I’ve had this book for some time on my bookshelf. Having just finished ‘Agent 6’ by Tom Rob Smith (review coming soon) I was looking for a read that would be fun …… as I was browsing, Katie Fforde’s quote on the front cover caught my eye ‘Sparky, fun and endearing’ so I thought From Notting Hill with Love … Actually would be just what I needed.
I did have fun reading about Scarlett – but the story is much more than a romantic comedy - with a plot-line running alongside that deals with the issue of parenthood, obligations Vs freedom and perceived debts owing.
The story is written in the first person (from Scarlett’s point of view), which works really well. It begins in a rather unique way. The understanding of what has happened before and why Scarlett is house-sitting is portrayed by a conversation with a stranger (Oscar) that she bumps into as she is making her way to the house. This hooked me in straight away. It’s not as dull as it may sound - the re-telling by Scarlett is interspersed with Oscar’s endearing mannerisms!
Scarlett’s journey of trying to find her ‘happy ever after’ movie moment is so action packed I didn’t have time to be bored. Everything begins to fall into place as the story unfolds making you want to read on to find out where you will be led to next.
I loved Maddie’s (Scarlett’s best friend) wedding in Disneyland, Paris. It was such fun despite the accident and head-to-head between David and Sean (or in fact maybe because of it!).
I thought the way the author compared Scarlett’s emotions with a physical thing was unique and fun in helping her readers understand Scarlett’s feelings.
Another unique part of the story, which threads its way through everything, is Scarlett trying to find her movie moments in real life. This was quite funny but also poignant at the end.
The characters are brilliant – I loved Scarlett, Oscar and Sean all for different reasons. I probably shouldn’t slate David but he is one of the most boring characters I’ve yet to meet (which is what he IS supposed to be by the way).
I would recommend this book if you were looking for something to lift your spirits and wanted more than a light summer read. In my opinion, it is such a feel-good book it has the power to lift any gloom (which I’ve needed on these gloomy and grey summer days!).