Ok, so I’ve mentioned before that I’m kind of a sap. Amazon knows this and they email me a couple of times a week with book offers. Usually, I can be strong when the offers aren’t targeted – I know approximately what sort of books I’m going to enjoy and which books will just leave me rolling my eyes. Often they get it right and I end up picking up something I actually want to read (eventually) for about £1. Sometimes they just happen to be running a deal on a genre or author I’m not that fussed about and I have no trouble passing.
Occasionally, they offer out new books for free. This is the wild card, it’s when I find myself thinking, “oh, why not? It’s free, I’ll just pick the one that sounds best.” Which is how I ended up with Lift and Separate on my Kindle. I ended up actually reading it because, as a new release, it fits one of the criteria for the book challenge I was trying to complete.
Which was a shame because this book had nothing in it for me. Having recently read some quite heavy texts I was hoping this would provide some much needed comic relief. I was hoping for something lighthearted, cheerful and not too dense. Since it was apparently about a woman breaking up with her husband, who sold bras for a living, I thought it might be exactly that. It’s been years since I read anything that could be described as chick lit, but I remembered it being, at worst, funny and cheerful, if sometimes lacking in substance.
Unfortunately, I think the best way to characterise this book is: Ageing yuppies have problems too. Or possibly: Baby boomers get sad sometimes. The main character has almost no personality and, while she does manage to develop one by the end of the novel, for a woman in her 50s this seems a little late. It also means that throughout most of the story I really didn’t care about what was happening to her because, as a character with no personality (aside from being vaguely irritable) I didn’t form any kind of connection with her.
This could be saved if the other characters had anything going for them but, unfortunately, her husband is greedy and selfish, her best friend is useless and bitchy, her daughters have as much personality as she does, her son seems fine but uninteresting, her mother has the characteristics of being older than her and a bit domineering. Most people have careers rather than character traits. Only the later stage characters seem to have anything worth saying for themselves and while that’s refreshing, it’s only enjoyable in contrast to the blandness that has gone before.
I don’t know what I was expecting. Next time I say I’m going to try something lighthearted, don’t let me choose a book simply because it was free on Amazon and it has pictures of bras on the cover. It doesn’t necessarily mean it will be uplifting.