Thursday, September 12, 2013

Book Review: How To Choose A Sweetheart by Nigel Bird

***--3 Stars.
August 2013, 224 pages.
Source: a copy provided by author for review.

Amazon Description: “She came into the bookshop. That was it. That was the beginning.”

This isn’t the first romantic story to feature a balcony, nor is it likely to be the last. Even so, what takes place in ‘How To Choose A Sweetheart’ is a modern, fresh take on an old-fashioned tale.

Max is a bookseller. Since his relationship with Jazz ended, he’s struggling to find purpose in life. That all changes when a beautiful woman, Cath, walks into his shop and pins up an advert asking for a piano teacher for her daughter, Alice.

It’s almost perfect. Max takes down the details and gets in touch immediately. Within a short space of time he manages to secure the position as Alice’s piano teacher and establish that Cath’s a single mother.

What could be better?

Well, he might be able to play the piano for a start.

Or his newly acquired piano teacher might not be an old, alcoholic wreck.

Or he might be completely over his ex-girlfriend.

And he might not be forced into a position where he needs to come up with a composition of his own to woo the new lady in his life.
It’s a tangled web we weave and Max seems to be sticking to the threads like an insect in a web.

A topsy-turvy romantic comedy that will warm your cockles and split your sides.

My Review: It's love at first sight for Max, when Cath walks into the bookstore where he works to post an ad. Desperate to meet her, he comes up with a brilliant plan--he'll teach her daughter piano lessons. The only problem is, he doesn't know how to play the piano.

Max is a very goofy, silly guy with a dry sense of humor. He often comes up with the craziest ideas, yet things work for him. I sometimes wanted to tell him to wake up because he kept weaving this web of lies and/or half truths in order to portray himself as better than he is and didn't seem to realize that things could end before they began with that type of behavior. I kept picturing someone like Mr. Bean--this funny guy that you can't help but adore.

Cath seems like a very lovely lady, but we don't really get a feel for her thoughts and feelings because the story is mainly about Max's. I picture her to be so classy, yet she is able to look at the heart of a person.

I enjoyed seeing Alice, the daughter, open up and become a child again. The howling was hilarious! I also enjoyed seeing Max learn and grow from his experiences--especially in dealing with things that are foreign to him. He showed such a kind streak when interacting with Mr. Evans. Max really is quite an endearing character. This is a book for British Lit lovers.

Content: some drunken moments; vague references to intimate things, but no details; some language.

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