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A Discerning Woman's Guide to Manhunting Paperback – 1 Jan 2010
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Strictly speaking, (due to the heroine's age) this is not chick-lit, but when those 'chicks' grow up, Geri Jones will be waiting for them, having been there, done that and probably helped design the T shirt.
The one-liners are original and sassy enough to become catchphrases in the next few years. However, Geri and her fellow characters wear enough credibility to become 'real' people and I read the book hoping that some of my favourite characters would have a change of heart (though I won't give away too much by saying more about that).
The real gem here is that 'A Discerning Woman..' is ripe for developing into a film of the same ilk as 'Notting Hill' and 'Four Weddings'. With Bill Nighy as Ted, Martin Shaw as Clifford and Robert Blythe (High Hopes) as Gwyn, this could be one of the most entertaining 'funnies' to grace our screens. Given the added appeal to any age of viewer, I think it would be a storming success.
My only complaint is that I'm going to have to wait before author, Bel Roberts, comes up with another masterpiece!
But that aside, this was a very comfortable read, the characters were plausable and solicited sympathy.
I would certainly buy another book from Ms Roberts.
Written in diary format, covering a five month period, this book records Geraldine's (Geri) (a Welsh 60 something woman looking for romance) attempts to hook a man, spurred on by a letter from a friend recently relocated to South Africa, who has "snagged" a hunk!
This book had me hooked. Geri's encounters with unsuitable potential suitors, her wicked quips and hilarious thoughts made me not want to put this book down.
The characters, especially the male characters, are fantastic; I loved them, especially Gwyn, Alisdair and Geri's second ex-husband Ted.
So enthralled was I with Geri, so much I liked her I was just willing her to have a happy ending and find her man......
Bel Robert's has written a fun, well paced book that keeps the funny going from start to finish. I highly recommend this book - it is simply marvelously funny!!!
Written from the point of view of twice-married, now single and childless, Geri, the story takes an honest look at a woman's attempt to find a "soul" mate, i.e. someone who is an intellectual match, to do something other than slip into her dotage with. Obviously, therefore, the prospects available do come under some scrutiny. I wondered if this might rattle a few men "of a certain age" but then decided a well-balanced man with a good SOH couldn't fail to be amused at the observations, age being something none of us can hold at bay forever, even with miracle potions/lotions, good diet, etc. That said, I would quite like to see how Bel would tackle a similar book from a male pov. Clifford's perhaps, the reasonably well-balanced male Geri doesn't have to compromise her principles for? A man who definitely has a good SOH and is happy to help Geri with her research re the thorny problem off what "physical" attributes one should be looking for in one's future mate.
The book also - poignantly - looks at that painful period in most people's lives where the parent becomes the cared for, rather than the caregiver. This, I think, was handled really well, especially the heartrending subject of dementia. As someone who nursed a parent with early-onset Alzheimer's, I did wonder whether flippancy around the subject might be upsetting. In fact, I ended up smiling, amused sometimes, sometimes with a little bit of sad nostalgia. The balance was just right. The "green curtains" in the day room told me that Bel had put her research, perhaps experience, together to present the issue sensitively, but again, honestly.
In all then, a thoroughly good read. I liked the underlying hint that Geri, being single, should be the one to give up her life to look after her mum. I liked too that Geri wasn't prepared to, but was the one to look for a workable compromise, acceptable to all. It became very clear as the story progressed that Geri cared about her mum a great deal. My one and only tiny criticism would be that I would like to have seen Geri reflect on how much she cared a little bit earlier on in the book, as she did later.
The scene were the social workers visit made me chuckle out loud (so true to life) and the BMW line was hilarious. Loved it!
"A Discerning Woman's Guide to Manhunting" is in funny and poignant in turns and I couldn't put it down.
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