I can't stress enough how much I loved this book!! I bought it on a whim because I was in the ABC shop and it was sitting up nicely with a First Tuesday Book Club sticker on it, and as I love that show I decided that I would, for once, try and read one of the featured books. I have just returned from Hobart where I was visiting relatives for a few days, and just gobbled this book up in all my spare moments.
I didn't expect to enjoy this book quite so much as I did, especially given that there is barely room for the title of the book through all the critical acclaim littering the cover and I'm sure this novel falls under the category of popular fiction, a genre I generally avoid. However this book is poignant and sad, and funny and so true to life that I think it would appeal to everyone. Sweeping generalisation? Probably. But I, at least, was surprised by how much I liked it.
The characters are likeable, if not consistently. Emma is an aspiring writer who after university gets a job in a dingy Tex-Mex restaurant called Loco Caliente, where the specialty is a fish burrito. Yuk. Dexter, however, somehow always falls on his feet, spending his first couple of years post uni travelling in places like Italy and India until landing a job in television. The whole way through you are desperate for the two to finally open their eyes and get together. However there are the usual complications: misplaced letters, a posh and frosty wife, a stand-up-comedian boyfriend... So do they or don't they finally realise?
Of course I am not going to spill the beans on this one. It is a delightful romantic comedy, such an easy read. I laughed out loud, I cried more than once, I desperately wanted them to figure their lives out, and along the way I learnt a thing or two about living for the moment and when to let go. Plus it is beautifully written, David Nicholls has that rare ability to make you laugh and cry in the very same sentence. I desperately want to go back and read it again and again and again.
"Love and be loved.. if you ever get the chance..."