Two quick reviews today – I was hoping to make it three but am a bit slow on my Halldor Laxness (he is deeply weird …). One is the second half of the Debbie Macomber I read half of for the Readathon, and the other a light novel that was a lot of fun, happily received from good old NetGalley (hello, 84% review rate!).

Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen – “Oh my God What a Complete Aisling”

(ebook, March 2018)

I enjoyed this fun and lively book and really liked the use of Irish English as the narrative voice is an Irish woman. I think I grasped the concept of an “Aisling” as that woman who buys new teaspoons for the office and puts up those laminated signs about unloading the dishwasher, and can drink herself to perdition but always finds her way home. I loved the fish-out-of-water sections, not really mocking either sensible Aisling or her more pretentious housemates, but showing the funny sides of both. Of course being chick-lit there’s a tragic bit thrown in as there always is, but it is integral to the plot and character development and worked well. I’m sure this will sell well, how clever of the authors to have a Facebook group first. And I couldn’t tell who wrote what, which meant it was very well put together.

Trigger warning: not one to read perhaps if you have a poorly relative.

Thank you to publisher Michael Joseph for making this available via NetGalley and choosing me to read it.

Debbie Macomber – “The Bachelor Prince”

(18 June 2017)

Quite a silly idea really, a prince comes over from a made-up European country to marry a rich American woman; of course someone completely else wins a date with him in a raffle at a romantic novel convention (perhaps the one the heroine of “A Little Bit Country” was trying to attend) and then he falls for her. There are amusing moments for sure, like when the prince keeps escaping his minders dressed as Elvis, and like the other book in the pair, the two women who think they are rivals are careful to be kind to each other. It’s a tiny bit dated as the heroine appears to have invented the latte in Seattle, and there’s an un-Debbie-like slip up in describing someone as “proving she didn’t generally look like an escaped mental patient” which was a bit odd, as she’s usually very careful. So not one of the most realistic, but a fun story.

I’m currently reading my Laxness and the book on Islamic history, which is a well-written and interesting read (thankfully!). I need to get on to the book of Paul Theroux essays that’s about to be published, and of course am itching to start my new Iris Murdoch …