Mr. Collins has written in this novel a romance that, wonder of all literary wonders, keeps the reader on edge. Being no great personal fan of romances, I can honestly say that this is an exceptional story. I'd call it, ahem, a novel novel of love lost, won, mistaken, and ... traded!
Subtle humor is the key. This is no mess of he-said she-said for endless, silly chapters in seemingly endless repitition. No flogging of shallow sexual/ romantic/symbolic (or real...) dead horses. This is simply a well-written, well-told story of the mating game. Er, with humor intact and in delicate literary lines.
At first I was strongly reminded of the movie, "Serendipity". As time went on, I realized that it was very different in certain respects. The story starts off slow, then gathers speed and style as it proceeds toward an ending that draws a replete smile where 'The End' sits waiting.
Go on. Have fun. Laugh at weddings, cry at funerals, or vice versa as the case may be. Just read it! You'll see what I mean.
Special thanks to Hachette Book Group for the chance to review James Collins' debut novel. For information on other books offered or about to be offered by HBGUSA, please visit their website.
-- The Fireside Reader