Saturday, 24 March 2007

31 Dream Street by Lisa Jewll

31 Dream Street
Lisa Jewell
Penguin €??

TOBY – hero of Lisa Jewell’s hotly selling Iris-Murdoch-ish ensemble romance, is a middle-aged loser.

He’s a poet, at least he sits all day in his room at the top of the house his daddy gave him, writing poetry on his computer. Doesn’t sell any, though.

He lives by renting out rooms, choosing needy and arty tenants. So far so depressing. Only it’s not, because Jewell’s wit lights up the pages, as when Toby's object of lust's promiscuity doesn't fuel his desire, but “If anything it had flattened it like a big bum on a whoopee cushion.”

Jewell writes great characters and situations – dissolute teenage Con, full of lust and then suddenly in love, settled Leah and her Indian boyfriend, two runaway mothers and a bad father, a sudden life-changing inheritance, a rattletrap house turning into a des res. And she writes great endings.

As Jewell finds the perfect mate and the perfect solution for each with the skill of a Kerry matchmaker, she sprinkles the story with bon mots and insights. A book to grab quick before it sells out.


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