "of a certain age" out number men by 180,000. Ahhhhhh that, she decides is the reason that she will not find anyone in London.
Fate takes her up to the town of Fairclough in the Scottish Highlands where men outnumber women by 16 to 1.
Katies takes with her Louise her best friend, who had her heart broken and has been "playing the field" ever since. Of course the culture shock of the scottish highlands after living in London makes for some funny situations.
AND of course the town being male dominated will either of the girls find love?
Well I am not going to spoil this book by letting you know!
Katie: Successful in her PR career not so successful in love. Very sweet and caring although this does get a tad annoying at times. She is able to stand up for herself which I liked.
Louise: Dumped by the toerag Max for Katie's sister Clara and broken hearted as a result. Having slept around to try to get over the pain perhaps a stint in a man dominated town will help. Louise appears to add little to the plot but to support Katie throughout.
Harry: Katie's new boss - a straight laced Scot whose only love in life appears to be trees and wildlife. Of course the fact that he is great looking makes things interesting.
Ian: Harrys old best friend and a journalist. Again gorgeous and single?
Jenny Colgan is a light author whose stories romp along with funny bits and the odd bit that touches your heart ( if you are a closet romantic like me!). The book is written in the third person and follows the exploits of Katie and Louise around the highlands.
There are a few stereotypes of the Scots which could upset any native Scottish who get too serious but the mickey is taken out of Londoners too so I guess that no-one should take it too seriously.
Expecting a total chick lit, silly read I was pleasantly surprised to find myself touches and engaged by this novel. The characters are fairly strong and they could be any one of a number of my friends. Or even me before I met my hubby!
I read this novel over a two day period - ok it does have large print and is not the longest but I did want to know what was going to happen.
Overall this is a sweet, funny and engaging book that I would take on holiday or read on a train journey. One to lighten your mood while at least keeping your brain active.
"According to the 2001 census, women outnumber men in the capital by 180,000." Is this true or does Jenny Colgan make her main protagonist Katie only read this headline in a newspaper to start off with her story? Katie, a PR specialist, her flatmate Louise and Olivia, her boss, who's also her friend, pretend not to be too keen on finding Mr Right, after all they're hip, up-to-date, feminist career women, but they need to be shagged/get laid* regularly to keep up their self-esteem. When we get to know Katie, she's been "Four months, entirely chap-free", then she has a date with a man in a pub who is so horrible that having no date at all suddenly seems the better option. On the way home she's mugged, despair is knocking at her door.
So we're not surprised that when she skims a newspaper, her eyes are caught by an ad by a Forestry Commission looking for a press officer in a place called Fairlish; wherever that is, it can't be worse than London. It turns out that it is in Scotland where Katie has never been before (she's been to India, though), she takes a day off and without telling Olivia she decides to have a look, the train ride takes ten hours. The man who comes to meet her at the station in the middle of nowhere expected ten applicants for the job and is rather cross that only one has come. They don't hit it off and when he points out that the next train is due in five minutes and the one after this only the following Tuesday, she returns to London at once.
Some time later Olivia tells her that the Forestry Commission of Fairlish has turned to her office for a PR person and that she's decided to send Katie there for three months to sort out their problems. Death and damnation, why did she have to give the man her business card?! Grumbling she packs her things to a wailing Louise who doesn't want to be left alone. Katie feels a bit responsible for her as Louise's long time boyfriend has just eloped with Katie's sister to India. I haven't found out which job Louise has, anyway she's able to accompany Katie and they both set off to Scotland.
Katie's new boss Harry Barr tells her that there is an unprotected forest in the area and that a group of investors want to hack it down to build a golf-course there, it's her job to prevent this, as quietly as possible, he doesn't want a public fuss over the matter. Harry's manner is curt, and Katie isn't too pleased to work with him. Yet I thought that after some misunderstandings they would get it all together and they'd walk into the sunshine hand in hand, this is chick lit after all.
I hadn't read a specimen of this genre for some time and forgotten the rules, of course there has to be a second contender for the heroine. No problem in Fairlish, it turns out to be the place with the highest men to women ratio in Great Britain, statistically speaking there are sixteen men for each woman! (Louise takes on the challenge) Enter Iain, the editor, sole reporter and also deliverer of the local newspaper, friendly, gentle and with very green eyes, ah! For some reason he and Harry hate each other, Katie has to find out where her loyalty is.
Because of a blunder Katie and Louise commit, the people of Fairlish get to know about Harry's plan to prevent the golf course being built in the forest, how do they take it? Things begin to move and ever more quickly, Katie is invited to two radio shows and later, together with her boss Harry, to Richard & Judy's TV show. Will that help their project or will it backfire? One consequence of putting Fairlish on the map, so to speak, is that the British woman folk get to know about the paradisiacal conditions there, try to imagine what's happening!
Where Have All The Boys Gone? has many funny moments a lot of which result from the contrast between slick urbanites and rough country folk, the author doesn't ridicule either side, though, they both have their virtues and vices. I enjoyed the description of an unbearably hot and sticky summer in London and the pristine Scottish countryside, parties and does here on a daily basis, nothing going there all the year round, how can such completely different lifestyles be compared and weighed up against each other?
I'd say that the novel belongs into the upper drawer of the chick lit cupboard, if you like reading this genre at all, you could do worse than give this one a go. As one of my online friends once pointed out to me when I moaned about another review on another sci-fi novel, "It's escapism, just like chick-lit". True, but what I like about the latter genre is that it's firmly rooted in the real world, for me the real world offers enough diversion, I don't have to escape to parallel universes. What characterises it is that the single scenes could all happen in reality, only their combination and the profuse use of coincidences makes chick lit unconvincing at times. Yet, I know of a real life love story which outshines every work of fiction, so there . . .
* English is not my mother tongue, therefore I asked four female dooyoo friends which term would be appropriate in a review. The result was:
get laid (2)
Please take your choice.
Rrp 6.99 GBP
Jenny Colgan is a popular writer from a town called Prestwick in the south west of Scotland. She has written lots of books but in this one, her Scottish side comes out in a lovable look at a small area in the Highlands.
Katie works in London for a public relations company. She is at a stage in her life where she is bored and desperately wants a change from the same old routines of work and going out to trendy clubs with her friends, who are all in search of the perfect man. This is something that they don't believe exists in London.
When she gets the chance to go and work in the small town of Fairlish in the Scottish Highlands, she isn't really sure whether that's a change as she would like, but along with her friend, Louise, she discovers that there are some good reasons for visiting this beautiful place.
First of all, there's the fresh air and beautiful scenery but the most important thing is that are 675 men and only 66 women in the town. This is difficult for the girls to come to terms with as they are used to outnumbering the men back down south. Things are not all good though as they have to deal with the jealousy of the town's other women and their accommodation is not quite the luxury they were hoping for.
Whilst Louise get to grips with nature in every sense of the word, Katie starts work for Harry, a man who is not used to having a woman around and appears to be grumpy all the time. Katie's job entails trying to save a special undisciplined forest that is important to all the community, from being turned into a golf complex that would turn the quiet town into a hive of activity.
Katie also has a bit of love interest in the form of Iain who works on the local paper and gives her lots of support with her campaign. Things don't always run smoothly there either though as Iain and Harry are enemies and she finds herself caught up in divided loyalties.
With a ball to organise and the fear that once the outside world knows about the abundance of single men, they will be overrun with women, she has her work cut out for her to make it all work.
Katie is a strong willed character who sees nothing wrong with taking the bull by the horns when it comes to work. Unfortunately the same can't be said with the men in her life and she finds herself torn between Harry and Iain. She is a caring character who tries to keep the peace between her family and friends and because of this she often finds herself trapped between a rock and a hard place.
Louise has been moping around in London for too long. The problem was that her long-term boring boyfriend decided to up and leave with Katie's sister, Clara. She subconsciously blames Katie for this even though Katie is letting her live with her. Fairlish gives her a chance at reflection as well as quite a bit of fun with all the single men in the town. She finds her smile again as she breathes in the fresh air and makes good friends with Craig the vet.
Harry is a stubborn man but one who desperately cares about the area he grew up in. Working for the forestry department, he is obviously going to care about it strongly, but it is also about keeping the community private too. The thought of his favourite childhood play area being turned into a golf course is just too much for him and he is pleased to have someone to work with him to try and stop it, although he doesn't really care too much for Katie's methods sometimes.
Iain works for the local newspaper and there is an instant spark between them. However, when they attempt to take their friendship to the next level, things don't exactly go to plan and Katie is left feeling confused as to whether Iain is just using her. Iain and Harry have known each other for a long time but a longstanding argument has meant that they tend to work against each other, which doesn't help the cause.
When I started reading this book I felt it was a little bit condescending of the people who live in remote Scottish areas. This opinion changed though as I read on and found that the whole point of this book is to show the beauty and benefits of living in an area where there are not Starbucks on every corner.
I have come into contact with quite a few southerners over the years, who still believe Scotland is all about hills and that they wouldn't be able to live there because of the lack of facilities. This book shows that sometimes there are more important things in life than having the latest fashions and going to trendy nightclubs. There are benefits in having clean air to breathe and the peace and quiet where the only vehicles are working tractors or land rovers. People learn to talk to each other more rather than living in a bustling world where you may never see the same person twice.
I found this book very easy to read and indeed found that I couldn't put it down the more I got through it. The urgency of finding out whether the forest would be saved and who Katie would choose kept me guessing right up to the end. Unlike some of the so-called chick-lit books, this one had me really caring about the characters and there are some unexpectedly lovable ones in it, such as Mrs McClockerty who runs the guesthouse where Katie and Louise stay. She is a real battleaxe with her rules and regulations of what is acceptable and her funny ways such as, only giving 2 bits of toast every morning at breakfast. She does show she has a softer side too though and does everything she can to help Harry, even though sometimes, her big mouth can get her into trouble.
This book has everything you could want in a light-hearted novel - a struggle for a good cause, a bit of romance and a lot of tears along the way. It's one that will keep you turning the pages with anticipation and one I thoroughly enjoyed.
***Other Jenny Colgan Books***
Do You Remember The First Time
Looking For Andrew McCarthy
Talking To Addison
West End Girls
***Price and Availability***
The price on the back of the paperback is £6.99 but it is available for less at DVD.co.uk who sell it for only £4.76.
ISBN No. 0007159013
Where have all the men gone? Faced with 25, 000 more women than men in London, and gleeful media reports that it's statistically more likely for single women to be murdered than get married, Katie is reached an all-time low. But all is not lost ! Another hilarious high-concept romantic comedy from Jenny Colgan. While Katie's glad it's not a man's world any more, she'd be quite pleased if there were more men in it - or at least single ones, anyway. More likely to get murdered than married, according to gleeful media reports, Katie resigns herself to the fact there's no sex in the city and heads for the hills - or the Scottish highlands, to be precise. Despite the fact she's never been a girl for wellies - and Fairlish is in the middle of nowhere - the tiny town does have one major draw: men. Lots of them. But while Katie relishes the chance to do battle with armies of admirers, she's not reckoned on going head to head with her grumpy new boss, Harry, shadowy developers intent on destroying the beautiful countryside and Mrs McClockerty, the least suitable hotelier since Norman Bates. At least there's the local eye-candy to distract her, including gorgeous newshound Iain. But he is at loggerheads with Harry, and Harry despises her. Life in the country might not be one big roll in the hay but can Katie ever turn her back on the delights of Fairlish and return to city life?