Just after my last blog post, our family lost someone very special to us. My father-in-law received a stage four cancer diagnosis in January. He lived this last year of his life like he always did – enjoying life. He spent a lot of time with family doing the things he loved. On Thursday, November 16, 2017, he passed away peacefully surrounded by family.
In the days following his passing, I tried to write a new post and keep reading. But I found myself unable to concentrate. Before I knew it, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday had all passed me by. After a few days of sadness and grief, once the “dust settled” so to speak, I found myself able to once again take comfort in reading.
Reading has always been an escape for me, and it was nice to pick up a new book by one of my favorite authors and disappear into a new, wacky world for a little while.
When I think of Sophie Kinsella’s books, I smile because she always creates such believable characters and places them in such wacky situations. Her books are comedies that make me laugh out loud. I love the way her main characters learn about themselves and about life and love in “I Love Lucy” quality comedy scenes that keep me laughing and turning the pages.
In her upcoming book, Surprise Me, Kinsella introduces us to Sylvie and Dan, who have a great marriage, beautiful twin girls, and enjoy their careers. But when a physical exam reveals that they are in great shape, so great that they can expect to spend the next sixty-eight years together, they panic. Sure, they’re in love. And they believe the whole “til death do us part” bit. But…what if death doesn’t come for another sixty-eight years? That’s another sixty-eight years together. Just the two of them. All the time. Another sixty-eight years of marriage. Should sound great, right? Well, sort of…
As Kinsella characters are wont to do, Sylvie gets an idea in her head that really seems brilliant. At first, that is. Sylvie decides that she and Dan can truly enjoy the next sixty-eight years together by mixing things up, by surprising each other to break up the everydayness of the many, many days they have ahead of them. But when exotic animals, strange garden sculptures, and exes come into play, Sylvie finds herself in a mess that she must find her way out of in order to save her marriage and her sanity.
I really enjoyed this book. There was a good mystery involved in it, which is something else I enjoy about Kinsella’s writing. She is good at weaving twists and laughs together to form an entertaining and intriguing read that keeps me turning the pages. I also really enjoyed the focus on relationships in this book. It’s not just the husband/wife relationship that gets attention in this story. But parent/ child is also touched on quite a bit as well as employer/ employee, neighbors, and friendships. All in all, I consider this a classic Kinsella read – humorous and heartfelt! It was just what I needed to help pick me up and get me through what has been a very difficult couple of weeks. So, thank you, Ms. Kinsella and Random House for the pick-me-up!
I received an advance reader copy of this book from Random House through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.