Book Review: From Notting Hill with Love Actually by Ali McNamara

This was an unexpected holiday read, and probably not one I would have chosen for myself.  However I make no secret of the fact that I adore a rom com, especially those by Richard Curtis and especially those featuring Hugh Grant and / or  Colin Firth. Although I suspect that I don’t love them quite so much Ali McNamara  the author of this novel and certainly not as much as her heroine Scarlett.

Scarlett loves the movies, she works in cinemas, she watches endless romantic comedies and is convinced that life really can be like the movies.  The opportunity to house sit in Notting Hill gives her the opportunity to prove this by trying to make as many of her own movie moments as possible.  She immediately embarks on her own ‘romantic comedy’ as she meets Sean a real life Hugh Grant or maybe a Colin Firth character, who becomes an instant rival to her long term, steady fiancé .  This book is packed full of direct and indirect references to lines and scenes from the films Scarlett loves.

This book is silly and frivolous, many of the characters are irritating and the story is fairly improbable.  However, if you take it for what it is, it is also good fun and an un-demanding pool side read. Minimal concentration was required and it was easy to whizz through even when there was lots going on to distract me.  However due to sheer cringeability factor alone I suspect I won’t be seeking out other books by this author.

If you are not a lover of the rom com then this book will certainly  not be for you.  Although I suspect if you weren’t fairly committed to the works of Richard Curtis et al you would not give this book a second glance any way.

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