Early morning surprise...
Fridays are The Independent's book review days - they have a little supplement. They very rarely review chick lit (well, very few national newspapers do - and frequently only feature the stuff to have a go at falling moral standards, appalling writing, the depraved nature of modern publishing etc.), but they have good profiles which I like reading. So imagine my surprise - and, my anticipated horror - when I saw Brown Owl's Guide to Life listed under the Paperback section.
I was sure I knew what was coming. It was BOUND to be evil: an excuse to lay into vapid female writers etc etc. But, like picking a scab, I had to have a peep. And this is what it said:
Brown Owl's Guide to Life, by Kate Harrison (ORION £6.99 (408pp)
The 35-year-old heroine of Kate Harrison's spirited third novel is used to being bossed around. For the first 18 years of her life it was her mother, a Brown Owl, who ruled the roost, and now her husband Andrew ("the civil service equivalent of Mr Universe") dictates the pattern of her life. Following her mother's death, Lucy reconvenes the Pixie troop of her childhood, and finds that the Brownie Handbook is the self-help manual she's always been searching for. A larky and undemanding tale of mid-life redemption that leaves even the most organised Girl Guide unprepared. (Emma Hagestadt)
Now, OK, maybe 'undemanding' is not a word to have me singing in the rain, but the rest of it is a good summary of the book and I very much like 'spirited' and 'larky' - and the tiny quotation gives a good flavour of my style. And I can't even quibble with undemanding, as when I checked my 'Fog Index' statistics on amazon.com (can't find them now, they've disappeared), it made it crystal clear that my vocab and sentence structure wouldn't tax a bright nine-year-old. But I don't think you need complex language to say what you want to say.
Anyhow, it's just nice to have a review, and one by someone who seems to have found the book entertaining - which is precisely what I'm aiming for. So thank you, Emma (never met her, by the way).
Back to the words...