Welcome to My World by Miranda Dickinson
|Welcome to My World by Miranda Dickinson|
|Category: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Louise Laurie|
|Summary: A feel-good modern romantic fiction story. Take one attractive girl happy with gorgeous boyfriend, add one equally gorgeous new male friend with some secret armoury - and watch the sparks fly.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 400||Date: November 2010|
Light, romantic fiction (or that dreadful phrase but which is apt, chick-lit) is not, I have to say, my preferred genre. I wouldn't buy it from a bookshop nor borrow it from the local library. But, having said all that, would you believe the coincidence that chatting with two female friends recently (fortysomething and fiftysomething) they both told me that they wouldn't read anything else. So, it just goes to show, horses for courses and all that.
It gets worse, I'm afraid. I have to get it off my chest before I start the review proper. I don't like the title, nor the front cover, nor the gushing acknowledgements/thank yous from the author. I know that with this type of book it's all par for the course. It's just not my course. I'll move on now.
Enter the story's heroine, a nice, likeable young woman called Harriet (she's invariably called Harri by everyone). She's leading a normal enough life. Steady if a trifle dull. She's got the boyfriend, she's got the dead-end job (but she loves it, more of that later), got the dizzy female friends ... I think you probably get the picture. Everything's fine - until Alex comes back to town. He's hot. And now the story starts to heat up a little.
Harri works as a local travel agent. And to be fair to Dickinson, she does a nice line in descriptive text. All the town's oddballs appear to be working at this particular travel agency. So far, so predictable, you could say. But, the writing is sparky and lots of readers will identify with various elements of the story. In fact, when I was reading those travel-related paragraphs and there are many, as travel is a key component of the plot, I was reminded a little of some second-rate British television sit-com. Dickinson had done a good job and I could picture most of the characters in my mind's eye.
Travel. Did I mention travel? Alex has done lots of it. He appears to have circumnavigated the globe several times. Again, Dickinson has given us a likeable character. He has a nice line in chummy conversation with Harriet and he's modest enough not to bore people rigid with his travel adventure stories. Except Harriet. She is a frustrated armchair-traveller and she soaks up his stories like a sponge. You can tell that she wants to be this spontaneous person who can fling herself onto a plane at a moment's notice. She settles for camping trips in the Lake District with her boyfriend instead. There's a nice line in contrasts, running throughout this book which is entertaining.
And as this awkward threesome meet, spar and almost lock horns, the emotions from all three are played out here. There's some nice lines in gentle humour and a lot of joshing. Very easy to read. I can see why fans of this genre would gobble up books such as this. There's also a bit of a twist in the storytelling. The reader is aware right at the beginning that Harri has either done something or perhaps said something that she now regrets. Chapter by chapter we are given more of the details leading up to this unfortunate decision of hers. There's a build-up of suspense of the will they/won't they kind and yes I did guess the outcome fairly early on, but it didn't matter. It didn't spoil the overall reading experience.
Altogether this is a fun and frothy read. While I enjoyed Dickinson's style I won't be rushing to read something similar anytime soon, I'm afraid. For me, a little goes a long way. It's like eating a chocolate mousse - but when I next get the tummy rumbles, I'll be looking for the reading equivalent of steak and chips. But for fans of this genre, this will probably be a satisfying read with identifiable characters.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
If this type of book appeals then you might like to try Hippy Chick by Louise Harwood.
You can read more book reviews or buy Welcome to My World by Miranda Dickinson at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Welcome to My World by Miranda Dickinson at Amazon.com.
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