Will somebody please get Cupid signed up for some archery lessons pronto, because his magic little love darts seem to be way off the mark pretty much all through the book !
This funny, charming, romantic tale stars Dora Jerusalem, a slightly naive and idealistic features assistant, thrust from her safe sheltered home life into the London world of bright lights and endless champagne-fuelled book launches. The setting is the 1980's, an era which for me recalls newspaper tales of sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll and a generation of partiers ravaged by AIDS and ecstasy, but Dora is a throwback to more distant times and values, holding on to some rather archaic values of no-sex-before-marriage and love-at-first-sight. She may be an urban misfit but she still slips effortlessly into the classic tale of boy-meets-girl. But the course of true love never did run smooth and that's just the beginning of a whole series of betrayals and heartaches.
Intertwined with Dora's tale are the stories of two other generations of young women : one in 1939, who finds herself dealing with everything the end of the war can throw at her - an unplanned pregnancy, a lost husband, an orphaned child she feels duty bound to look after and a lot of wagging tongues; and two young ladies coming of age in 1958 with no money or family connections but a lot of determination and dreams. All three generations are connected and the girls share the traits of defiance, survival, feistiness and making the best of a bad job.
The blurb on the back of the book summarises the story as being about "love, friendship and the moments that change the course of a life for good". I would have chosen different key elements - lost chances, heartache and deep dark family secrets. It's chicklit with an edge to it, which I'm sure will make it appeal to a wider audience than the classic "bonkbusters" !!
Publisher: Elliott & Thompson Limited (7 Aug 2009)
Paperback: 352 pages
star rating : 5/5