Goodbye, Jimmy Choo by Annie Sanders

Goodbye, Jimmy Choo by Annie Sanders

Reviewed by L.D.Y.

Trade (available in mass market), 408 pages, 2006

Rating: 9/10

Reason for Reading: It looked like the perfect backyard-read for enjoying the weather.

Synopsis: Izzie Stock figured that moving to the country would be great for her husband and herself – a relaxed pace of life to fit in with her boho style – but she didn’t count on the Stepford Wives of the neighbourhood. Salvation comes in a strange but perfect figure, that of Maddy Hoare, a woman with effortless grace and endless money, and yet a sense of humour. Shortly after their meeting, tragedy strikes, and Izzie despairs ever finding comfort in her new life, until the pair discovers that some old French beauty potions may contain the secrets to a life neither woman expected to be living…

Why you should read this book: One of the greatest things about characters Izzie and Maddy is that they don’t have snobby attitudes, and rather than worry about not fitting in, they create their own space for themselves. There’s also a lot more going on than in your typical chick-lit book: husbands, children, tragedy (real tragedy, not my-shoes-don’t-match-my-outfit tragedy), and even a new business being started, which packs in a lot of laughs as the heroines attempt to don Earth Mother personas for the benefit of the media. A lot more well-rounded than you might expect, in other words, so that the 400 pages feel like a necessity and not just padded-out fluff. It’s realistic, but it’s still fun, which makes it a fantastic read. Check it out if you want your chick-lit to have a little extra oomph.

Why you should avoid this book: If your usual reason for picking up something in the chick-lit genre is for the designer label name-dropping, redirect your attention to the ‘Goodbye‘ part of the title rather than ‘Jimmy Choo‘, because the ladies in the novel are in a place (both mentally and physically) where such things just don’t matter. It’s still chick-lit, but it’s definitely aimed at women in a different stage of life, albeit women that realize responsibilities still need a large dose of fun to keep life interesting.

Opening paragraph:

Izzy glanced at the clock, then redoubled her efforts. ‘Get in there, you bitch,’ she hissed. ‘I haven’t got time to mess around!’

Fabulous quotes:

The three of them chatted and laughed over lunch, Jean Luc embarrassing Maddy with stories about their youth and her ghastly first boyfriends, egged on by Izzie.
‘Oh, he was rough.’ Jean Luc shook his head in disbelief. ‘Not a nice boy at all. Giselle went crazy. Motorbike and those tattoos on his arms ‘ere and ‘ere.’
‘Speaking of arms’ – Izzie suddenly remembered the burn – ‘how’s yours now, Maddy?’ she asked, pulling back Maddy’s sleeve.
‘Oh that. I’d forgotten all about it.’ They both peered closely at her barely marked skin and their eyes met in amazement. ‘Well, look at that! Seems the old bird was right about this stuff after all.’

They were lying in wait for the journalists this time, seasoned campaigners that they now were, like actors awaiting their cue. Izzie was in the back garden, with a cotton scarf tied round her head and a hoe in one hand. Maddy had rolls, bought from the deli that morning, warming in the Aga, ready to pop into a huge basket lined with dock leaves. As the Alfa crunched its way up the drive, Izzie threw herself into concentrated hoeing – realizing belatedly that she didn’t actually know what this entailed.

Also recommended: Pastures Nouveaux by Wendy Holden; The Other Side of the Story by Marian Keyes; Beyond the Blonde by Kathleen Flynn-Hui.

Also by this author: The Xmas Factor; Busy Woman Seeks Wife.

Fun tidbit: Author ‘Annie Sanders’ is actually two women – Annie Ashworth and Meg Sanders.

Would I read more by this author? Yes – it was fun, with a more-than-ample plot.

© Lisa Yanaky 2003-2007

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