I enjoy reading Jenny Colgan’s books. I can’t say they qualify as great literature, but they are fun, make me laugh out loud, and have happy endings. What could be better?
Sophie Chesterton, spoiled by her wealthy father, is a socialite who spends her days and nights shopping, partying, and engaging in “competitive non-eating” with her friends, all of them stick-thin and proud of it.
When Sophie’s father unexpectedly dies however, she finds out that according to the terms of his will, she has to make her own living for six months before receiving her inheritance. As her dad’s lawyer explained, “He loved you to bits, Sophie. But it didn’t always do you much good, and he knew that.”
Sophie is literally staggered, but determined to prove she can do it. The only flat she finds is filthy, and because she doesn’t have money for a deposit, she agrees to clean it up. She lands a job, although it doesn’t pay enough to absolve her of cleaning, and learns to get along like the lower 99%. She even discovers that eating food is pleasurable, as are actual conversations that don’t involve speculating on the plastic surgery of others. And of course, she finds love.
Evaluation: The story reminds me a bit of one of my favorite movies, “Overboard” – the original version starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. Like that riches to rags story, this book too provides plenty of amusement from watching a spoiled heiress learn hard lessons about how the rest of the world lives and what is actually valuable in life. I also like Jenny Colgan’s voice – her characters are sassy, funny, and self-deprecating. This novel is just the right sorbet for a break between heavier books.
(Re)Published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins, 2020