Posted by : Ruby Escalona Tuesday, May 11, 2010

httRosie Richardson was a typical girl working at a publicist for a book company. Until she found herself dating Oliver Marchant, a presenter for a popular tv show called Soft Focus. Soon, she found herself in the "inner circle" of celebrity - being invited to all sorts of parties, until she found out the truth in the personality of her boyfriend, Oliver. On one of her work assignments, she got sent to Africa to help the famine victims in Kefti. It changed her life forever, and once she and Oliver had broken up, she spent her time in Kefti as a relief worker. All was going well until a locust outbreak came, hundreds of thousands of refugees are expected to come, and with no supplies, Rosie decides to go back to London and enlist the help of her celebrity friends from the life she had left behind. Will she be able to do it?

Excellent book. This was Helen Fielding's debut novel, released long before we knew Bridget Jones. In this initial novel, the writing style is almost the same as Bridget: witty yet funny. However, the subject is a bit more deep and provides an insight on what was happening during the 1980s drought in Africa. It's chick list with a cause, as I say, and written in a way to engage the readers in to the realities of the drought without poring too many information in to bore or overwhelm the readers.

 The main characters were well-defined, Oliver is wacky than what I'd ought to be [although I loved him at first], and well, Fielding did good with the descriptions of Africa too. However, what I don't like is the places in Africa that Fielding described - most of them are fictional, which makes it harder for me to understand and picture the places without Googling it. As most of you know, I love to google stuff whenever I read books, just to check up on the facts/information on a particular place or basically anything that peaked my interest. Anyway, back to the review. This book presents the irony of the haves and the have-nots, mostly the divide between the West and the East, that is also rampant today. The novel shows how people care about one another, given the various disasters that we are in, and the only way we could overcome it is by reaching out to the less-fortunate countries distraught and try to do something good.

The novel is also real in a sense that most people would forget the horrible things that they had experienced as they help out the less fortunate, and what matters most is that the general public have to be constantly aware of what's happening around the world, good or bad. That is, we should step outside our sheltered life and realize what is out there.

Published: 2002

Publisher: Penguin.
Available from: Amazon and your local booksellers. It is available at a bargain price in Amazon.
Read it if: You want a chick lit with a cause.
Book was acquired from: a local bookstore for $1.
fickle fan/overall rating:

The post above is included in Cym Lowell's Book Review Wednesdays

2 Responses so far.

  1. Hannah S says:

    Aw, cool blog!
    I met you on (thanks for the link!).
    Love, Hannah

  2. Booksnyc says:

    great review! I loved this book - made my want to go volunteer my time in Africa!

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