Sunday, July 26, 2009

Operation Sunshine – Jenny Colgan

This was a very silly book. Silly in a fun way, enjoyable, but definitely silly.

The main character is a ditzy young woman – why is it that chic lit protagonists are all so ditzy? Sometimes that can be fun, sometimes, as in the first three-quarters of this book, it’s a bit grating. But maybe that’s deliberate – by the end of the book the main character has grown to the point where I actually like her. At the start, she’s pretty dumb even by the standards of the type. And it’s not just the main character who is silly. This book pretty firmly mocks every one of its characters, who spring from a range of stereotypes. Well, at least that’s an even-handed approach.

The plot seems to veer between classic chic-lit holiday romance, family-from-hell farce, and eco-warrior conspiracy spoof. As if it doesn’t know where it’s going, although, again, no doubt deliberately so, since the main character certainly has no idea where she’s going.

When the book does veer towards seriousness – mainly in its attitude to the cosmetic surgery industry – it does so in a lighthearted and humorous way, and I can’t disagree with any of its observations.

But for all that, this book is supposed to be harmless fun, and it manages that pretty well.