I am a huge fan of Sophie Kinsella, and with Valentine’s Day having just passed, I thought it would be a great time to read a funny romance. I don’t usually like romance novels but I love Kinsella’s style; she’s the only romance writer whose work I enjoy. I was so happy to have gotten this ARC and I’ve been waiting for February to read it! Here’s my review:
Synopsis (Goodreads): After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have all the trimmings of a happy life and marriage; they have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other’s sentences. However, a trip to the doctor projects they will live another 68 years together and panic sets in. They never expected “until death do us part” to mean seven decades.
In the name of marriage survival, they quickly concoct a plan to keep their relationship fresh and exciting: they will create little surprises for each other so that their (extended) years together will never become boring. But in their pursuit to execute Project Surprise Me, mishaps arise and secrets are uncovered that start to threaten the very foundation of their unshakable bond. When a scandal from the past is revealed that question some important untold truths, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all.
Review: This novel was unexpected for me because it featured a married couple rather than 2 single people. This caught my attention right away and I was excited to see how Kinsella would put her funny and cute spin on things. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as great as I had hoped.
So the story is about how Sylvie and Dan find out that they are going to live to be very old and that they will be enjoying 68 years of marriage. And for some reason, this freaks them out. Maybe this is because I’ve never been married, but if you love your partner and have been happily married to them, wouldn’t this be good news? Why would finding out that you will be married for longer be a bad thing? This really confused me. Now, I get the whole “Surprise Me project” aspect; every relationship needs some excitement now and then. But the “funny” mishaps failed to make me laugh because they just didn’t have any context. For example, Dan buying Sylvie a snake would have been funny … if I had known that they joked about getting a snake all the time. Which I literally did not know about until that point in time.
The novel also takes a surprising turn into a more serious path. I felt like the segue was a little awkward but the actual concept was quite good. It made me like Sylvie’s character a lot more; she stopped being whiny and started showing some grit and resilience. It also helped me develop a liking to Dan, because until that point, I had no opinion of him whatsoever.
Do I think this was Kinsella’s finest book? No. And I wouldn’t recommend this to someone who has never read any of her books before, because she has definitely had better novels. But I liked that this novel became a little more serious and was uplifting near the end. I’m giving this a 3/5 stars.
I received this novel as an advance copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.