Other People’s Business , HJ Moat
So, blush time here, I’m a book lover who’s never read Much Ado About Nothing.
In my defence we were force fed Shakespeare at school, never allowed to just enjoy a book but had to dissect it, analyse the life out of it, and for me that just spoiled it. Not just Shakespeare but other fiction too…..didn’t affect my love of books and stories but did put me off some Classics. So I can’t tell you how it stands up the the original, just how this appealed to me as a contemporary story.
Great characters here from Lawrence – who I hated as a supercilious rich boy, Will and Imogen who were both so sweet it almost hurt my teeth, and my favourites Ben and Bee. I loved those two, they had such perfect lines, such acid humour and though I understood why Bee was so hurt, I didn’t really understand Ben til we learned more of him towards the end.
Of course there’s also nasty John, Lawrence’s brother, who’s malicious through and through, Daniel and Barnaby who work for Lawrence and who he’s insisted are invited to the wedding. In his typical steamroller way Lawrence has commandeered the wedding as a kind of team building exercise, and Imogen is so in love with Will that she goes along with everything. I’d like to see him try that with Bee 🙂
Then there’s Len, Imogen’s father who’s such a great guy. He’s worked hard for his wealth but hasn’t forgotten his roots, and adores his daughters and Bee.
One more star, Frank ( I think was his name), the guy who looks after the grounds and pigs for Len. He was just perfect with his two cohorts when things went awry!
So, the wedding of the century is on, or at least that’s how it feel to Bee, and she’s going to come face to face with Ben. And its not going to be pleasant.
True to form there are some acidly sharp, but very funny exchanges, but each leash their claws a little as its a wedding of their best freinds.
I loved the snappy humour, the way it was clear that love and hate are really two sides of the same coin. these two were perfect for each other. If only they could get past their pasts….
Everything’s going well, and then cracks seep in. Ben seems to get excluded from some secret mystery meetings between Will, Lawrence and John, and the three are acting very strangely.
When the bombshell hits Ben really comes into his own. I Hated the smugness of Will and Lawrence, hated their actions and poor Immy. what an awful thing.
From then its all about change, with relationships on and off, on and off before they all finally settle.
Its a fun read, a good romance, ( though I still feel Immy was too good for Will. His actions really were horrific, whatever he believed – but she loved him!)
Like I said, how it stands up to Shakespeare I can’t tell you, but I enjoyed it as a story in its own right.
I’ve read books based on other stories and films, and seen films of books and for me they work best when they take the ethos and run with it, but create a fresh new story rather than following step for step the original.
From reading synopsis of Shakespeare’s MAAN I think this one is one of those, the fresh story based on an original line.
If you’re looking for a romance read with lots of drama, some great humour and fabulous characters then give this a try, its a fun story.
Stars: Five, a book that made me smile, made me sad and at times made me angry. For me a great read.
ARC supplied for review purposes by author