by Sophie Kinsella
Published by The Dial Press
Genre: women’s fiction; romance
3.5 / 5
You think you know what Sophie Kinsella is doing in this book, and then you realize that the book you’re reading is not, in fact, the book you think you’re reading. And that’s a good thing.
The initial premise feels familiar: a couple who have been together long enough to be an established unit begin to realize that they have a LOT of years ahead of them, and panic ensues.
But rather than making this a book about a couple getting to the edge and then finding their way back to each other, Kinsella makes it clear from the start that Dan and Sylvie are an unshakable unit. What threatens them isn’t so much the shock of the time they have yet to share together as a secret one of them harbors. And Kinsella surprises you there, too. The purpose behind this secret — and the secret itself — is not what you think it will be.
The weakness of the book lies squarely with Sylvie. She comes across as either silly and immature or as flighty and unreliable. Neither is a good thing. I wondered on more than one occasion whether Dan might be better off giving her the big heave.
I do love that Sophie Kinsella has elevated herself as a writer, moving beyond those Shopaholic books into someone who writes pretty solid chick lit. My favorite of hers remains Can You Keep a Secret, but I look forward to that being topped some day.
A witty and emotionally charged novel that delves into the heart of a marriage, and how those we love and think we know best can sometimes surprise us the most—from #1 New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella
After ten years together, Sylvie and Dan have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, and beautiful twin girls, and they communicate so seamlessly they finish each other’s sentences. They have a happy marriage and believe they know everything there is to know about each other. Until it’s casually mentioned to them that they could be together for another sixty-eight years . . . and panic sets in.
They decide to bring surprises into their marriage to keep it fresh and fun. But in their pursuit of Project Surprise Me—from unexpected gifts to restaurant dates to sexy photo shoots—mishaps arise, with disastrous and comical results. Gradually, surprises turn to shocking truths. And when a scandal from the past is uncovered, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other at all.
With a colorful cast of eccentric characters, razor-sharp observations, and her signature wit and charm, Sophie Kinsella presents a humorous yet moving portrait of a marriage—its intricacies, comforts, and complications. Surprise Me reveals that hidden layers in a close relationship are often yet to be discovered.
About the Author:
Sophie Kinsella has sold over 40 million copies of her books in more than 60 countries, and she has been translated into over 40 languages.
Sophie Kinsella first hit the UK bestseller lists in September 2000 with her first novel in the Shopaholic series – The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic (also published as Confessions of a Shopaholic). The book’s heroine, Becky Bloomwood – a fun and feisty financial journalist who loves shopping but is hopeless with money – captured the hearts of readers worldwide. Becky has since featured in seven further bestselling books, Shopaholic Abroad (also published as Shopaholic Takes Manhattan), Shopaholic Ties the Knot, Shopaholic & Sister, Shopaholic & Baby, Mini Shopaholic, Shopaholic to the Stars and Shopaholic to the Rescue. Becky Bloomwood came to the big screen in 2009 with the hit Disney movie Confessions of a Shopaholic, starring Isla Fisher and Hugh Dancy.
Sophie has also written seven standalone novels which have all been bestsellers in the UK, USA and other countries around the world: Can You Keep A Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, Remember Me?, Twenties Girl, I’ve Got Your Number, Wedding Night, and My Not So Perfect Life, which was a Goodreads Choice Awards finalist for Best Fiction in 2017.
In 2014 she published a Young Adult novel Finding Audrey about a teenage girl with social anxiety and her madcap family, and in January 2018, Sophie published her first illustrated book for young readers about the charming adventures of a mother-daughter fairy duo, Mummy Fairy and Me (also published as Fairy Mom and Me).
Sophie’s latest novel, Surprise Me, published in February 2018, presents a humorous yet moving portrait of a marriage—its intricacies, comforts, and complications. Surprise Me reveals that hidden layers in a close relationship are often yet to be discovered.
Sophie wrote her first novel under her real name, Madeleine Wickham, at the tender age of 24, whilst she was working as a financial journalist. The Tennis Party was immediately hailed as a success by critics and the public alike and became a top ten bestseller. She went on to publish six more novels as Madeleine Wickham: A Desirable Residence, Swimming Pool Sunday, The Gatecrasher, The Wedding Girl, Cocktails for Three and Sleeping Arrangements.
Sophie was born in London. She studied music at New College, Oxford, but after a year switched to Politics, Philosophy and Economics. She now lives in London, UK, with her husband and family.
Review copy provided from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.