Saturday, April 7, 2012

I've Got Your Number

Vacation week merits a light, fun book to read. I couldn't have picked a better one than this:

I've always loved Sophie Kinsella's books. I think she's one of the best women's fiction writers out there. Her heroines are strong, ethical women who are also witty, quirky and more intelligent than they give themselves credit for. Becky Bloomwood of the Shopaholic books is the perfect example. Though she never is able to get in sync with the financial world of Luke, her paramour, her curiosity and understanding of human nature helps her solve crises for him and his company. Meanwhile, her shopping addiction and light-handed credit card spending gets her into huge messes, but she's always able to get out of them with some soul searching and a bit of ingenuity. And all along she treats the reader to funny observations and crazy justifications that somehow lead to her finding the answers.

Poppy Wyatt, the heroine of I've Got Your Number, is just as endearing as Becky Bloomwood. The book starts days before her wedding with her panicking over losing the emerald engagement ring that has been in her fiancé Magnus's family for generations. While frantically searching an empty hotel ballroom, still addled from a champagne lunch, her phone is also stolen from her. Now she has no engagement ring and no phone number to leave with the hotel to contact her if they find it. Miracle of miracles, while pacing the lobby, she finds a phone in a trash bin. She picks it up and starts using it, texting her friends the new number and giving it out to all the hotel personnel. Moments later, however, the phone rings and she is introduced to Sam Roxton, who claims to be the boss of the owner of the phone, his personal assistant. Poppy, desperate to keep the phone that's now a lifeline to her lost ring, does him a favor and then persuades him to let her hold onto the phone until her ring is found. She agrees to act in his personal assistant's place in the meantime, forwarding him all the emails and texts that belong to him and his company. As they continue to share an in-box, Poppy becomes deeply involved both in Sam's life and in his company's most recent scandal. Meanwhile, her ring is found, but she discovers a shocking secret about her fiancé that leaves her doubting her own future.

Besides her wonderful characters, the thing I like best about Kinsella's books is how she's able to keep tension strong from beginning to end. Like a good mystery writer, she lays her clues and surprises out, chapter by chapter, keeping the reader intrigued and, incidentally, unable to put her book down. I finished this one in just a few days, the last half in one fell swoop, because I just couldn't wait to find out what happened to Poppy, Magnus and Sam. I know all of you will enjoy this book as well. Yes, it's women's fiction, yes, it's fun and light, but it's also great writing!

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