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Aphrodite's Workshop for Reluctant Lovers Hardcover – 2 Feb 2009


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (2 Feb. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747577927
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747577928
  • Product Dimensions: 22.2 x 3.1 x 15.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,960,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

A delight; deftly told, light in tone, and both amusing and charming. -- Laura Barnett, Guardian, 21st February 2009

A sharp, funny and dazzlingly clever novel, so stuffed with wit and clever apercus that is not fair on other novelists.
-- Elizabeth Buchan

A wry and witty look at love, quirkily and cleverly observed -- Choice, 2009

It's wise, witty and wonderfully accurate about the state of modern love.
-- The Saturday Times, 7th February 2009

Mordantly witty, touching and perceptive, it's the perfect gift for Valentine's Day, one of those rare books that console even as it tells the truth about love. -- Amanda Craig, The Independent, 13th February 2009

Pure romantic comedy, but underlying it is same acerbity that made Shooting Butterflies such an unexpected joy... witty, touching and perceptive. -- Amanda Craig, Independent,13th February 2009

`I adored Aphrodite's Workshop for Reluctant Lovers. It's a rare treat to find a romantic novel with such wit, originality and zest ... I was completely charmed' -- Amanda Craig

Review

Mordantly witty, touching and perceptive, it's the perfect gift for Valentine's Day, one of those rare books that console even as it tells the truth about love.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 22 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
I wasn't sure that this was the book for me, but it was a gift and so I gave it a try.

When I saw the prologue though I was a little worried. God on Mount Olympus overseeing the affairs of men. Was it cliché time?

"Life was getting tough for mother, otherwise known as Aphrodite, goddess of love. It was commonly thought that she was failing in her work and that love was being brought into disrepute. The inhabitants of Great Britain were of particular concern. The statistics were appalling, with one in three marriages ending in divorce and a growing number of children being brought up in single-parent families. so mother was freaking, blaming me, Eros, who quite frankly had enough to deal with, being just a kid and going through a difficult phase, not just because of the confusion over who my father was but also because of the rumours going around that I didn't actually exist, being a phenomenon, an idea, not a person at all."

No actually, it wasn't. The treatment felt fresh, with Aphrodite and son Eros caught up in the machinations of a family business dropping in and out of the story, observing and trying to steer events.

Rebecca Finch was the main cause of Aphrodite's problems. A romantic novelist who is having doubts about love - and when I met her soon to be ex boyfriend I understood why. I liked Rebecca, but she had an unfortunate tendency to say a little too much, to be a little too honest. And that had some rather unfortunate consequences.

So Aphrodite had to put things to rights. And she steered Rebecca towards a man she had crossed paths with years before. John Sterling.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Mounger on 28 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback
love a good charity shop as much as the next person, especially when they chuck out books like this for 50p! I was looking at the books squished into the shelves on my lunch break, not an activity completely unknown to me, it's pretty much the only place I buy books! I noticed this garish front cover which just screamed out "I was a free gift with a weekly magazine"

The saying "never judge a book by its cover" has never been more apt! I was embarrassed to be seen reading it, mainly due to it's cover but shortly after the first few pages it was due to my constant tittering and at times raucous laughing in public. The story contained within this tacky cover is so beautifully readable. It feels like a deliberate irony is at force, especially with the main protagonist; a romance novelist turning her back on love! Offending all of her loyal followers on the way!

A light and funny read, almost feeling like a holiday read with it's light and airy approach but it's far too addictive for that. It raises questions about the nature and the ways of love without the hopelessly soppy and unrealistic feel of a mills & boon novel. I learnt some Greek mythology along the way, with the deities point of view always a welcome and witty rest bite whilst still keeping the main story line going.

I can understand why it might not be to everybody's taste but if you want a palate refreshing sorbet of a read then you need look no further, it sets you up eager and ready to sink your teeth into the next meaty novel coming your way.

A funny, charming easy read to distract yourself from everything around you.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Goth lady on 13 April 2009
Format: Hardcover
I have loved Marika Cobbold's work, ever since 'Guppies for Tea' and I've read everything she's written, 'Frozen Music' being my favourite, and her best novel, in my opinion. So I rushed to get hold of this one and started reading it with enormous pleasure. The opening was brilliant, especially the portrait of the awful boyfriend, Dominic, and the book has some wonderful moments and characters---John is excellent, with his marital problems and his obessessive compulsive disorder, Rebecca is a very engaging protagonist---a romantic novelist who's disillusioned by love (her disastrous interview was superbly done.) And there's no way I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the genre.

BUT---and it's quite a big but for me---I really didn't like the intervention of the Greek gods---for me, this premise didn't work, was unfunny and seemed to belong in a different novel entirely. Coco the clown was fine---he came out of the heroine's head and was part of her inner anxieties----but the gods esp. Aphrodite are 'deus ex machina' devices and for me, quite unnecessary. I can see why the author chose to put them in---but I still think it was a mistake. It gets in the way of the social comedy, the exploration of Rebecca's dilemma and the psychological depth.
But others will love it. It's a matter of personal taste!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By BigFoot on 19 April 2009
Format: Hardcover
Aphrodite's Workshop for Reluctant Lovers is the novel for you if you've just broken up with the love of your life, or celebrated 25 years plus of happy marriage, or just started a new relationship. The book's theme of love is a universal one and is treated with intelligence and respect while at the same time being a great read.

Rebecca Finch is an engaging and likeable heroine, a romance writer who no longer believes in love with a self destructive streak a mile wide that threatens to destabilise her life. I had a lot of sympathy for John Sterling and admired his open mindedness when meeting with his misnamed therapist Angie Bliss. I loved to hate Bliss, the clinical psychologist, treating both John and Rebecca; a ghastly, meddling character who behaves unprofessionally.

Life with Aphrodite and the Gods is like a modern day snapshot of life with the Walton's, cosy yet bizarre. Eros has a lot to answer for with his chaotic firing of arrows.

This is a wonderfully written, witty novel full of insight with a feel good factor that remains long after the book has been finished. I shall definitely be reading more novels by this author.
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