Sunday, February 3, 2008

Review: Cocktails for Three

Cocktails for Three by Madeleine Wickham
3 stars

Book description: Three women, smart and successful, working in the fast and furious world of magazines, meet for cocktails and gossip once a month. Roxanne: glamorous, self-confident, with a secret lover - and hoping that one day he will leave his wife and marry her. Maggie: capable and high-achieving, until she finds the one thing she can't cope with - motherhood. Candice: honest, decent, or so she believes - until a ghost from her past turns up, and almost ruins her life. A chance encounter in the cocktail bar sets in train an extraordinary set of events which upsets all their lives and almost destroys their friendship.

First line: "Candice Brewin pushed open the heavy glass door of the Manhattan Bar and felt the familiar swell of warmth, noise, light and clatter rush over her."

My thoughts: Madeleine Wickham is better known as Sophie Kinsella. So when I spotted this book while browsing in a used bookstore and noticed the note saying that's who she was, I snapped it up, since I enjoyed the Shopaholic books and especially Can You Keep a Secret?

This one's okay, though I didn't think it had the sparkle of her other work. It's pretty darn predicitable (although the Shopaholic ones are, too, but somehow their charm makes up for most of it) - you know Candice is going to get herself in trouble with the person from her past, it's not hard to guess who Roxanne is having the affair with, and it's obvious that Maggie is in for some post-partum depression.

That seems to be a theme as chick lit writers turn into mommies - the joys but mostly horrors of having a baby. I really felt for Maggie, feeling like she had to do everything perfectly while being so completely exhausted.

The theme of the book is secrets and how we hide them from even our closest friends. I did like the message that it's good to tell people when you need help or are having problems, to avoid everything from stress and to actual crises before they get to be too much to handle.

Overall, it's not a bad piece of Chick lit - I polished it off in about a day while sick in bed.

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