Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real gem - warm, funny and compelling, 30 Oct 2011
This review is from: A Date in Your Diary (Little Black Dress) (Paperback)
Shortlisted for this year's Romantic Novelists' Association romantic comedy prize, "A Date in Your Diary" is the second novel from Jules Stanbridge. Journalist Harriet "Harry" Peel feels she is being left behind in the race of life. Still reeling after the man the thought was the One broke her heart, she finds herself back on the hunt for the right man while her sisters and close friends are all moving away, getting married and having children. The imminent arrival of a young rival with fresh ideas at Life to Live, the magazine where she works, only threatens to make things worse.

In desperation she turns to internet dating in an effort to break out of her seemingly shrinking social circles and to meet new men, at the same time chronicling her experiences in a new blog and column for the magazine, with which she hopes to win new readers and the long overdue appreciation of her boss. A succession of dates with various romantically inept characters ensues as she tries to find the right man to take to her friend's wedding and make her cheating ex-boyfriend (who will also be there) jealous.

The story is told in the first person by Harry herself, and it is her voice and view of the world that grab the reader's interest right from the start and make the writing so compelling. Warm and kind by nature, she also possesses something of a cynical streak: a combination that works well as she negotiates the strange new world that is internet dating. The prose is witty, fast-paced and filled throughout with laughs, but the story is also punctuated with moments of sadness, and it is these swift about-turns of emotion that Stanbridge is especially adept at. Likewise, while many of the characters that Harry comes to meet on her dating adventures are larger than life, it is her relationships with family and friends that really stand out, being particularly well-observed and therefore all the more touching for that.

"A Date in Your Diary" is a real gem of a novel, sparkling with wit and a colourful cast. I very much look forward to reading more from this author in future.
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