Looking for Buttons? A Charming Book

I don’t often review a book, but I thought it was worth reviewing this one.

(Image copyright J Hayes)

Cards on table, the author is one of my good friends – we’ve known each other about 20 years, and at one point started writing together. Of the two of us, she is the one who wins things when entering short story competitions. I admire her writing and wish I had her turn of phrase. You may have read some of her stuff too – if nothing else, she wrote a guest post for this blog a couple of years back “Don’t put your daughter on a pole, Mrs Worthington“.

Her writing sits in different genres to mine, and her newly published book “Looking for Buttons” is… intelligent chick lit.
I don’t normally “do” chick lit. There’s something deeply unsatisfying for me about the heroines who stumble through life, beautiful, slim, but so… stupid. Modern ones tend to drink too much and sleep around. ¬†They never make the decisions that I’d make.

This book is different….¬†Here’s my Amazon review:

Lucie Parish’s debut novel is a gem. Very funny, bittersweet, fantastically paced, I devoured it in a day. Mostly while in a doctor’s waiting room where laughing out loud seemed very inappropriate.

Burnt out unemployed archaeologist Kate pines with unrequited love for ex-classmate turned film star Charlie Latimer to an extent where sometimes I wanted to slap her and tell her to get on with her life (a trait I seem to share with her mother who finds her a cleaning job). Kate has an intelligent, genuine voice as she stumbles through her messy life – which apparently even her talent for cleaning can’t resolve. Ms Parish’s wit lifts this unlikely heroine making her someone you really root for.

A fully realised supporting cast bursts out of the page, from Dob the tangoing grandmother to frenemy yummy mummy Poppy, platonic best mate Fergus, silver fox Richard and of course Prince Charming himself – Charlie. But does any woman really need Prince Charming? What if she’s really looking for Buttons?

The style reminds me of the early Jilly Cooper romances (Bella, Octavia etc.)which means that not only is Looking for Buttons perfect holiday reading, it is also intelligent and you’ll find yourself pondering Kate’s situation when you don’t expect it. I know I’ll be rereading this one.

Must find an occasion to buy my own alibi lamp…