Top critical review
6 people found this helpful
A pleasant enough read
on 24 July 2003
Lisa Jewell's books are always packed with humour, quirky characters, and observations about contemporary London, and this is no exception. I enjoyed it, and it engaged me from start to finish. However, she's one of those authors that I find I really can't get my teeth into--I enjoy reading her but I don't feel gripped or completely absorbed as I do with some authors. There's something about her that misses the mark. Having said that, she's obviously broken free of the 'chick lit' label that she's clearly marketed as, and this book sets her firmly among the ranks of Nick Hornby, Tony Parsons, etc as an author who can appeal to both sexes, a wide age range; and she can 'do' men as well as women.
With 'A Friend of the Family', as with Lisa's earlier books, I get the feeling that we really haven't seen the full potential of her humour and intelligence. There are dark sides to all her books (increasingly so with each novel, I think) that suggest that in a few years she'll have the confidence to leave light-heartedness behind and produce a 'serious' read that will make people sit up and listen.
I've just read what I've written and realised it sounds somewhat negative - this is because I'm judging her harshly because I can see she's capable of so much more than a disposable read!