Hollow Heather - Be Careful What You Wish For by Alexandra Potter
November 19, 2017 2:26pm CST
The protagonists of chick lit novels are either women belonging to the higher strata of society incorporating a lifestyle the average reader can only dream of or they’re just like you and me created for identification. Well, not like me, I’m so not the target reader! I read, enjoy the story if possible and dissect trying to find out how the average Londoner of the female persuasion ticks. Not living in the country this is my only way of getting near this species. Thirty-something Heather Hamilton has been an assistant to a wedding photographer for six years. After living with her boyfriend for three years, buying a flat with him, separating from him because he was cheating on her and living alone for a year she has to look for a flatmate so that she can pay off the remaining credit. A young American applies. He’s come to the UK for the Edinburgh Festival where he wants to perform as a stand-up comedian. Heather has a crush on her neighbour living on the opposite side of the street, but he doesn’t seem to know that she exists. One day a gypsy makes her buy a sprig of white heather which will fulfil her wishes. She warns her, however, to wish wisely. She becomes bold and wishes her neighbour to notice her and fall in love with her. According to chick lit formula the woman is first without a man and then has two - which one to choose? The neighbour who turns out to be Mr Absolutely Perfect or the Californian Sunny Boy with flaws? No disappointment here. What disappoints, however, is what a silly cow this Heather is. She reads nothing, knows nothing, has no sense of humour, lives like a pig, is never able to give a reasonable answer when asked even the simplest question. Conversations make her feel “nervous and awkward”. She stutters, blushes, uh-huhs. The only utterances that come fluently out of her mouth are, “F***” and “Sh**”. But then, what can one expect from an author who writes, “A stunned silence settles between Daniel and *I* (!) like dust after an explosion.”? Of course, Heather needs ages until she knows what to wear. Of course, her wardrobe is full of things she never wears. Of course, she thinks she’s got cellulite. Of course, she drinks too much and then gets the most terrible hangovers. Of course, her boss is gay and her best friend black (or is it the other way round?). Like many chick lit novels also Be Careful What You Wish For is too long. 368 pages may not seem exaggerated but there’s superfluous padding in it. The first person account in the Present Tense doesn’t attract me, either. The breathlessness and immediacy it creates get on my nerves and deffo don’t draw me into the story as intended. Nah, if it has to be chick lit (and occasionally it has to be!), then there are better books on the market.
12 people like this
@Corbin5 I can't speed read but I'm quite near. Once I lent a thriller to a colleague who had shown interest in reading it. The next day at school he gave it back to me. I asked him why he hadn't read it, what he hadn't liked about it. He was surprised and told me that he had read it! He didn't lie, he was able to talk about the book.
• Bunbury, Australia
Some of these books really are awful aren't they? I made Vince read one just so he could verify that it wasn't just me. And yet the author of the one I read had a huge following. I bought a few from an op shop in Ireland and they were set in Ireland about Irish girls. I was surprised which was really stupid of me considering I was in Ireland!