2010 · Book Reviews · Fiction · Humour · Romance

Perfect Meringues, Laurie Graham

Published: 2010 by Quercus Books | Pages: 230

It shouldn’t have been like this. Being on television was meant to lead to fame and a glamorous social life. But for Lizzie Partridge, forty-something, divorced and TV cook on Midlands This Morning, it meant dinners for one, coping alone with an air-head adolescent daughter and following middle-aged men into corner shops pretending she needed a bottle of Lea & Perrins.

Her good friend Louie – if only he wasn’t gay – thought he knew what the trouble was: Lizzie was always on the wrong side of the glass, looking in at other people’s lives.

Whatever the truth of that, things for Lizzie were going to get a lot worse before they got better . . .

If you want a quick, light hearted read with the odd emotional test thrown in here and there, then I would definitely recommend  this book. Lizzie Partridge is basically an older, and ‘supposedly’ more wiser version of Bridget Jones. I love the fact that the book focuses on her inability to find herself a man, after divorcing her husband. Instead, she seems to stalk quite attractive men in shops or go on dates with the strangest men found! What Laurie Graham has done, is seen the faults of some women (those her feel awkward putting themselves out to find men), and has turned them into an absolutely hilarious read. One of the funniest qualities found in the book, for me, is her teenage daughter Elinor.  The pair seem to have a love, ignore relationship (rather than a love, hate relationship) as Lizzie seems to be exasperated at the very sight of her daughter. Again this adds a humorous note.

Another character in the book is Louie. Now what girl doesn’t have or need a gay best friend to rely on? Louie is used to put all the various bad events that occur throughout the story into a humorous perspective. He sort of helps the reader to see the funny side in everything that is happening to Lizzie, whereas Lizzie allows herself to see her wrong doings. I think between the two characters, they create a balance of realism and humour. I also enjoyed the support each of the characters gave one another throughout the difficult periods of their lives, for example when Louie gets sacked from his job and flees to the seaside.

I love the tension caused between Lizzie’s daughter and herself due to the constant but quiet presence of Lizzie’s ex-husband.  This again helps to add another dimension to the story line as he causes friction between mother and daughter, and also causes tension when Lizzie tries to embark on other relationships.

Over all the book was a very quick and enjoyable read. It would be a definite holiday read for someone who enjoys a good laugh!


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