Friday, July 5, 2019

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Pages: 418 pages
Published: February 2018 

I've read several Sophie Kinsella books, most before I started tracking my reads on While I was waiting for the newer and seemingly popular I Owe You One to become available at my local library, I downloaded Surprise Me.

This novel is true to Kinsella's writing style in that it is light, funny, and poignant. The main character, Sylvie and her husband, Dan go to the doctor for physicals on their 10-year anniversary (odd choice for an anniversary date, but I digress). They learn that they are in tip-top shape and will probably, barring any catastrophes, live the next six decades together. As a couple they are completely in sync, often finishing one another's thoughts and sentences.

I pass him the bread basket knowing that he’ll take the sourdough, not because he likes it particularly but because he knows I love focaccia. That’s the kind of man Dan is. The kind who lets you have your favorite bread.

However, this longevity news completely throws them both for a loop, and Sylvie decides they needs to spice up their marriage with surprises to keep things new and fresh for the duration. The bulk of the book focuses on Sylvie and Dan's marriage, their life together with their twin daughters, and their circle of friends. However, in the midst of this marriage survival plan, Sylvie learns things about Dan, her mother, and her late father that provide more of a surprise that she bargained for.

At first I didn't think I was going to enjoy the book. Sylvie kind of got on my nerves, but Kinsella did a good job of giving the character depth and growth over the course of the novel. What I had expected was a light and funny novel, and I did get that. But as a bonus, I also got a story that had a bit of a dark side with the main character emerging as a more holistic individual on the other side. I think this quote by one of Sylvie and Dan's neighbors completely sums up the book:

Love is finding one person infinitely fascinating.” John seems lost in thought again—then comes to. “And so…not an achievement, my dear.” He gives me a mild, kind smile. “Rather, a privilege."

Recommendation Once again, Kinsella did not disappoint. She is a master storyteller and knows how to effectively inject humor into her work. I would recommend this as a great summer or beach read. Oh, and the Fort Worth Library just released I Owe You One, so I'm adding it to the list!

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.


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