I have just finished reading this book on my Kindle and although it is not a completely stunning piece of literature it is a very good book with a funny story with a moral behind it and I am giving it 5 stars. This is a book which I enjoyed reading and actually looked forward to having the quiet time during the day to read more. It did make me want to read more and turn pages and I think about the message behind this story quite a bit which I think is always the sign of a good book.
This is a story about Natalie Butterworth who is a little overweight and has found someone who will marry her! She is getting married in a bit of a rush, Olly, her husband to be, wants to get married as soon as possible and so with just a few weeks to plan the big day Natalie is finding herself being swept away in it all. Her mother and her sister Dionne seem to be taking it upon themselves to be her wedding planner for her and make all the big decisions on her behalf. She hates the dress that she tries on, it’s too ‘blingy’ but her mum has already bought it and becomes tearful when Natalie tries to explain she doesn’t like it so she decides just shrug and make do, what can you do anyway when you’re planning a wedding in a rush? You should just be grateful people are helping you… she doesn’t quite like the idea of having the wedding cake shaped like a sleeping swan either… in fact all of the plans that are being made are not what she wants but she can’t break it to her family, she decides to just put up with it and focus on the fact that she is marrying the love of her life.Olly is the love of her life. He is a steady choice, he’s sensible, he likes healthy food… he always cooks really healthy food for her, does it matter that it doesn’t taste of anything? He is only caring for her hoping that she will lose some weight… she just chooses to not tell him that she is obsessed with Hobbs bread and will eat two big buttered slices in the morning when he isn’t around.
Then one evening Natalie agrees to go with her friend to a psychic evening. Her friend gets up on stage to by hypnotised by The Amazing Brian, AB doesn’t seem too amazing though, he doesn’t seem to be able to hypnotise anyone so they leave the pub and laugh about how hopeless he is. But then the next morning Olly asks Natalie outright how he performed in bed and she blurts out the truth, that he needs more stamina. He is shocked, so is she, where did that come from?! Over the course of the morning Natalie realises that she cannot lie, she suddenly has to speak the truth about everything if she is asked a question and sometimes she isn’t even aware that that is how she felt! Olly is upset with her openness and she upsets her boss at work too and is asked to leave. It dawns upon her that Amazing Brian must have hypnotised her.
So Natalie and her friend go off in search of the Amazing Brian who lives in a little village in North Yorkshire. When they arrive though his cottage is empty and the locals don’t know anything about him but are more than willing to help in the search for this resident and so begins an interesting adventure in this rather bizarre little village with a bar man Riley who Natalie informs everyone that she wants to have sex with, a Hobb’s factory which is trying to take over the pub which Riley owns but has their own secret which Natalie manages to find out by mistake and what will happen with Olly back home who thinks that Natalie is depressed, not hypnotised?!
The characters in this book are really well written. We don’t know all of their backgrounds and life history but what we do know of them is how they react to situations, what their opinions are on things and what they are like personality wise. I think the way the book is written in a way which really helps you to see things from the main character’s perspective. I felt an instant irritation with Natalie’s mother and sister for being so dominating but could also relate to how Natalie felt like she couldn’t upset them. I was confused as to whether Riley was a ‘goodie’ or not and I think that that was what was intended as Natalie too was confused. I thought although none of them were so well formed that I really felt like I knew them inside and out like I have with other books, they were formed enough to make it an enjoyable read.
This book was really interesting and also amusing. The style of writing reminded a bit of Sophie Kinsella books which always have humour in them as well as a chick lit style. It was not all about a love story though, there was much more to it than that, difficult family relationships were touched upon, the ability to stand up for yourself and not be walked over was a big theme, feeling happy in your own skin as well as knowing what you want for yourself and listening to your head instead of just trying to please people to avoid arguments. It was really interesting to read it and consider the things that were happening. So many of us ignore how we feel just to please others and how many times has that resulted in a decision which has lead to all kinds of difficulties and regrets for us?
I liked how it was written in a laidback style, it had terms such as ‘stink eye’ in it and other phrases which an author wouldn’t normally use but because it was written by the main character’s perspective it tied in really well and helped to get into her head instead of as an outsider reading a story.
This was not a very complicated novel, we didn’t zoom back and forth to past and present but we did go back from Old Trooley to Manchester and it was really interesting to see the different relationships between people and how it all had an impact upon Natalie.
I think that this is the kind of book which is an ideal holiday read. Although it has quite an interesting moral behind it which you can use to question yourself, it was very easy to read with lots of amusing parts to it too. I could really see myself reading this on the beach, a proper holiday read that’s for sure. It was very easy to follow the story, you weren’t left confused or trying to understand what was going on, there was no long paragraphs with complex terminology with them. This is the perfect book for escapism and to enjoy.
I haven’t read anything from this author before, I had chosen it because Amazon recommended it to me I think because I had searched for Sophie Kinsella and they said she is like her and I agree. I will read more of her work that’s for sure. There were a few errors in the Kindle version but not many, just the odd punctuation mistake and a few spelling mistakes but no where near as many as the previous book I have read.
I recommend this book, don’t be expecting a brilliant piece of literature but do expect an interesting story which will make you want to turn pages.