Immediately the reader is introduced to Sam’s misery. She’s on the roadside while the rescue service is repairing her car and is uncontrollably sobbing. Jamie has dumped her and for the first time in six years she is alone. The reader knows this is out of character for her because we are told she is usually unflappable, keeps her head and is unfazed by unpredictability. Heartbreakingly we see the love they share conflicts with how Jamie wants to live his life. He’s just as torn in two!
The first step of the plan that Ellie comes up with has some real laugh out loud moments. When things aren’t working to bring Jamie back, Sam tries the on-line dating scene. The guys she chooses and meets are quite interesting …
At first I thought Jamie was a really sweet guy but the more I got into the story the more my feelings changed negatively towards him. I thought that while Sam was in the relationship she put up with an awful lot – especially the selfishness. Jamie seemed to be living a life of his own! I also came to the conclusion that Sam wasn’t living for the person she was but the person she wanted to be to fit with Jamie – and Jamie made his own assumptions about her too. In fact I came to the conclusion that Jamie was a bit of a wimp. On the other hand, the other male lead, Ben, who Sam first meets at an event she is directing and later through the dating service … made me hold my stomach in as I was reading and I had butterflies alongside Sam! Swoon.
There are sub-plots running alongside the romance. Best friends Jen and Ellie also have their own problems, as does Jamie’s best friend Luke (not all romantic problems). Also we get to know Sam’s family – her mum and dad and sister Julia. We also spend time with her at work in her role as Events Director. I thought the author deals sensitively but realistically with adoption and alcoholism.
As you would expect from a modern chick lit, Facebook is also a part of Sam’s life. I’m sure most people will identify with Facebook spying!
Narrated in the first person I identified with Sam. The flow of the writing is impeccably timed which keeps you wanting to turn the pages. Although I guessed the sub-plot outcomes I didn’t know which of the two male leads Sam would end up with. Of course I knew which one I preferred but the author cleverly keeps the reader guessing.
I have several favourite scenes for different reasons but the one that stays in my mind is with Sam standing on the bridge at Cressington Station.
“My breathing slows as I step back from the railings and gaze at the perfect winter blue above the horizon. At the world beyond the station, beyond the decision. I look up and think of all the people, all over the world, looking at this sky with a million tiny and monumental decisions to make, just like mine.”
The tension in not knowing what she would choose was unbearable and I had to force myself not to scan to the end of the chapter. Her decision took me by surprise.
I adored the epilogue – it gave me just the ending I desired
All the Single Ladies is a chick lit that will thoroughly entertain you and engage your emotions. I’ve had many laugh out loud moments alongside the frustration and sadness. It certainly has that feel-good factor that we sometimes need to escape reality!