Wednesday, March 18, 2015

As Good as it Gets by Fiona Gibson

3.5 Star

“Midlife crisis? WHAT midlife crisis?!”

Charlotte Bristow is worried about her husband Will. Their fourteen years of marriage have been rather lovely so far, but things have been a bit odd lately.

With their stunning 16-year-old daughter Rosie newly signed to a top modelling agency and Will recently out of a job, Charlotte can’t help but notice that things are changing in their household.

As Will dusts down his old leather trousers and starts partying with their new, fun neighbours, Charlotte begins to wonder what on earth is going on.

So when Fraser, Charlotte’s ex – and father of Rosie – suddenly arrives back on the scene, Charlotte starts to wonder what might have been…

Kathryn - 3.5 Star

Fiona Gibson writes a good book and As Good As It Gets gave me exactly what I was expecting.  There was a succinctly planned story and expansive characters that made the novel flow.  I think Gibson’s gift comes in writing about things that are possible in anyone’s life.  The Bristow family is at a stagnant point, husband Will is unemployed and seems to be reaching a point of lethargy regarding the job hunt.  Charlotte loves her job but is a bit (ok a lot) preoccupied with worrying about Will and where his head is currently at…. Charlotte is also keeping a watchful eye on her teenage daughter who seems on the edge of something but she’s not quite sure what.

The problem with all the worrying is that Charlotte allows her mind to drift off towards Rosie’s biological father and prompted by Rosie’s questions about him she allows herself to drift off into a fantasy existence out of the frustration of not being able to get through to Will. 

There were some very funny bits- think Ross from “Friends” in the leather pants and a certainty that their lagging sex-life would improve with a tangle in the garden shed!  As with Take Mum Out I laughed out loud more than once!   And as with that same book I enjoyed the children’s portrayals as much as the voice of the mother.  They were perfectly realistic in their bouncing moods and love/hate relationships with their parents. Ollie doesn’t really have his own plot line but I found myself drawn to him anyway- I think he was perfectly pictured and hope my own son will be the same at 11.

The whole thing is entirely plausible and while I liked all the characters it sometimes dragged on a bit and I think would have benefitted by being a touch shorter or could have had a few more action bits thrown in to create more tension.  I did start skimming a bit…nevertheless I don’t think I enjoyed Charlote, Will and the kids any less.

Thank you to Harper Collins UK for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

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