The thought which usually stays with me after I finish her book is… ‘Wow!! This lady has wit in the true sense’. I love her writing style but I love her wittiness more. The way she spreads out her scene in front of the readers with the description and the dialogues and gestures is so relatable and realistic. As you focus your mind and get engaged with the image of the scene… there pops the humour.
Title: I Owe You One
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first.” But since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn’t take care of her father’s legacy, who will? It’s simply not in her nature to say no to people.
So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, Fixie not only agrees—she ends up saving it from certain disaster. Turns out the computer’s owner is an investment manager. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, Sebastian scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. But Fixie laughs it off—she’d never actually claim an IOU from a stranger. Would she?
Then Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan, comes back into her life and his lack of a profession pushes all of Fixie’s buttons. She wants nothing for herself—but she’d love Seb to give Ryan a job. And Seb agrees, until the tables are turned once more and a new series of IOUs between Seb and Fixie—from small favors to life-changing moments—ensues. Soon Fixie, Ms. Fixit for everyone else, is torn between her family and the life she really wants. Does she have the courage to take a stand? Will she finally grab the life, and love, she really wants?
For me, Kinsella comes out as a trendy author as well. She involves things which are popular among the youth, in her stories. As a reader, I like this trait in her novels. Sophie Kinsella’s strength is that the characters and situations she creates are very relatable. Her stories are ones which give you a feeling of being real. The possibility of her stories occurring somewhere, in this real world, is quite high.
The other thing that I love about her books is that she doesn’t give unnecessary importance to the characters looks or appearance. She is not into writing punch lines or big dialogues for the characters… the conversation is similar to what we would do in our day to day lives.
Having said that the author is one of the brilliant ones I have ever read, I will come straight to the recently published book of hers- ‘I Owe You One’.
Although there was the usual brilliance of Kinsella’s writing shining throughout the book, there were a few shadows lurking in between. Let’s look into them one at a time-
I love that in Kinsella’s books. There is energy whirling around in her writing. The story moves fast, is interesting and engaging. This book had the same vibe. The story keeps on going from one frame to another at a pace which compels the reader to keep reading it.
This is one thing which cannot be denied about Kinsella’s books. She is such a natural in creating such scenes. It only can be read to be understood.
He stares at me for about twenty seconds as though he can’t compute anything, and I stare back, agonized, wondering where to start.
“Your name is Sebastian,” I say at last, in slow, careful tones.
“I know that!” he says.
Coming to the characters in the story, each one has been given due importance. Of course, the female protagonist has the main focus but her interaction with the other characters doesn’t overshadow their part. Fixie as a person has been portrayed having her own insecurities and complexes due to her siblings. She later develops into a more confident person. Though the situations leading to it are difficult yet the author brings out the humour in them.
It was a cute plot of owing something to someone and then building a story out of it. I liked it. The romance grows in a very subtle way along with all the other incidents happening with the characters.
The climax part with difficult siblings was something one could anticipate but somehow I felt, the transition from bad to good was just too quick. I say this in comparison to the time Fixie took to bring a change in her personality—there are many instances in the story where Fixie goes through trouble and with coaxing and encouragement from other characters; she finally becomes surer of herself and her wishes.
On the other hand, her siblings change in a matter of minutes. One minute they are distant and snobbish and another minute they are all accommodating and listening to her. It was too quick for my understanding.
A great character is drawn by the author. But there was one trait of his, which didn’t go well with me. He flips between his love-interests so quickly. It appears too contradictory to his character. He breaks with the prior and gets together with another. Then when he breaks with the latter, he goes back to the previous one.
I mean to say with all of his other factors of being a self-made man and being intelligent and such a support to the lady protagonist, he somehow is shown very weak-willed when it comes to the romantic part in his life.
All in all a great read. Witty, interesting and fun to read… just like the other books by the author. Sophie Kinsella does it again, keeps you engrossed in the book till the very end.
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