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For a story that now and then shoehorns the word "feminism" into the plot and tries so hard to be all about the empowering journey of self-discovery of a strong female character, this is actually the LEAST feminist book I've read (well, listened to) in a while.
Here's the thing: it's not enough to take a classically cliché formula and paint it "feminist". For it to actually BE feminist, you have to redesign the roots of the formula. Surprise Me is entirely about Sylvie being oblivious to the Amazing, Wonderful, Heroic husband she has, and then finding out just how much she should've appreciated him from the start, because he was right all along!
All of Kinsella's leading couples fall into the same tone to be honest - airhead woman x down to earth man - but this was the first one that made me cringe and feel anything BUT feminist. Zero chemistry between Dan and Sylvie, by the way, so I couldn't even go "eh at least it's a nice love story". Overall, I think maybe Sophie does a better job at spreading a feminist message when she's not actively trying to address gender issues. Becky Bloom, with her darn SHOPPING addiction, is still so much more feminist than Sylvie. God, I'm just very disappointed.
I love Sophie Kinsellas work and this is a really nice story from a great author, bit slow to start with but a more grown up story than the other books and great characters. Worth listening to.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Although some of Kinsella’s works have been rather hit and miss in recent years, this is a return to form with a fun and moving story. Well worth a listen.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful