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Wartime Mills & Boons

books Updated: Sep 15, 2008 19:22 IST
Megha Shankar
Megha Shankar
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Lessons in heartbreak
By Cathy Kelly
Harpercollins
Rs 250 PP 454

The reaction that I got when most people saw me reading this book were not flattering. “Why are you reading this” — a well meaning girlfriend said. “Do you really think you should be reading this”, a well-versed colleague quipped. “Is it really worth it”?, another colleague asked turning the book in his hand. But when did reactions last deter you from picking up the book and enveloping it in handy newsprint? Chick lit is what you asked for and chick-lit is what you get. But be warned, after reading this novel you would never want to trust your better half — as everyone in the story just clutches their heart and screams murder! <b1>

And the real action (unlike normal chick-lits) starts from page 315. Until then every chapter introduces a new person. By the time you reach the 3rd chapter and known a few people, in the next chapter comes back the first character and you are asking yourself — ‘Jodi who’? Women just seemed to get duped into bed by guys who are either married; or is left by her husband for someone else and of course there’s talk of babies and diapers. The most interesting thing in the book is about grandmother Lily, the ‘strong, passionate, young’ woman who does she pleases in the time of the World War II, but ends up falling in love with a married guy.

The description of war is good and the circumstances that a nurse would go through are apt. When she says “war makes small talk difficult”, we start believing in her. But otherwise its so… Mills & Boons. The days of athletic cowboys are really gone and the new lithe guy comes from the brokerage firms and women are mostly running out of their 30s. But I guess what attracts us to fiction is, the portrait of the ‘perfect’ guy. Heck, who gets the perfect guy these days!