Books: Suitable reading with or without 'Unsuitable Men' experience






Though relatively new to the world of women's fiction, Pippa Wright pens a comical read with her latest offering, 'Unsuitable Men'.

Set in London, 29-year-old Rory Carmichael is unwillingly launched back into single-hood after the end of her 11-year relationship.

After years of perceived domestic bliss with Martin, her boring but reliable 'Mr Right', Rory is stunned by the discovery of his infidelity, and is brutally forced to re-evaluate everything she thought of what she wanted in a relationship.

In a bid to revive her love life and lacklustre career at a posh magazine, Rory embarks on a mission to date as many unsuitable men – or 'Mr Wrongs' – as possible and write about them in an online column.

What follows is a series of hilarious encounters as she meets a variety of men, from rich elderly landowners and musicians, to war veterans and office interns.

Thankfully, the story is more than just a string of bad dates.

Rory's experiences take her on a journey of self-discovery, and over time she realises how much wrong she did to herself to accommodate her 'Mr.Right'.

Although fictional, Rory is a believable character you'll grow to like.

Readers can identify with her anxieties and fears as she struggles to find her place in the office, wonders how her relationship went downhill, and ponders her shelf-life while coping with feelings of loneliness.

As the story progresses, it is hard not to root for Rory as she gamely rolls with the punches that come her way.

Aside from the female protagonist, the narrative's supporting characters are also stars in their own right.

Most notable is Rory's colleague, Ticky – the office's self-appointed shoulder to cry on who speaks with a distinct drawl that the writer pens in exactly the way it sounds - from "oh my goouurd" to "raaahlly".

Though funny when spoken aloud, its novelty wears thin after a while and can become a bit grating.

Despite their bizarre personalities and quirks, Wright gives her characters a touch of vulnerability, making them more relatable and less like caricatures.

Overall, the narrative moves quite quickly, and Wright strikes a good balance between the more serious parts of the story and its laugh-out-loud moments.

Although the ending is somewhat predictable, as most books of this genre tend to be, it is still a light-hearted read for those with a couple of hours to spare.

It's clear that Wright was not looking to reinvent the wheel with 'Unsuitable Men', and it should be enjoyed for exactly what it is – a chick lit title with a good dose of British humour.

-CNA/sf



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