By: Red Velvet
40 LOVE by Madeleine Wickham (best known for Confessions of a Shopaholic, written under her pen name Sophie Kinsella) follows four couples as they all get together at an old friend’s house in the country for a tennis party weekend. There’s Patrick and Caroline (the hosts), Stephen and Annie (considered the most modest, aka not rich, couple), Charles and Cressida (who are as rich and hoity-toity as their names sound) and Don and Valerie (obnoxiously competitive at tennis). Of course, what is supposed to be a fun relaxing weekend turns into one filled with drama, hidden agendas, betrayal and more. Secrets and lies come out and the plot revolves around how these 8 individuals react to everything.
I should say up front that I’ve never listened to an audio book before. I honestly never understood the appeal. But a close friend of mine adores them so I was looking forward to giving it a try. Two minutes into listening to the first disc I realized why audio books are not for me. I can’t concentrate when being read to! Plus I need to read at my own speed, which happens to be very fast. If I got distracted by a text message or email, I would miss important points. Hours of listening would only equal a couple chapters. It seemed like one person was doing all the reading but would use different voices (in British accents since the story takes place in the UK) for different characters — something I found distracting at first and later kind of helpful. Not to mention, having descriptive sex scenes read to you while sitting on a bus can be kind of… awkward. But I don’t want to seem completely down on the book itself or the whole audio book thing. I’m just letting you know what kind of audio book reader… or should I say, listener, I am. (Apparently, not a very good one.)
Despite all that, I found myself getting into the story a couple of discs later. Not all the characters were likable (though I suppose that’s the point - everyone of them is flawed in their own way) but the ones I did like, made the story enjoyable for me. The main females - Caroline, Annie and Cressida - had the most interesting scenes in my opinion. The reader learns the most about them and as a result, are able to sympathize with them the most. The male characters - Patrick, Stephen and Charles - often felt like caricatures and I didn’t like their actions 99.9% of the time. But the book wasn’t all drama. There’s a lot of humor and wit and it’s easy to imagine these people getting together for a weekend to laugh, talk and get drunk.
I’d say that if you’re into chick lit, enjoy being read to and would want to hear about the inevitable drama (and laughs) that come with putting four different couples in a house together, check out 40 LOVE by Madeleine Wickham.
Let us know what you think and if you’re a big audio book fan, maybe you’ll want to leave us some comments on why you love them so!
By: Red Velvet