Saturday, May 8, 2010

Book Review: Sweet Dreams, Miss England by Iris Blobel

Review: Sweet Dreams, Miss England
Author: Iris Blobel
No. Of Pages: 203
Release Date: 1st January 2010

This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for my honest review.

She could still hear Daniel's grandmother saying, 'Sometimes we meet people but not to share the rest of our lives with them, but merely for them to guide us onto a different path'.

Set in London and Dublin we follow the life of Nicky, a young mother of two who is married to Shane, an actor whose work requires him to be in Los Angeles. When Nicky meets Daniel, a fun-loving, spontaneous man from Ireland, she realises how much joy and passion are missing from her marriage, and consequently her life. Nicky is torn between her marriage to Shane and her love for this Irish charmer.

My Thoughts:

Sweet Dreams, Miss England was interesting, but slow.

SDME follows the story of Nicky, a mother of two living in London with a husband who lives in America. Whilst on a trip to Dublin, Nicky meets Daniel, a handsome Irish DJ who immediately catches her eye. Nicky being a neglected house wife falls into the arms of this man and a love affair ensues.

Nicky was a likeable enough character, if a little flawed. Her flaws were realistic, if sometimes a bit annoying. Although personally I don’t condone cheating, I would prefer that if you are unhappy in your relationship, walk away before starting something else. So the fact that Nicky had an affair with Daniel grated on my nerves a little bit. It is understandable however why Nicky did it.

As a young person Nicky fell head over heels for Shane, her husband, without ever experiencing anything else, so when Daniel came along and she felt a spark, she explored it. Of course it doesn’t help that Shane doesn’t take the slightest bit of interest in her or her children’s lives.

Although I can understand where Nicky might be coming from, I still didn’t like how she went about getting what she wanted. That may be my personal opinion, but for me, I wouldn’t be able to leave my (future) children just go have sex in another country. I wouldn’t lie to everyone around me because I knew that what I was doing was wrong. Nicky at times came across as selfish and whiny. It was a little too much about her.

Daniel was naturally the most likeable character in the entire story. He was charming, thoughtful and kind. He knew Nicky was married, but wanted to share his life with her anyway, knowing that she might walk away. Daniel was nice to her kids when he eventually met them and was just completely down to earth. Not much fazed him and he was willing to do anything for a friend.

Jamie was supposed to be the “best-friend” to Nicky, not that she was a very good one. I didn’t like Jamie; she was nasty, judgemental and too pass-remarkable. Which is how we are meant to feel about her. Although Jamie was destined to be “the bad guy”, she had a point. Nicky threw away her entire life for a guy she barely knew, and the first thing that ran through my mind was, if you’re going to do this to the man you’re supposed to love, what’s going to happen to this guy when you get sick of him.

Vonnie was cute, likeable and really friendly. She plays the part of the cool new Irish best-friend. She was a little unrealistic though. She encouraged the affair and Nicky going to Ireland so much, she was all about living in the moment, but for people who are in their 30s and 40s you would think that they would have learnt by now that not everything is about them.

SDME was written fairly well, the characters were nicely fleshed out and we got to see inside Nicky’s brain making it easy for us to see where she’s coming from. The characters felt a little too in their roles though. Shane was painted as a massive bad guy, everything was an ulterior motive and nothing was truly sincere. Jamie was supposed to be nice but because she wanted Nicky to stay in England she then became a bad guy. Vonnie and Daniel were such nice people, it’s almost hard to believe that such beings could exist and Nicky was the hard done by working wife. 

It took a while for me to really get into SDME; there is a lot of back story in the first few chapters. The romance was enjoyable and not rushed, but the story behind which Nicky and Daniel meet was a little weak. There were some unrealistic parts but overall SDME was an enjoyable read that I probably wouldn’t have picked up had it not been brought to my attention by Mrs. Blobel.


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