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The Only Boy for Me Hardcover – Feb 2002

16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; 1 edition (Feb. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582342237
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582342238
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 3.1 x 20.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,845,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Imagine what might happen to Bridget Jones if she'd grown up a bit, got married, had a kid and still wasn't quite ready to give up her boozy nights out with the girls ...' Hello! 'Funny and sparkling ... a profoundly moving study of motherhood and true love ... Breathless for more, you have to read it in one sitting' Ruth Rendell 'A joy: a laugh-out-loud account of Annie Baker's life and loves ... a heartbreaking, funny look at parenting and passion' Elle 'You'll laugh till you cry' Glamour --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

A Quote from Ruth Rendall
'A deceptively light read, funny and sparkling. It is only when you're halfway into it that you understand what a profoundly moving study of motherhood and true love it is. If it is a pioneer in the 'Lone Mum' genre the little boy Charlie is its hero, more lovable than any fictional lover, worth any sacrifice, absolutely The Only Boy for Me. One of the criteria for a good novel is that, breathless for more, you have to read it at a sitting. With its very out-of-the-ordinary happy ending, this one has it.' Ruth Rendell --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Richard A. Scholes on 6 May 2002
Format: Paperback
A must-read for any mum. It's an acturate portrayal of the habits and manipulations of six-year-old AND middle aged boys, and how to juggle between them all. As you follow Charlie through his parties, swimming lessons and inappropriate phrases, like his mum, you'll be totally exhausted but in love with this little character. The book is witty, gritty and heartbreakingly real. Compelling reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Anna Klein on 10 Mar. 2003
Format: Paperback
Annie Baker is a single British mum living in a little town near Kent with her irresistible, quick thinking, oh so precocious six-year-old son, Charlie. Like many kids, Charlie hates going to bed, but unlike many kids, Charlie turns bedtime avoidance into a real art. In fact, everything Charlie does is a production. Although Annie has lots of help from her parents and friends, sometimes she doesn't know how she manages. But she does because she loves her Charlie more than anything -- even, it turns out, more than the hopeful, handsome, oh so charming guy, Mack MacDonald, who shows up wanting to share her life.
THE ONLY BOY FOR ME starts out as irresistible as Charlie, and entirely because of him. Gil McNeil obviously has a son (a quick check of the book jacket reveals yes, quite so) because she has created in little Charlie a character any mother will understand. Annie herself isn't such a bad mum either; a little weak but definitely well intentioned. Where the story goes wrong -- for me anyway -- is when it shifts from Annie and Charlie to Annie and Mack. Good old Mack, as nice as he is, just can't hold up his end of the book. With his needs or desires or demands -- whatever you want to call them -- conflicting with Annie's life with her son, the romance quickly turns sour while failing to permit Charlie enough room to redeem the narrative.
Though definitely a good portrait of a small boy and his mum, THE ONLY BOY FOR ME lacks the staying power to be a truly brilliant novel. Still, other mums may find it an entertaining read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Hill on 21 May 2002
Format: Paperback
I loved this book. Laugh-aloud funny and real-tears moving. Who is this Annie, because she's living my life! Okay, I'm not a single mum, but I recognised all the attitude problems one gets with young children - they suddenly won't eat the breakfast cereal they've eaten happily for weeks, needing to be bribed to go to bed etc. It doesn't fall into the cliches of so many chick-lit reads, for example, Annie and Mack argue about the little things that arguments always start with. I hope that Gil McNeil writes another book soon.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. Hayward on 27 Dec. 2002
Format: Paperback
I absolutely loved this book!It starts off as a very light portrait of a modern single mum and her little boy Charlie.The things Charlie comes out with are so true to life that I found myself laughing out loud on many occasions.The story however takes a scary turn which literally had me holding my breath....suffice it to say I read the whole book in one go,and eagerly await Gil's next book [please,Gil!] I would recommend this book to all parents and anyone else as well,great entertainment.It solved several of my Xmas shopping dilemmas,and I eagerly await the lucky recipients feedback!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 July 2003
Format: Paperback
I have just finished reading this book and I couldn't put it down, I really enjoyed it. I have a little boy who is almost three so could project forward three years and see a mini Charlie. I can't agree with the previous reviewer, I thought Annie came across as lovely Mum, not weak at all. I really felt as though I had a connection with her, she would be someone I would be friends with. I laughed at this book and it had me in tears at one point, prompting me to go and give my sleeping child a kiss and tell him I love him. A great read for any Mum.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Dec. 2001
Format: Paperback
The boy of the title is single mum Annie's 6 year-old son Charlie who claims he's a Pagan since he saw it on Blue Peter and makes his mother stop the car so he can chat to pheasants. Annie works in advertising and has moved them from London into a Kent village. Since the blurb states that Gil McNeil is in advertising and lives with her son in Kent we can probably assume that this is thinly veiled autobiography but it's very entertaining just the same. Annie is a proper grown-up character. She works, she loves her son, she drinks, she smokes but she's not pining for a man in her life. In fact, when she meets a gorgeous one she's not even sure she wants him around on a full-time basis. Not due to any faux-existential Ally McBeal type-crisis, but just because she likes her life the way it is!! Though slight (Ruth Rendell's cover comment is that she sat and read it all the way through and I managed it in two one and a half hour bus journeys) The Only Boy for Me is warm, funny and an intelligent addition to the "Chick Lit" canon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Jan. 2002
Format: Paperback
This book took me only two days to read because once I had read the first page I just couldn't put it down. Throughout the book you follow Charlie and his poor ol'mum in this funny and endearing story of the trials of being a mother, single and living in the country. Charlie is a typical six year old boy, he is naughty, he is sweet, he is absolutely lovable and he is absolutely NOT allowed too many high sugared foods or havoc (and tons of Lego) threaten to take over! Life is Normal(ish!), Charlie is talking to pheasants and lecturing his mother on the dangers of running down hedgehogs who have just had nightmares (that's why they are up during the day!)whilst she is in the playground trying to hide behind bushes to the avoid the PTA woman who wants her to bake yet more cakes. Then Mack arrives, a scottish man, tall, dark and very handsome who Charlies mum falls head over heals for. The romance is realistic, the good times and the bad, written so realistically you'll laugh and you'll cry! This book I would recommend to anyone.
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