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Zuzu's Petals Paperback – 3 Jul 2008
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'The touch of his hands on mine made a surge run up my arms. He must have been carrying a lot of static. Something to do with his polyester shirt. Or maybe it was static in me. I once got an electric shock from a pineapple.' Corinne has a new house and a new career. Does she even have the time for a new man? Corinne doesn't think so - she's too busy turning her hobbies into a business, helping out on a friend's allotment and trying to get on with her new reclusive neighbour, Rob. But when her elderly father becomes seriously ill, the thought of losing him tips her into a passionate affair with Charles, a man she barely knows. When her world begins to change, and Corinne is struggling to cope, who will be there to offer support? Funny and delicately observed, "Zuzu's Petals" is a tender, compelling story about family, friendship and different kinds of love.
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Full review at: http://stevek1889.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/sheffield-novels.html
For those readers who enjoyed `Plotting for Beginners' Sue Hepworth's first `go it alone novel' will be a real treat.
Her light touch approach to the human condition can be described as romantic comedy but this label detracts. Her characters are rounded and real and in `Petals' unlike `Plotting' there is a darker side which makes the novel much more than a holiday read. `Plotting for Beginners' was in many ways a fun read- `Zuzu's Petals' takes the reader to places beyond the comedic. It is still a comedy of manners but it challenges the reader with a reality which take it beyond a light hearted romp towatds a happy ending which the 'Chick Lit' image on the cover suggests.
It was an emotionally harder, more challenging read than 'Plotting for Beginners'; but that is because there is a maturity not only of style but of theme which makes one wonder what will come next from this writer.
I felt a sense of bereavement at the end; I had become quite attached to the characters and wanted to know more - the childlike need for 'and then what happened next?' is strong in many of us still.
The sense of place created especially of Sheffield and Wensleydale strikes a blow for the north.
Ephemera such as how to cook trout with bacon are the little quirks which make reading this kind of novel - however it is badged - such a gentle pleasure.
Looking forward to novel number three Sue Hepworth. Please don't let your fans down and dear potential reader do not judge the book by its cover- there's more to this novelist than the cutesy cover implies.
Zuzu's Petals brings together sadness and comedy in equal measure. Sue Hepworth handles serious questions of life, love and death with a deft and insightful ease which makes this book easy reading and thought-provoking.
While the book has a more serious heart than her first book, there are plenty of laughs and some very funny exchanges. Sue Hepworth has a good ear for dialogue and some of the conversations she catches are laugh-out-loud funny.
She is also alive to the issues surrounding the death of a much-loved parent, and picks up universal themes with skill and sensitivity. This book will make you laugh and cry and leave you wondering which you enjoyed the more.