Wednesday 22 June 2016

Peanuts & Eggcups - Sara Mendes da Costa

For Maggie Parsons there’s only ever been one man: the stunningly delicious Luke Henderson. Unfortunately, he left her, without explanation, after their ‘first night’ together …breaking her heart in the process. 

Now ten years on, without any contact, he’s back and going to her school reunion. Great! And, to confuse matters…so is his suave, sexy, brother Tony who makes a major play for Maggie, then turns up with his insufferable - supposedly ex – fiancĂ©e! 

Via the reunion, a black eye, getting the sack (as a result) a madcap girlie holiday and juggling her confused emotions around the two alluring brothers…Maggie starts to build a picture of what she really wants in life. 

Trouble is, Maggie’s a pawn in a game she doesn’t even know she’s playing …and things are about to get a whole lot more complicated. 

What did I think?

At a hefty 727 pages long (10 hours on kindle) I felt a little daunted about tackling this book, but I needn't have worried.  The pages absolutely flew by as I read about Maggie's trials and tribulations and felt like I ended the book as one of her close friends. 

I think you could guess from its size that this isn't simply a no-brainer chick lit book and I really must raise my glass to Sara Mendes da Costa on her epic debut; she has really allowed the reader to fully immerse themselves in the book and be part of Maggie's story.  I absolutely loved the writing style and regularly laughed out loud at Maggie's escapades that sometimes resonated all too frighteningly well with me.

Maggie and Catherine have been best friends since school, together with Jenny and Pauline they form a close knit group of four.  As they arrange to meet up at their school reunion, Maggie is worried about bumping into her old flame (and Jenny's brother), Luke, so she contemplates missing the event.  As her friends talk her into going, she is disappointed to learn that Luke will not be there so in the spirit of having a good time she flirts with some old pals, including Luke's brother, Tony.  When things get a bit more serious with Tony, Maggie has to decide whether she really likes Tony or whether he simply reminds her of Luke.

Aside from Maggie's story, there are some excellent storylines for the other characters; Catherine is searching for true love and saving her virginity for 'The One'; Jenny has had an affair with a married man and has bowed out after the wife announced her pregnancy; and Pauline is stumping doctors with a mystery illness and has an unsympathetic husband who doesn't seem to be interested in her health.

As a debut, this is a really exceptional novel and I can't wait to see if we'll hear some more from this group of friends.  There are some absolutely hilarious moments that did literally have me laughing out loud.  I'm not going to spoil any of the book but I am still laughing thinking about Maggie at the dentist.  When the dentist announces that she needs four fillings and a crown, whilst all his tools are in her mouth, she answers with "Huck" and I almost choked.  Why do dentists ask questions when we can't move our mouths?  I also have to give a shout out to my football team, Sunderland, for getting a small mention.  Not in a hilarious way, surprisingly ;-)

This would be a great holiday read, keeping you entertained for hours as you soak up the sun.  Of course there are some predictable elements, but at that point we care so much about the characters that it's exactly what we want to read.  Peanuts & Eggcups is an absolutely delightful read and, despite its mammoth size, I didn't want it to finish.  

I received this e-book from Authoright in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:

Available from Amazon UK

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