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Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Single mums only need apply, 10 Mar. 2003
This review is from: The Only Boy for Me (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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