Can you keep a secret? * Sophie Kinsella

Meet Emma Corrigan, a young woman with a huge heart, an irrepressible spirit, and a few little secrets:

Secrets from her boyfriend: I’ve always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken.

Secrets from her mother: I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom with Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben-Hur.

Secrets she wouldn’t share with anyone in the world: I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is.

Until she spills them all to a handsome stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger. . . .

But come Monday morning, Emma’s office is abuzz about the arrival of Jack Harper, the company’s elusive CEO.  Suddenly Emma is face-to-face with the stranger from the plane, a man who knows every single humiliating detail about her. Things couldn’t possibly get worse. Or could they?

The book has an upbeat writing to it designed to make you feel good but in truth, makes the protagonist feel like a klutz with amnesia.

“I’m sorry the evening was a disappointment to you”, says Jack

“It wasn’t”, I say suddenly feeling bad. ” I just… I had such high hopes! I wanted to get to know you a bit, and I wanted to have fun… and I wanted one of those pink cocktails, not champagne…”

Shit. Shit. That slipped out before I could stop it.

“But… you like champagne!”, says Jack, looking stunned. “You told me. You perfect date would start off with champagne!

I can’t quite meet his eye. “Yes, well… I didn’t know about the pink cocktails then, did I?”

I wanted to poke my eyes out with a sharp pencil when I was reading this.

“Do you really buy all your clothes from thrift shops and pretend they’re new?

“No!” I say defensively. “I mean, yes, maybe… sometimes…”

Urgh… This book is definitely made for a different audience than the one I’m currently a part of. Maybe early 20s can swallow this crap and think it’s good. Maybe others can find humour in situations where a woman lies- constantly.

The book is like a continuous stream of problems that Emma solves and that her boss quips in with the truth. Other issues I had with the novel:

  • All the female characters were men obsessed idiots, their only goal in life was getting married and having babies. Nothing else was important, career and family didn’t matter, it was all about landing a man. That was the ultimate achievement.
  • Why did Emma keep saying Jack was in love with her? Not once did he tell her he loved her and there was nothing in his actions that suggested he was. They’d had two dates and one night of sex and that somehow made Emma think Jack was in love with her.
  • There was more passion and emotion from Jack and his dead friend than Jack/Emma. The way Jack talked about him, it was like they had an epic love affair or something. I ended up wanting to read about them instead of Jack/Emma’s relationship.

Charity Pile

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