Borrowed from Jen

I read this because it’s the book for our next Book Group meeting at Urban Coffee Company.  Having been lukewarm about his "Starter for Ten" I don’t think I’d have read this if it hadn’t been for Book Group – and if I’d started it, I almost certainly wouldn’t have finished it!

The main conceit of the book, that we revisit a couple who we first meet in bed the morning after their University graduation ceremony on the same day ever year for about the next twenty years, is an interesting one, but I felt that the whole book was like an exercise subsumed to this clever idea.  As almost exact contemporaries of mine, moving from the provinces to London to try to pursue their careers, well, it isn’t emotionally attaching enough to have a comforting ring of familiarity, and the careers they go in to are stereotyped and their behaviour a bit boring (media – alcohol – drugs – yawn!).  Emma does have a University and post-University life/political outlook similar to mine, but the author seems to patronise her and dislike the male character, Dexter.  Some of their doings seem very contrived and while there are clever moments (important scenes happening just off-camera due to the limitation to one day) and funny moments (a few) but it didn’t speak to me in the way it seemed to to lots of reviewers on Amazon etc.

The climax of the book was a heart-stopping moment but also upset me greatly, although it probably wouldn’t upset most people so much, as it was more personal due to a coinciding of vintage, shall we say (without giving the game away).  I had also partly predicted and, indeed, wanted it, which will be a bit shocking to anyone who *has* read the book.

I will be interested to hear what the other book group members make of it…