Friday, 8 June 2012

Cocktails for Three - Madeleine Wickham

So it finally happened - I hit a reading rut.  It has been pretty much 6 weeks since I last finished a book, and there have been a number of reasons as to why.  Firstly, things got pretty busy and so sitting down with a book felt like I was relaxing too much.  Secondly, with everything going on I found it hard to concentrate, which made reading before bed difficult.  And thirdly, I picked the wrong book to read next.

I have had Cocktails for Three on my 'To Read' list for ages.  For anyone who doesn't know, Madeleine Wickham is Sophie Kinsella's real name, and so I was keen to try out one of her earlier books.  The book is about three friends who live in London and each reach a turning point in their very different lives.

To start with, I really struggled with this book.  In fact, several times I made the decision to give up and start reading something else.  But I had the horrible feeling that if I did give up I wouldn't ever want to return to it, which just seemed wrong.  And so, slowly but surely, I persevered.  In the end though, it wasn't so hard.  About two thirds of the book was read between two sessions, it was the rest that was in fits and starts.

My first problem was not relating to the characters.  The closest I got was with Roxanne who, weirdly, is nothing like me.  Somehow she seemed the most real and her storylines were the ones that kept me reading.  As the book continued I got more and more into Maggie's storyline, and saw the classic theme of 'being true to yourself' developing.  It was Candice that I never really 'got'.  Maybe she was just too much of a push-over or maybe it was just that her 'life' involved more bitchiness than the others and I wasn't in the right mood for that.

Actually, though, overall I quite enjoyed it.  It was the wrong book for me to try to read then, but that doesn't make it a bad book.  The range of strong emotions involved were portrayed very well, particularly for Roxanne and Maggie.  And the concept, of needing someone to turn to for support, can't be seen as a bad thing.  So while my overall emotion is relief at having started to break my reading rut, I also gained a whole host of other emotions from the book itself.  Books that can successfully tug emotions can't be all that bad.