Remembering Sophie

4 Jun

Sophie Kinsella the wildly successful author of the Shopaholic series, riding high on the coat tails of the film adaptation of the series, has once again written a wildly entertaining novel that’s fluffier than Sunday morning omelette!

Meet Lexi in 2004, an average underachieving 24 year old with crooked teeth and frizzy hair. She has a so-so job and a so-so boyfriend whom everyone calls “loser Dave”

Meet Lexie our heroine, who wakes up in a hospital four years later to find out that she has everything she has ever dreamed off. Straight teeth and glossy hair? Check. Married to a ridiculously good-looking guy who just happens to be a millionaire? Check. Company Director? Check. But not everything is as perfect as it seems. It looks as though while climbing the ladder of success, she has lost her friends, her morals and her work ethics. Who’s the sexy guy in dark jeans claiming she was having an affair with him ?

We share Lexi’s anxieties and misfortunes as she tries to piece her life back together, and triumph when she finally gets a fleeting memory, that leads her back to her real love. The contrast of culture from 2004 to 2007 is fresh and funny as seen through Lexi’s eyes. Mentions of outdated celebrity gossip or political scandals add to the light nature of the book. Amnesia tales may be overdone, but Kinsella manages to keep things interesting. The situations Lexi goes through are comical because of the amnesia, and her monologues are entertaining, if a bit too blonde.

The most interesting parts of the book come when Lexi is trying to discover what drove her to this complete personality change. She looks to her husband and friends to demonstrate what her life has become and searches for some fragment of the old Lexi.

The book is written only from Lexi’s point of view which could potentially become dull for the reader but from the start it was as if I were drawn into Lexi’s life and urging her to find the answers she desperately needs to piece together her missing years.

Like all of Kinsella’s protagonists, Lexi is quirky, a bit off-center and of course utterly lovable. One can’t help but root for Lexi to get her happy ending.

What makes this book unique, however, is that when she wakes up, Lexi is the woman that every chick lit heroine loves to hate: sleek and polished, beautiful, refined, and very unpleasant in the workplace – in short a total nightmare. It’s interesting to see what Kinsella does with that role reversal, how the reader sympathizes with the snooty boss in charge instead of condemning her.

The supporting characters – from Lexi’s punk princess sister to her outdated mum obsessed with her dogs and even her scoundrel of a dad (seen only via videotape taken before he died three years earlier) – fill in the missing pieces of Lexi’s true self very nicely.The only drawback to the characters is that even though it has engaging and lively characters they can sometimes veer towards caricatures.

The book has a Bridget Jones quality to it and as any chick lit fan knows- is hard to imitate. The British slang, for you Anglophiles out there, is amusing whilst the rest of the language is plain and straightforward. The conversations seem quite “authentically blonde”, so to speak. So expect a lot of OMGs and over excited women jumping about.

It’s very easy to see this novel being turned into a movie. A romantic comedy with eccentric characters that eventually results in a happy ending. In fact at some points in the book, I couldn’t help but think that, that was the reason, some of the plot points were there – because it would translate so well on screen. In fact I’ve already cast most of the characters on my own-which I won’t divulge for your benefit.

On the whole ‘Remember Me’ is not exactly a mind – boggling, life changing literary masterpiece, but it’s a wonderful novel its own genre.


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