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The Angel at No. 33 Paperback – 2 Feb 2012
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'This is beautifully written, funny and moving in equal measure . . . if you take this to the beach you won't regret it - it's honest, warm and a pleasure to read' ( Daily Mail )
'A brilliant talent' ( You magazine)
'Slickly written and very funny' ( The Times )
'Adorable, brilliantly written read' **** (Closer)
'A funny, touching and beautifully written story' (Jenny Colgan)
'A Truly Madly Deeply for the 21st century' (Christina Hopkinson)
'Original, funny and very sharply observed' (Katie Fforde)
'Bittersweet, earthy and poignant' (Jojo Moyes)
'A glorious emotional rollercoaster of a read' (Tasmina Perry)
'Funny and smart, never insubstantial. A terrific read' (Elizabeth Buchan)
'Well written, with believable and likeable characters, The Angel at No. 33 will have you laughing through your tears as the plot fizzles and sparkles on every page' ( Red Online )
The fabulous new novel from the bestselling author of The Rise and Fall of the Yummy Mummy and It Happened One SummerSee all Product description
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Top customer reviews
In her new book, The Angel at No.33, her main character Sophie is no exception - except from the first line we know she's dead. This takes Williams into potentially maudlin and sentimental territory, but she maintains an assured path deftly avoiding too much of either.
I once asked a palliative care nurse what people are like when they are dying, and she replied in her no-nonsense seen it all before manner, " Exactly the same as they are when they're not dying! If they're angry they get angrier, if they're stoic they become more stoical." So rather than being transformed by death into a mawkish weeping angel, Sophie retains all her pre-death sassiness and sharp witted sardonic humour.
Her other characters are all recognizable without being cliché. I found myself rooting for the brooding widower and hapless best friend from the start, both devastated and drawn together by their shared grief. While the harassed mother & stalwart of the PTA, the needy friend and the predatory divorcee will all be uncomfortably but hilariously familiar to any woman who has primary age children.
The Angel at No. 33 is more red-blooded and sexy than her previous book, It Happened One Summer, which makes Sophie's situation (being dead!) even more touching and poignant. In my opinion in this book Williams has moved beyond the limiting constraints of `chic lit' and has become a serious contender to the likes of Nick Hornby and Tony Parsons.
And finally, if there are any film- makers out there looking for a script idea for the next big British rom-com, you might just find it here.
I absolutely loved this book. The writing is spot-on - very funny with the lightest of touches, and Polly Williams has created some wonderful characters. I particularly loved Sophie's carefree, daredevil attitude to life - and death too. She tells half the story as a spirit, spying on Ollie, Freddie and her friends, trying helplessly to have some influence on their actions - while the rest of the story is seen through Jenny's eyes. Jenny, Ollie and Freddie are all devastated by Sophie's death, as are her school mum friends who rally round, trying to look after Ollie by baking him endless lasagnes and organising a childcare rota. Jenny - engaged to Steve and with no children of her own - seems to have nothing in common with them but over time, unlikely alliances are forged. Moreover, it appears her best friend has kept some secrets from her in the past - secrets which look set to change everything...
A great read - perfect to take to the beach and enjoy. I'm already looking forward to Polly Williams' next one.
When I first started reading the book I instantly liked the main character Sophie. She is a normal married mum with her little boy Freddie and her handsome husband Ollie. However, when she meets her best friend Jenny for a drink, she doesn't realise that her time on earth will finish with that night out. Now I know that put like that it will seem like a depressing read, but this couldn't be further from the truth.
The story then shifts and we see a different perspective on life and death. Sophie appears in the book, but we only get to see her thoughts and feelings as she witnesses her friends and family deal with the loss of her. Her best friend Jenny then takes the main lead as we see her try to make sense of not only her own life, but help Ollie and Freddie put their life back together.
I wasn't initially as keen on Jenny as I was Sophie, but at around the halfway mark I had warmed to her much more. Jenny has to deal with some of Sophie's `other' set of friends that were involved through Freddie's school. This certainly makes the story a whole lot more interesting and the characters involved certainly brightened up the story.
Overall, this was a very easy book to read and featured some really nice moments. I really liked the fact that Polly Williams has made the issue of death a little more light-hearted, as I feared the book may become a bit morose. There were some very funny moments, as well as the most irritating character on earth being Jenny's fiancé Sam. I enjoyed the story, but after the halfway mark I knew where the story was taking the reader. I know that many books have a predictability factor, but this was a little too predictable to make this book stand out from others.
I certainly liked the writing, and from other reviews of the book can see that this book is slightly different from Polly's usual style. I will most certainly be looking out for more books from her and look forward to reading some of her older books too.
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Most recent customer reviews
Well written, and with a satisfying ending.