Friday, October 1, 2010

The Two Lives of Miss Charlotte Merryweather, by Alexandra Potter

The Two Lives of Miss Charlotte Merryweather: A NovelWhat would you say to your 21 year old self if given the chance to meet her?  Charlotte is given just such a chance.  At the cusp of turning 32, Charlotte has the picture perfect life.  Running her own PR firm, living a posh lifestyle, and maintaining the perfect relationship, what more could an independent girl ask for?  But how much better it could be if only she could get a mulligan on a few mistakes of her youth.  So, when she runs into her 21 year old self, she is determined that she will right these wrongs, and make adult self a better person by correcting her young self.  But what if her young self is the one who got it right?

I totally fell in love with this book.  But it was not love at first sight, oh no.  This book had to take me out for dinner and drinks, entice me with some good conversation, and promise me devoted fidelity, but then, well, then, I was completely besotted.  I love love love the juxtaposition of the two parts of Charlotte (past and present) and the idea of them interacting in real life.  I thought her character was very deep, and well developed.  She had real meat, and her back story really blossomed throughout the book.  The beginning was a tad bit slow; since you know from the cover the concept of the book, you want to get right to the good parts.  Therefore, spending time with present Charlotte in the beginning is a bit tedious, but trust me, it pays off in the end.

I thought the concept of the book was really clever.  Some cynical readers might call some plot points a bit predictable, as if that automatically makes them trite.  To that I say, a cake mix is predictable too; you add the same things to it every time, you get the same result every time, and every time it is delicious.  Predictability is not always a bad thing, it can be like a fabulous piece of chocolate cake, when used as skillfully as this author does.

This book is clearly aimed toward the female demographic, and probably most powerfully hits home among readers aged 25 and older, as we have more of an idea of what both Charlottes, past and present, have been through.  If you are a fan of Bridget Jones- type women or stories, you will love this book.

A touring review copy of this book was made available courtesy of Crazy Book Tours.