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Thinking of You by Jill Mansell

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark
Paperback ARC: 432 pages
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Thinking of You by Jill Mansell is another romp in the English countryside.  Ginny Holland has a problem when she’s in emotional turmoil — her mind wanders and the tasks at hand just disappear from her consciousness.  Even when she’s worried about her daughter’s first year at college in Bristol and away from home, Ginny is still not immune to the charms of a hot-looking man in an antique shop.  But while she’s browsing and happily daydreaming about the man in the shop, he catches her red-handed with a shoplifted item.  Mansell has an uncanny way of bringing together the most divergent plots, weaving in secondary characters that are just as fun and hopeless as the main character.  While her books generally have happy endings and wrap-up relationships pretty neatly, they still provide a few hours of escape that can lift any mood.

“‘Watching how it’s done?’ Evidently amused, Evie paused on her way to table six with two plates of mussels.  ‘Can’t you just feel all those flirty female hormones in the air?’ With a wink, she added, ‘Good old Finn, he hasn’t lost his touch.’

‘I can see that.’  As Finn crossed the room in order to answer the ringing phone, every female eye followed him.

‘You’d better watch out.  You could be next.’

Ginny grinned because the idea was so ludicrous.  ‘I don’t think that’s going to happen.  He’d be too worried I might nick his wallet.'”  (page 119 ARC)

Beyond the fun, faulted characters, Mansell has a gift for humorous and witty dialogue that will leave readers in stitches.  Ginny is a mother looking to hang onto her daughter Jem for as long as she can, but reality gets in the way when she advertises for a flatmate and ends up with a young woman who is unable to get over her ex-fiance and is utterly depressed.  Mansell’s books aren’t just about the mistakes we make, but also the silver linings of those mistakes.  Without advertising for the flatmate, Ginny never would have been forced by the incessant ex-fiance talk to go out and get a job and a social life.

Even though the main romantic relationship is not only predictable, but also a little less developed than some of the others, Mansell excels at creating other relationships that are dynamic and complicated.  From Ginny’s relationship with the vivacious and slutty Carla to Ginny’s relationship with her grown daughter Jem, each of these relationships provide the characters with a foil and with a sounding board when they get into hot water.

Thinking of You by Jill Mansell is a soap opera on paper with characters in college and middle-age, each striving to find out where they want to go when they hit that inevitable fork in the road.  While some choose the right path, others stumble onto the wrong one for awhile before falling through the bush onto the other side.  But there are still some that blissfully walk the same path they always have.

About the Author:

Jill Mansell lives with her partner and children in Bristol, and writes full time. Actually that’s not true; she watches TV, eats fruit gums, admires the rugby players training in the sports field behind her house, and spends hours on the internet marvelling at how many other writers have blogs. Only when she’s completely run out of displacement activities does she write.

Other Mansell books reviewed:

  • “Mansell has a gift for humorous and witty dialogue that will leave readers in stitches.” I agree – I love Mansell!

  • I love her books. I’m glad you enjoyed this one too. I think her books are such a great escape and they never fail to make me giggle. I listened to this one and it was a great audio.

  • This wasn’t my favorite Mansell novel, but I really enjoyed it. Finn…mmm. 🙂

  • I can’t believe I’ve never read any of Mansell’s books. They sound like just the thing to break up the heavier reads!

    • They are a perfect break between heavy reads and perfect for the beach

  • I know when I read her books I will get humor and zany characters. I enjoyed this one.

    • So glad you enjoyed this too.

  • She’s never let me down and I’ver read quite a few of her books!!!

    • I think I’ve read quite a few of her books, as if you couldn’t tell from the ones I listed. LOL

  • I might try one of her novels this summer — I’ve never read her but everyone seems to adore her!

    • I love her fun characters even if they are odd and plots can be predictable

  • Sounds like another fun book from Mansell!

    • It was definitely a fun one.