When Poppy Wyatt loses her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill she goes into a state of panic. After all, who wouldn’t? That’s the one thing you’re really not supposed to lose, especially when it’s been in your fiancé’s family for three generations! To add insult to injury, in the panic that follows the loss of her ring, her phone is stolen. As she paces around the hotel lobby in a state of borderline hysteria, Poppy chances upon a phone in a trash can. After a quick internal debate, she picks the phone up and passes the “new” number around to the hotel staff and…gets a call. From the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton, who isn’t amused that she has “stolen” his PA’s phone. Somehow, Poppy manages to convince him to let her keep the phone just until she finds her ring, and promises to forward all messages and emails that come on that phone to him at once. But sharing a phone isn’t easy, as both of them soon find out.
This is my first Sophie Kinsella novel and I must say I enjoyed it. Poppy’s character is brilliant. She’s like this lost babe in the woods with a heart of gold who couldn’t bear to hurt a fly. And if this sounds really clichéd, just trust me when I say this – you will end up falling in love with her. Guaranteed! Sam is diametrically her opposite – a hard-nosed businessman who seems to have no time for friends and family. He sends one-word responses to emails and ignores most of his correspondence – something that drives poor Poppy totally bonkers. In fact, all of the characters in this book are properly three-dimensional, not cardboard cut-outs or “stock characters”.
Also, if you think chick lit is nothing but mushy romance, this novel will put that thought to rest. There are a lot of subtle underlying messages through the book. One is our dependence on technology. When Poppy loses her phone, she feels like she’s lost a part of herself, like an arm or a leg. Then, as she starts reading through Sam’s emails while forwarding them (after all, it’s difficult not to give in to curiosity and read an email when you’re opening it to forward it on, isn’t it?) she forms an image of him as a hard-nosed businessman who has no time for friends or family. But that turns out to be incorrect, as she finds out to her utter humiliation. Kinsella also warns against meddling in other people’s affairs, as Poppy makes one blunder after the next, all in an effort to – as she sees it – help Sam. Then there’s Poppy’s unwillingness to confront people, which Sam points out to her when he goes through her messages. After all, if you remember, the phone does belong to him! Quite a tangle, wouldn’t you agree? The development of their romance is gradual, making you believe that their love is meant to last as they both balance each other perfectly.
Kinsella is now on my list of go-to authors for a relaxed holiday read, just behind Mave Binchy. If you’re looking for a light-hearted read, I would heartily recommend this book.