Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Easy reading for the easily amused

Easily Amused
by Karen McQuestion

First, thanks to novelist Joe Konrath, who introduced me to Ms. McQuestion on the pages of his blog. This is the first of her novels that I've read, and as I'm easily amused myself, I liked it.

Anchored firmly in chick lit territory, Easily Amused is the story of Lola Watson. About to turn 30, Lola's reasonably content with her life. She's got a great job, good friends, and has recently inherited a fantastic Victorian house from her maiden great-aunt. There are only two areas of discontent. First, the newly acquired neighbors are awfully intrusive. Lola's a bit on the stand-offish side. And that may be part of the reason for issue number two: There's no man in her life, and hasn't been for quite some time.

She isn't the typical neurotic chick lit heroine. However, matters come to a head when her pushy younger sister decides to move her wedding forward to Lola's 30th birthday. I think we can all agree that that's just dirty pool. She and her best friend Piper begin plotting fantasy schemes of dream dates to take to the wedding, but suddenly the perfect dream man shows up and shows lots of interest.

Unfortunately, at virtually the same time, some else shows up. Hubert Holmes, one of Lola's oldest and dearest friends, is on the outs with his girlfriend. He needs a place to crash, and Lola has this huge house...

That's the set-up of this fluffy but enjoyable diversion. I found myself quite engaged with the story and characters, though Lola skirted with unlikability as she strove to keep everyone at arm's length. Still, I found myself reading deep into the night. I was in a blue space, and the novel's humor buoyed me. Ultimately, I'm not really sure I was fully satisfied with the novel's conclusion, but the process of getting there was so enjoyable that I'd certainly be open to reading future novels.

Biggest disappointment: Not one Watson/Holmes joke. Unforgivable.

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