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Plotting for Beginners: A Novel for New Beginnings Paperback – 2 Jan 2006

20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Snowbooks Ltd; Adapted Ed edition (2 Jan. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905005121
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905005123
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 12.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,177,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"dangerously addictive" BBC Radio "funny, quirkyaaC--A|different, refreshing, and spot-on with its observations" The Guardian "wonderfully funny...enormously satisfying, well-written and perfectly-plotted" Trashionista "buoyant and charming...hilarious bursts of verve and wit" E! Online "amusing and unpretentious" The Times

From the Back Cover

"Women reach fifty and think they're on the verge of liberation
and excitement, and their broken-down men just want to stay home and fart.
Or in my case, go and live in a cabin in the Rockies and fart." Sally Howe
plans to spend her husband-free year trying her hand at becoming a wildly
successful author. But she's beset by distractions - the first being a
queue of local lotharios, led by young Billy Bathgate, village postmaster
with a tartan trouser habit and an obsession with drain rods. Warm, wise
and funny, "Plotting for Beginners" offers a wry evaluation of long-haul
marriages, plus a lesson on how to hit the menopause running and seize your
freedom when the family has gone.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Thea Karass on 16 May 2006
Format: Paperback
This novel is a playful take on the motivations and quirks of getting older, whilst having all the insecurities and passions of being young at heart. Sally Howe is driven to use her year of apparent separation from Walden obsessed husband Gus to achieve her goal of getting her novel published. With plenty of self-mocking twists to her 'writerly plait', she turns to friend Kate for online moral support, and keeps an amusing journal of the year's ups and downs.

The strength of the novel is in the warm, humorous characterisation of Sally - her strong presence gives life to the absent though fascinatingly eccentric Gus, and the stylised Kate who is only encountered through email.

Other characters seem to float across Sally's life, wanting something or other from her, while she is single-mindedly trying to drive forward as a writer - against the backdrop of being a menopausal novice in the game. She also unwittingly attracts more male attention than she can handle, which provides light relief to the two main questions of whether she'll get published, and is her marriage over.

'Plotting for Beginners'is a highly entertaining study of insecurity and intelligence - and a good joke that the authors have actually succeeded in getting their novel published, whereas Sally has a more circuitous path to recognition. It's also a rare tribute to long term relationships and how the important things just get more so.

Uplifting read, highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LindyLouMac on 4 Nov. 2008
Format: Paperback
An undemanding read and apart from being very funny in places does not have much of a story.
It was more along the lines of Bridget Jones Diary, although nothing like as good in my opinion. It is the diary, plus a few emails of Sally Howe, fifty plus, menopausal and an aspiring writer. Her husband has taken a one year sabbatical from their thirty plus year marriage and gone to live in the wilderness.
Her plans for the year were to make a success of her writing by getting her work published. She does succeed in her aim, well sort of but not without some amusing distractions. She does not have the chance to be lonely, or even enjoy the peace and quiet. With her brother turning up to stay and a cast of others vying for her attentions, she has plenty of material to use for her writing.

Some of whom are very amusing characters; whose portrayals by Sally in her diary were the reason I kept reading. Worth reading if you do not expect more than a good laugh.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 17 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thank goodness for the heatwave - the perfect excuse for sitting back and reading another of Sue and Jane's witty, captivating novels. Not that I need an excuse to lose myself in one of Sue's stories ... her characters find themselves in situations that are all too familiar for us fifty-somethings but their solutions are novel and entertaining. I read Plotting for Beginners in one sitting (if you don't count comfort breaks and refreshment top-ups)and felt bereft when I came to the end. Thank goodness Plotting for Grownups is ready and waiting...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By lizziem on 14 Jun. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Have read this book twice now - enjoyed it both times and even on second read made me smile, laugh out-loud, and occasionally grimace with identification of ageing experiences! Enjoyed diary format and the fact that, although a light read, had to reach for my dictionary a few times (good for grey cells) and now want to discover more about Thoreau. Looking forward to sequel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs G Foord on 30 April 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
As a writer of short stories (and one novel) I laughed out loud at this book. So true to life and every aspiring writer will recognise the struggle to keep focused and not allow oneself to be sidetracked by friends and family.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By hazel e bexon on 17 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Enjoyed this book immensely. First time reading on an iPad and it was a good experience. Will try another book by the authors.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SusieM on 19 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is one of those books that is addictive - it's funny, its moving and is a subtle take on life which I could easily relate to. As Sally moves from the 'taking each other for granted and knowing each others faults' to the recognition that sometimes those very quirks are what drew us to a person in the first place, she was a character I could empathise with and like. And there were so many 'oh yes, I've done that' moments that made me smile, from the groper to the mad red setters (I'll leave you to discover more yourself!).
I started reading on a short haul flight and finished it on the beach - and now I want to read the next book in the series!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lucky Jim on 18 Jun. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Discovered this gem a few years ago whilst on holiday. This book is an entertaining and fun read, could have done with a dictionary at times ( I had only English to Spanish) which makes the e book and Kindle edition even better. For me though, it offers an insight into the lives and thoughts of middle aged women......I can now see why Gus needed to spend a year in a log cabin. Thoroughly recommend this book.
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