The Greatest Love Story of All Time by Lucy Robinson
|The Greatest Love Story of All Time by Lucy Robinson|
|Genre: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Zoe Page|
|Summary: A predictable bit of chick lit about heartbreak and rebounding with dubious men. Take it or leave it.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 496||Date: April 2012|
It was the blurb on this one that had me interested, mentioning Fran’s 30th birthday (mine’s a few months away) and the fact she’s bluffed her way into a very posh job (something some might say I’ve just done too). I thought we might be kindred spirits and even if we weren’t, I thought I might be signing up for some fun, flirty chick lit which is never a bad thing.
Sometimes you want to put your life on hold to read a really good book, but with this one it was the opposite and I wanted to put it down and go back to living life, such was my lack of interest in the characters. Fran needs a good slap and although her friends help liven things up a little, and the cat’s not half bad, they weren’t enough to rescue the ambitiously long story.
Following a quasi-breakup from her boyfriend, Fran is forced by her friends to go cold turkey and not contact him for a few months, during which time they have another plan for her. But will she cope with it all, does she have the will power to forget about him and is her mother, the alcoholic, just going to mess things up (again)? Given the nature of the book, you know the answers to these questions almost as soon as you ask them, and there are few suprises to come.
I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the book, because it definitely had its moments but they were just that, short lived moments that detracted from the monotony but only for a few short minutes at a time. I think my biggest issue was with Fran working in the media – the way she’s described to readers nothing could seem less likely than her being able to land, let alone hold down, a job like that. The group were too eclectic for me to buy into their continued friendship, and things like their reference to Gin Thursdays smacked of trying too hard to show how hip and cool they were, in fact having the opposite effect. I really liked the sections overseas but sadly these were over too quickly and replaced with far less interesting London. Not that London’s not fab, but Fran’s London seemed a bit blah for my liking.
If it’d had any sense I’d have thrown in the towel when I came across the line You’re not leaving Kosovo till this Michael has popped his truncheon up your luncheon but that was only in chapter 3 so although it was mega cringe, I decided I would persevere. That was perhaps the lowest of the low points in terms of the writing, but there were other crude moments and a lot of swearing . I don’t object to that sort of thing outright if it adds to the story or is included for effect, but it seemed overused here and crude rather than witty or genuine.
A highlight for me was something other reviewers have slated, the bit where Fran goes a little into stalker mode in an attempt to set eyes on the new woman in her ex’s life. Not only was it quite funny, but it seemed brilliantly realistic too given the state of mind Fran had found herself in at that point. Sadly that was one of the few highlights of a book that otherwise was predictable and way too long.
The incessant switching back and forth between 2008 and 2010 threw me, not least because I kept forgetting the years involved and would not get confused by whether 2010 was 2 years in the future of then, or 2 years in the past of now, pre- or post- Michael in Fran’s terms.
In the end I just about finished it, but I can’t say it wasn’t a struggle or that I wasn’t a little disappointed. It’s readable but not a must read, perhaps one to pinch off a friend or pick up at the library rather than invest in.
Thanks go to the publishers for sending us this book.
This one falls down a bit in part because its title builds it up so much, but for something that does live up to the hype surrounding it, the currently hot Fifty Shades Of Grey by EL James shows how to do rude, not crude, and how to keep readers hooked for an equally large number of pages.
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