Carole Matthews is one of my favourite authors. Her work is funny, charming, often fairytale-like and reading her books always cheers me up. Thanks to the great review of It's a Kind of Magic from the lovely Dot at Dot Scribbles, I wanted to re-read a couple of Carole's books again and so I did.
It's a Kind of Magic is a fairy tale, quite literally!
Emma and Leo have been an item for five years. They are constantly breaking up and getting back together again, usually because of Leo's unreliablity especially when he teams up with his two best friends, Grant and Lard. When Leo turns up for Emma's thritieth birthday dinner a couple of hours late, drunk and dishevelled after being with his mates, Emma can't help but wish that things were different and Leo would change. Of course, they fall out again and Leo heads home alone, too drunk to drive, so he walks.
As he is passing over Tower Bridge Leo meets the beautiful Isobel and he instantly falls under her spell, which is only to be expected as she is a fairy and has chosen Leo to be her human mate. Leo is bewitched with her from that moment on, but, all the time he thinks of Emma and what she means to him. Emma notices how Leo is changing before her very eyes. She realises that at her insistence Leo has moved on and has met Isobel and Emma doesn't like it one bit. If she is to win Leo back she must do some things that are out of character for her and so she begins to change herself. The results are very amusing and the tale takes on a couple of surprising turns.
This is a magical tale of love and change and friendship. My favourite parts of the book are centred around the dialogue especially that between Leo, Grant and Lard. I just adore their banter and Carole Matthews writes this extremely well.
If you want to escape the real world for a few hours and sample some magic then I would highly recommend you pick up this book.
For Better, For Worse.
Josie Flynn has just signed her divorce papers after being married to Damien for five years. The day after, she heads off to New York to be bridesmaid at her cousin, Martha's, wedding. It is with some trepidation that she sets off as this is the first time she has travelled alone on such a journey. She finally takes her seat on the plane and finds herself sitting next to Matt Jarvis who is a music journalist and also a nervous flyer. He orders a couple of stiff drinks after take- off and soon he and Josie fall into easy conversation despite her mother’s warning not to speak to strange men on the flight. She doesn’t think that Matt is strange at all and as they get to know each other better, it transpires that Matt is also recently divorced. After they swap divorce horrors and in spite of Josie’s good intentions to arrive in New York sober and hydrated, she ends up joining Matt in a few stiff drinks, too.
They arrive in New York very drunk and much the worse for wear and have a plan to meet up again later to visit the Statue of Liberty together. They have a wonderful time and agree to meet up for dinner later that evening. Unfortunately, Matt arrives one and a half hours late having been waylaid by the pop group he has come to New York to interview. They literally pass each other on the street, but, fail to see each other.
The rest of the story revolves around Matt trying desperately to find Josie again and of course, Josie’s cousin’s wedding. As always with Carole Matthews writing there are some laugh out loud moments and some great dialogue. At the same time she touches upon some serious topics such as fidelity, growing up, grief and family ties in this book. In spite of this For Better, For Worse is a great read and very entertaining.
Joan Didion - Happy Thanksgiving for yesterday America, I hope you had a good one and are all sitting with your feet up and recovering and in the mood for a conversation...
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