Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Review: Love Struck: A Novel by Chantel Simmons
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Key Porter Books (Feb 15 2010)
In the vein of her popular debut novel, Stuck in Downward Dog, author Chantel Simmons brings us a funny, heartfelt story about losing the perfect life—and finding a real one. When twenty-seven-year-old image consultant Poppy Ross discovers that her handsome and seemingly devoted husband Parker is having an affair, she is dumbfounded. Before she has chance to confront him, however, he is struck by lightning. When he regains consciousness, he has lost his short-term memory—including that of the affair. Given a chance to erase history and possible save her marriage, Poppy decides to remake herself in the mistress’s image, so that Parker might never be tempted to stray again. Her quest to become his perfect woman has disastrous and hilarious results—and might turn out to be the worst thing possible for her marriage.
From very early on, I wanted to give Poppy Ross a big smack upside the head! She is the embodiment of all paranoias that we woman experience at times: about our looks, our relationships, the value of our lives, etc. But she takes these to new, undiscovered (sometimes scary) levels. From Poppy's perspective, who wouldn't go a little crazy knowing that their "competition" is a voluptuous, sexy, British-accented husband stealer?
But "perspective" is the key word here. Poppy runs around trying to correct her deficiencies based on assumptions, however right or wrong they may be. The hilarity ensues from Poppy's attempts to become new and improved (funny for us, not so much for Poppy.) Let's just say I've learned a few valuable lessons about so-called self-improvement that will prevent me from trying certain things popular in today's society. (Give me Crest White Strips over dental "whitening" any day, lol.)
I also didn't really like Parker's character much. But, again, we're seeing things through Poppy's eyes, so his qualities may seem lacking in this skewed vision. Too often she says that she changed because of or for him; never a good reason to change, right? But, as things unfolded, Parker becomes a much better character; that is, as we get out of Poppy's head and into their lives. Poppy seriously needed to remove her head from...well, you know.
This was a fun book but also highlighted the fact the communication is very important in any relationship (and, no, I don't mean spending Friday nights home talking about your feelings, lol.) It also emphasizes the importance of the life-work balance that can be very off balance into todays world.
For me, Chantel Simmons offers up a funny look at life, relationships, and the disasters that can potentially happen when a couple get into a funk. She does this from a local-to-me setting which is always an added bonus. Very cute.