Some Annie Sanders
My co-blogger Jenn sent me Gap Year for Grownups for my birthday, which led me to read Warnings of Gales and Busy Woman Seeks Wife this week. I found out after finishing Gap Year that “Annie Sanders” is actually two authors (Annie Ashworth and Meg Sanders), writing together, which I thought was really cool as their writing is so seamless. But I have to note, although their style is very polished, their copy editor’s isn’t. I found so many typos in Gap Year it was distracting!
Busy Woman Seeks Wife was definitely the best: a busy executive is too swamped at work to feed and clothe herself, so she hires a housekeeper to help out. She’s also dealing with corporate espionage, a sick mother, relationship problems and a dickhead boss, which lead to exactly the kind of stressful reactions you’d expect. The romantic scenes in this book are really romantic – both main characters are kind and in tune with each other, and you really want them to get together. The way the friends all pull together in the end is also pretty “aw” inducing.
Gap Year for Grownups had some interesting characters. The protagonist is a woman who had kids very young, and at 40 feels like she wants to live her own life. She moves from England to France and tries to find adventure, but winds up missing her family. Her family are a little more interesting. Her daughter, a university student, has an eventful first year, turning into a misunderstood wild child and growing up a lot. Her husband is initially upset by his wife’s change, but as he is forced to accept a series of other changes he becomes a lot happier. By the end of the book you kind of felt like you’d read a primer on how to make life decisions, but packaged in a more entertaining manner than your average self-help book.
Warnings of Gales was a little choppy. It describes three families who go on vacation together. The mothers are all very different and clash a few times, but eventually bond over femininity and children. There was a bit too much in this book – I think they could have cut some of the extended inner-monologue ruminations – and there was a bit too much “raising children is a real and important job!” manifestoing (not that I disagree, but I’m not the one taking you for granted). The relationships between the couples were also a little under-described – I don’t know if this was supposed to be a romantic book, but it definitely turned out more “slice of life.”
These were all decent beach reads. I’m going to try find The Xmas Factor and the brand new Getting Mad, Getting Even.