Friday, August 2, 2013

Book Review: Finding Colin Firth

Three women, connected in secret and surprising ways, are in for a life-changing summer when rumor has it that actor Colin Firth is coming to their Maine town to film a movie.

After losing her job and leaving her beloved husband, journalist Gemma Hendricks is sure that scoring an interview with Colin Firth will save her career and marriage. Yet a heart-tugging local story about women, family ties, love, and loss captures her heart— and changes everything. The story concerns Bea Crane, a floundering twenty-two-year-old who learns in a deathbed confession letter that she was adopted at birth. Bea is in Boothbay Harbor to surreptitiously observe her biological mother, Veronica Russo—something of a legend in town—who Bea might not be ready to meet after all. Veronica, a thirty-eight-year-old diner waitress famous for her “healing” pies, has come home to Maine to face her past. But when she’s hired as an extra on the bustling movie set, she wonders if she is hiding from the truth...and perhaps the opportunity of a real-life Mr. Darcy.

These three women will discover more than they ever imagined in this coastal Maine town, buzzing with hopes of Colin Firth. Even the conjecture of his arrival inspires daydreams, amplifies complicated lives, and gives incentive to find their own romantic endings. (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)

Amy Bromberg:

I don't know about you, but any book title containing Colin Firth, I'll definitely have a desire to read. Of all of the movies he's been in my two favorites are Bridget Jones's Diary and The King's Speech. It's important to note though that this is more than a "dreamy swoon-worthy" book about Colin Firth. Set in the coastal town of Boothbay Harbor, Maine (where Mia March's debut, The Meryl Streep Movie Club, is also set), the story revolves around three women who, besides loving Colin Firth, have in common motherhood and adoption. This book heavily explores adoption and how it affects both the child and the mother. I found this very interesting and unique because I haven't read a fiction novel before that has explored this. I definitely cannot imagine being on either end. I always love reading books told from multiple points of view, and Mia March did an excellent job with no difficulties going back and forth between the three main characters, Bea, Veronica and Gemma. 

There are many aspects of Finding Colin Firth that I really enjoyed. First, the characters. Right from the start the three main characters are very likable, and the issues that each one of them is dealing with are very real. Because character is from a different age group, all the more likely that many readers will appeal and relate to their lives and stories. Second, the setting. I loved revisiting this beautiful town in Maine. I'm a big beach person so the next time we make plans to head up north, I'd really like to literally visit this serene little beach town. Third, the pies. Not surprising that I bring this up because you know that I have a huge sweet tooth. Veronica is known for her mouthwatering pies. However these pies do much more than bring your tastebuds to life. Her pies will bring you hope ("Hope Pie"), happiness ("Happiness Pie"), and lift your spirits ("Spirit Pie"). I don't want to give anything away here, but if you put a little hope, love and compassion into the things you do in life, you just might start to feel some warmth and love around you. 

If you're looking for a pick me up, feel-good kind of book, with the added benefit of being a great summer read, then don't hesitate and pick yourself up a copy. Looking forward to Mia's number three!

Melissa Amster:

Given the fact that I loved The Meryl Streep Movie Club (TMSMC), I was eagerly awaiting Mia March's sophomore novel, Finding Colin Firth. Let me tell you, it was well worth the wait and I liked it even more than TMSMC. I have a feeling Mia's books are going to get better and better as she continues to write them.

I thought the story was well-told and flowed nicely between the characters. Like in TMSMC, I didn't feel like I was missing out on a character's life by having them only narrate every third chapter. They were also immersed into the lives of the other two characters and had conversations that kept me up to speed on what was going on when it wasn't their turn in the spotlight. The premise was interesting and the story never slowed down or became dull at all. I also didn't feel that the ties between the characters felt forced at all, as I've felt that way about other books that try to do the same thing. I even enjoy how Isabel and June from TMSMC had cameos (Kat too, but only at one part) and I got to keep up with their lives that way. (Just keep in mind that if you haven't read TMSMC yet, read it first because there are some spoilers for each of the characters in this book.) I think I could relate most to what Gemma was going through, even though I wasn't completely in her shoes. However, Bea and Veronica were also sympathetic characters and I cared about what happened to both of them, as well. I especially liked Veronica's pies. They sounded so mouth-watering. It made me think of the pies in the movie Waitress. Of course, Veronica's pies had more positive names.

The only issue I had was with the proofreading. I noticed that some names were changed around by mistake and this didn't get caught before going to print. Having said that, I really enjoyed this novel from start to finish and have been recommending it ever since! I even liked that although it was about Colin Firth, Mia didn't center the stories around his movies and only featured a few of them. When she did, the conversations around them seemed more natural. The best thing is that the story doesn't wrap up perfectly and there are still some loose ends that may hopefully get tied up in a future novel, when Bea, Veronica and Gemma get cameo appearances. Oddly enough, while the characters are really easy to visualize, I can't think of celebrities to play them. Maybe they are meant to be played by newcomers who would start off their career in a movie based on such a sweet story....

Thanks to Simon and Schuster for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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1 comment:

booksandstilettos said...

this was a great book review. this book is going on my reading list.