You are correct! Another Sophie Kinsella novel!
I have been racing through her books, truly because they are wonderfully written and full of such charisma, humour and romance.
Ultimate chick lit.
This stunner of a novel follows Ava who heads to Italy for a writing retreat, where each attendee must choose a new name to truly feel like they are away from home. Now as ‘Aria’, she can work on the novel she has been meaning to write, whilst trying to forget the many other tasks on her to-do list including fixing up her flat, doing those pieces for her job, sending an invoice, another course … and so on.
She catches the eye of a latecomer to her course, Dutch, who also catches hers. It is a truly dreamy retreat, just like you can imagine:
cliff jumping, sunshine, sex…
Some of the things the writing group comes up with are hilarious, including Dutch’s raunchy addition where the others pick up on their evident chemistry. But inevitably, all good things must come to an end.
Upon their return to England, Aria and Dutch part and reveal their identities as Ava and Matt, and are committed to continue loving each other – surely it won’t just be a holiday fling?
They’re in love, right?
From here, the inevitable cracks begin to show as Ava’s beloved dog, Harold, becomes a bit much, as well as the obvious differences between the two.
He likes a freezing cold room – she doesn’t.
She likes steaming hot baths – he doesn’t.
She’s vegetarian – he isn’t.
But they can get through this, surely?!
Ava’s optimism and innocence is refreshing, however it sees her get the better of Matt as their worlds continue to collide in opposite ways and she fails to be realistic. This doesn’t help with his job for his family’s doll-house company ‘Harriet’s House’ which consumes his life, as well as the shadow of his ex-girlfriend Genevieve who is adored by his parents.
The contributions from Ava’s friends Maud, Nell and Sarika are welcome, each of their personalities coming across in truly unique Sophie Kinsella style, along with Matt’s friends Topher and Nihal, who all make the perfect bunch.
The question is, can Matt and Ava love each other’s lives? Or are they simply too different?
rating – 4/5
genre – romance, comedy