From Notting Hill with Love … Actually
Synopsis from Amazon:
She was just a girl, standing in front of a boy …wishing he looked more like Hugh Grant. Scarlett loves the movies. But does she love sensible fiance David just as much? With a big white wedding on the horizon, Scarlett really should have decided by now …When she has the chance to house-sit in Notting Hill – the setting of one of her favourite movies – Scarlett jumps at the chance. But living life like a movie is trickier than it seems, especially when her new neighbour Sean is so irritating. And so irritatingly handsome, too. Scarlett soon finds herself starring in a romantic comedy of her very own: but who will end up as the leading man?
I’ve had this book for some time on my bookshelf. Having just finished ‘Agent 6’ by Tom Rob Smith (review coming soon) I was looking for a read that would be fun …… as I was browsing, Katie Fforde’s quote on the front cover caught my eye ‘Sparky, fun and endearing’ so I thought From Notting Hill with Love … Actually would be just what I needed.
I did have fun reading about Scarlett – but the story is much more than a romantic comedy – with a plot-line running alongside that deals with the issue of parenthood, obligations Vs freedom and perceived debts owing.
The story is written in the first person (from Scarlett’s point of view), which works really well. It begins in a rather unique way. The understanding of what has happened before and why Scarlett is house-sitting is portrayed by a conversation with a stranger (Oscar) that she bumps into as she is making her way to the house. This hooked me in straight away. It’s not as dull as it may sound – the re-telling by Scarlett is interspersed with Oscar’s endearing mannerisms!
Scarlett’s journey of trying to find her ‘happy ever after’ movie moment is so action packed I didn’t have time to be bored. Everything begins to fall into place as the story unfolds making you want to read on to find out where you will be led to next.
I loved Maddie’s (Scarlett’s best friend) wedding in Disneyland, Paris. It was such fun despite the accident and head-to-head between David and Sean (or in fact maybe because of it!).
I thought the way the author compared Scarlett’s emotions with a physical thing was unique and fun in helping her readers understand Scarlett’s feelings.
Another unique part of the story, which threads its way through everything, is Scarlett trying to find her movie moments in real life. This was quite funny but also poignant at times.
The characters are brilliant – I loved Scarlett, Oscar and Sean all for different reasons. I probably shouldn’t slate David but he is one of the most boring characters I’ve yet to meet (well he IS supposed to be staid).
I would recommend this book if you were looking for something to lift your spirits and wanted more than a light summer read. In my opinion, it is such a feel-good book it has the power to lift any gloom (which I’ve needed on these gloomy and grey summer days!).
From Notting Hill with Love … Actually was published 19 Nov 2010 by Sphere and is Ali McNamara’s debut novel.
As summertime flourishes, it’s time for new beginnings…
Heartsease House is in desperate need of renovation. Its owner, widower Joel, is struggling to come to terms with life as a single dad. His plans to refurbish the house and garden suddenly seem like one burden too many.
Mum to twin girls, Lauren’s life is a constant juggling act. When her ex Troy turns up she’s determined to keep her distance while he gets to know his daughters. But it’s a lot harder than she imagined …
Then erstwhile guerrilla gardener Kezzie bursts into their lives with her infectious enthusiasm to restore the gardens of Heartsease. But who is Kezzie? And what is she running away from?
As the warm days of summer draw closer, Heartsease House and its beautiful love-knot garden are transformed. But will Joel, Kezzie and Lauren be able to restore their own hearts?
Kick off your sandals, enjoy a glass of rose and escape into a gorgeous novel this summer with Julia Williams.
Samantha doesn’t really give romance much thought until her high school sweetheart shows up unexpectedly at her door after a decade-long absence. As much as Sam would like to put the past behind her, she finds herself suddenly trying to choose between whether or not to give her old flame a second chance or to finally take things to a new level with a good friend.
When Julia’s longtime boyfriend suddenly reveals that he is in love with someone else, Julia reverts to the carefree, reckless behavior of her college days. Julia goes from party girl to pregnant and alone, making Samantha wonder if Julia is the best person to turn to when it comes to seeking advice for matters of the heart.
Jenny Lopez is miserable. Having spent the summer working in LA, she’s back home in New York, and missing the three key elements in a girl’s life – a roommate, a job and a boyfriend. Jenny formulates a plan; surely someone must need a roommate and surely someone must need a girlfriend? By the end of the day, she has arranged a viewing for a potential roommate, the gay blond aka the Sex God, secured two dates, and work looking after a top supermodel. Things look like they are back on track; everything is going to work out great. If only life was so easy…
Laurel has what she sees as the dubious gift of being able to communicate with spirits, and when Mya bowls in, desperate for some answers, Laurel’s life is turned upside down. Her relationship with boyfriend Dan is already in a fragile state, she’ s unsure about her chosen career, and now there’s a bewildered, feisty young spirit getting in the way. As Mya flits around Laurel and Dan’s lives, unable to control how and when she appears, unexpected psychic connections are made and the course of true love takes a detour no one could have predicted.
|A perfect beach read|