Cocktails for Three: the Drinking was the best part

2000 was a busy year for Sophie Kinsella.  In addition to publishing the first book in her Shopaholic series, she published Cocktails for Three under her real name, Madeleine Wickham.  Cocktails for Three is about three friends who work for a London magazine and meet regularly at the Manhattan for drinks. Writer Candice is naive and trusting, believing everyone needs a helping hand while trying to deal with her guilt over the crimes her dead father committed.  On the eve of giving birth to her first child, editor-in-chief Maggie prides herself on her ability to manage any situation and person but finds herself overwhelmed with life in the country with a newborn.  Travel writer Roxanne regularly jets off to exotic locales for the magazine, yet finds herself tied to London by her married boyfriend, hoping fervently that he’ll make a life with her.  Little do they know that their lives are about to change drastically.

This book was ok.  I was surprised by how “ok” I found it since it had received pretty good reader reviews.  I think part of the problem I had with the book was reading it with my 2008 sensibilities.  In 2000 when the book was written, chick lit hadn’t peaked yet.  The situations likely seemed fresh in 2000 but seem a little dated now.  Interestingly, I wondered if Wickham borrowed some of Candice’s background for the protagonist’s background in Remember Me, the novel published in 2008 under her Kinsella pseudonym.  I noticed definite similarities.

All in all, just ok.  It’s fairly well-written though a little dated.  It sort of feels like a novel by a writer discovering her genre (though it was her 4th or 5th).

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