Depression, not a subject that immediately springs to mind when it comes to romantic comedy or chick-lit. But with The Fall of the Misanthrope, Louise Wise has taken has taken this oft times misunderstood condition, and handled it with great sensitivity while at the same time providing laugh out loud humour.
The humour comes mostly in the form of the monstrous Ellen Semple, an interfering busy-body who insinuates herself into every aspect of protagonist Valerie Anthrope's life. Ms Wise writes her so well and convincingly that I disliked her almost from the moment she is introduced. And, very cleverly, her presence had me rooting for the flawed Valerie, much more than I think I would have if the self-styled fairy godmother hadn't been there.
Other light moments are provided by Valerie's employees, Tim and Paul, and the handsome Lex Kendall, who pursues Valerie despite Ellen's interference.
Over all, this is a well written and entertaining story with a clever ending that brings everything together. It has all the ingredients to make the basis for a comedy-drama series on television. Are you listening Sky TV?