Monday, June 22, 2020

Book Review: Agony Auntics

By Jami Deise

The advice column has changed a lot since the days of "Dear Abby," and syndicated columnists have dedicated fans who often log in for weekly online chats. While I don’t participate in the live versions, I do follow the Washington Post’s Carolyn Hax, Slate’s Dear Prudence; one of my favorite books of 2019 was therapist Lori Gottlieb’s Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. While British rom-com author Julie Butterfield’s latest, Agony Auntics, doesn’t quite scratch the itch to read about the plethora of life problems that the columnists cover, it’s a fun, light story all the same.

Ellie Henshaw is in love with Logan MacDonald. Only issue is, he doesn’t know she exists. They work for the same company, and she has fallen in love with him by staring at the back of his head in the elevators. She’s too bashful to actually talk to him. So she writes to Fliss Carmichael, the “agony aunt” for The Digital Recorder. Ellie’s letter brings back sweet memories for Fliss on how she fell in love with her husband Jasper twenty years ago at their workplace. It also makes Fliss realize how far she and Jasper have drifted apart. Ruminating about her marriage, Fliss accidentally sends Ellie a very personal reply wondering about the future of her relationship. Thus begins a pen pal relationship of sorts, as the women cheer each other on and offer advice about their respective love lives.

Agony Auntics features the usual comedy of errors that fans of the genre will appreciate—ex-boyfriends who can’t get the hint, well-meaning best friends who only make things worse, romantic rivals. And there’s a subtext that goes unexplored: Is true love the fluttery feeling in the stomach, the rose petals on the bed? Or is it the long-time partner who shows up on time, does the dishes, picks up the kind of bread your mother likes? Butterfield seems to be heading in one direction, only to change course near the end.

While the main characters seem to have the maturity levels of the average seventh grader, Agony Auntics is a quick, fun read. It may not have the drama of today’s, “How do I survive COVID now that my husband’s mistress is quarantined with us” type of issues, but sometimes a lack of drama is just what the reader needs.

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Julie Butterfield belongs to the rather large group of 'always wanted to write' authors who finally found the time to sit down and put pen to paper - or rather fingers to keyboard.

She wrote her first book purely for pleasure and was very surprised to discover that so many people enjoyed the story and wanted more, so she decided to carry on writing.

It has to be pointed out that her first novel, Did I Mention I Won The Lottery is a complete work of fiction and she did not, in fact, receive millions in her bank account and forget to mention it to her husband - even though he still asks her every day if she has anything to tell him.

Visit Julie at her website and on Twitter.

Visit all the stops on the blog tour:

1 comment:

Murphy said...
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