I must confess to feeling somewhat thrilled at the thought of getting my teeth into a brand new Maddie Please novel – guaranteed to keep me entertained! Once again I shall revel in a wondrous book, with good, strong heroines – gorgeous, real people, not in their Twirties. I am bored of stereotypical gorgeous characters in their twenties (or thirties at a push!) These thoughts were somewhat echoed by Bea’s thoughts when she was being grilled by Seraphina and her friends, about her back catalogue. No longer a gorgeous Twirty-something myself, I am of course neither bitter nor twisted, and most certainly, not jealous! One thing I am certain of, like Bea, is the lasting affect of a cutting comment from a teacher in a school report, regardless of your age. Personally I simply cannot forgive my PE teacher, back in the day, who deemed it appropriate to declare in my report that I ‘lacked spring’. I still can’t forgive her, to this day!
Our Heroine, Bea, is an author and so I couldn’t help but wonder how much of our author, Maddie Please, resides in Bea. I just adored her honesty – the way that she sometimes wrote herself a daily plan – and very occasionally stuck to that plan, and the way that she thought about the number of calories in her pudding – but very soon got over it!
I immediately empathised with Bea, and I loved the idea of her reuniting with the rest of the ‘BAGgies’ group from her boarding school days, Audrie and Gin. I felt that Bea had dealt with the fallout from her divorce, with impeccable dignity, and she deserved a break. Little snippets of subtle humour lit up the book throughout, for example Bea, after sharing a couple of bottles of wine with Audrie, and about to embark on a rich dinner, wonders whether or not she has packed any Gaviscon. Bea wondering, when the dog has sniffed her feet, and subsequently sneezed – whether or not she needs Odour Eaters! I also had to suppress a laugh at the idea of Bea waking up the morning after devouring a couple of bottles of wine with Audrie, declaring that she has ’badger’s breath’, and then proceeding to google what badgers eat – then deciding that the cuss must be truly worthy of them, considering their diet! As for Bea tumbling unceremoniously into the fountain – I have no words! Also when thinking, of plots for her book, worrying about earwigs on the ground, when considering passionate love scenes! These are just a few of the examples of Maddie Please’s wonderful sense of humour.
I initially felt for Audrie, with her talk of divorce, although the actual facts of the matter did cause me to emit a bit of a snuckle (snort/chuckle). Poor Victor, being accused by a seemingly paranoid Audrie, of wanting a divorce, just because he wants to retire!
Laurent was a delight, and I found myself hoping that Audrie was completely wrong about him – could he even offer one of the three longtime friends a spark of romance? (I must confess to desperately trying to find a satisfactory alternative to ’old friends’). Bea certainly made him laugh – in a good way – all too rate a commodity these days?
One thing did seem fairly certain about Bea’s French holiday – there seemed to be plenty of things to call upon her attention – not helping with her writer’s block at all, but then it may be that a break from all work, was just what she needed! She is currently wasting too much time trying to think of writing avoidance techniques, like watching programs about making chocolate biscuits, buying beautiful new notepads, and over analysing how to drink her coffee! Regardless, Bea certainly needs to breath new life into her current (feeling old to her) book – but does she have the wherewithal to do so in France? I just felt certain that Laurent could help in some way – but how to ’use’ him without upsetting Audrie?!
Alas we never did dig further into the details of ’The one With The Batman Underpants’. Perhaps we will find out more in a sequal?