Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Book Review: Would Like to Meet...

By Becky Gulc

This book has a stand-out, vibrant cover that appealed to me straight away. Here is the synopsis:

Could the worst thing that’s ever happened to Hannah Pinkman also turn out to be one of the best?

She and her husband Dan have reached the end of the line. Bored with the same gripes, the same old arguments – in fact, bored with everything – they split up after a trivial row turns into something much more serious.

Now Hannah has to make a new life for herself, but that’s not easy. She’s been so busy being a wife and mum that she’s let all her other interests slip away, along with her friends. And when Hannah is persuaded to join a dating site, her ‘best match’ is the very last person she expects it to be . . .

A clever, funny and poignant novel about life after a long relationship, the importance of friendship, and rediscovering your identity. (Courtesy of Amazon UK.)

The premise of the book was appealing yet, if I’m really honest, when I realised Hannah’s character is quite a bit older than me, I wondered if I would relate to her as much as I do with the central characters in many other novels I read. But then, most lead characters I read about are in their late twenties/early thirties so I also welcomed the chance to read a different type of novel, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

Would Like to Meet... is such a great novel, a feel good heart-warming funny story with characters I adored. As the synopsis suggests, it is a novel about re-evaluating your identity and relationships and it was great to do this through Hannah, a very likable and pragmatic woman who embraces all the opportunities presented to her through her relationship breakdown with Dan after 27 years, and the impact this has on her social and love life.

We see Hannah form new friendships (I loved her new, bold best friend Eva!), do her best to keep existing relationships strong (I loved Hannah and Dan’s son Joel who still lives at home, he has such a lovely relationship with them both it was a pleasure to read), and grit her teeth at work with a dastardly boss and manipulative colleague to deal with.

The exploration of Hannah’s introduction to Internet dating was so funny, I still laugh when I think of how her first date ended. The writing is so good as although a break up is mostly a sad affair, and Hannah does indeed mourn the end of her relationship, it somehow remains lighthearted and upbeat and I think Hannah’s relationship with her ‘best match’ helps this. I also loved Dan as a character. I don’t think this is a novel where you feel the need to pick a side as such, it’s just a sad situation when this relationship seems to have become stuck in a rut.

There are also many twists and turns in the novel. Whilst I may have guessed what would happen in the end I certainly didn’t guess what Hannah would get up to along the way. It felt fresh in this sense, certainly a journey for Hannah which I enjoyed joining her on.

A book which will make you think about what’s important to you, that will make you think about how relationships could be improved, and one you will thoroughly enjoy! Definitely a contender for one of my books of the year.

Thanks to Avon for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Polly James:


Janine said...

This sounds like a book I would really enjoy.

Karen said...

I can't resist, after reading this review :)