Let’s talk about your first choice:
Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes.
This book had me right from the moment the protagonist, Rachel, opines that she can’t be an addict: ‘Surely drug addicts were thinner?’ She thinks rehab will be glamorous and filled with celebrities – instead it’s hard work. Addiction is a gritty subject, but the story of Rachel’s progress is told with such humour and reality that you devour the pages – and there are a lot of them.
Next, you’ve chosen Amanda’s Wedding by Jenny Colgan.
This fast, funny romp was Jenny Colgan’s debut. The premise is great – a group of friends band together to save their titled friend from marrying a bitchy social climber by sabotaging the wedding. One-liners come thick and fast throughout the action, and the dialogue is always spot-on and hilarious.
31 Dream Street by Lisa Jewell?
Reclusive Toby has filled his rambling house with a collection of misfits for 15 years. Now he needs to move on, so they must too, and this is the story of him gently edging them on. This book is rich with Lisa Jewell’s trademark warmth, wonderfully drawn characters and descriptions. It’s funny, touching and true.
Your fourth choice is
Old Maid by Suzanne Finnamore. Tell me about it.
Published as Otherwise Engaged in the States, this is one of the most caustic, true books I have ever read – the kind you immediately start quoting at your friends. It follows the story of Eve after her engagement and subsequent panic – the joy of the book is in her relentlessly witty, dry-as-a-bone take on marriage, advertising and life.
Diary of a Provincial Lady by E.M. Delafield.
This is chick lit of the 1930s, and the wry, self-deprecating ‘provincial lady’ is one of the funniest characters in literature. It proves that 80 years ago woman had exactly the same concerns as us – from what our husbands are really thinking, to how to conceal that latest dress bill (thankfully we are spared the ordeal of having to Speak to the Cook). It’s a book you can dip into for a little burst of pleasure, any time.
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