Mia Saunders is struggling to make a pile of money (one million dollars to be exact) in order to pay her father's debts. If she can't, the entire fam
Mia Saunders is struggling to make a pile of money (one million dollars to be exact) in order to pay her father's debts. If she can't, the entire family will be murdered. So Mia becomes an escort girl. In January, she helps a rich surfer dude to keep the gold diggers at bay, so he can concentrate on his work. And she has to live with him. Why exactly is still beyond me.
I have read many bad books, but this one took the prize as one of the stupidest I have ever read. The plot is thin and unrealistic, but that would be OK if the story was touching and well written. Which was not the case.
Where to start ...
Let's start with Mia. An awful smug protagonist. She repeatedly indirectly praises herself to a point where it's almost comical. For example, she goes on and on about how brilliant her best friend is, and then adds that they're very much alike. And later Mia describes how beautiful her aunt is, only to add that they are the spitting image of each other.
Mia is also very good at giving advice to the people she encounters. When she meets a woman who is sad because she misses her old job, where she worked with children, Mia suggests that she could begin working with children again - or have children herself! Amazing advice - she should become life coach! But she should probably also stop by a therapist - her father is in a coma and a gangster threatens to kill Mia and her sister, but she doesn't seem upset. On the contrary, she is quite excited about her new wardrobe and the hunky surfer dude.
The book is filled with errors. Typos and outright mistakes. For example, when surfer dude sends her a text message with information about where and when to meet, she reaches for her iPhone to get directions. No, dear Audrey Carlan, if she just read a text, she doesn't need to reach for her iPhone - it's already in her hand! And then there's the time when she shakes her head and says, "Yes, it's fine". Try to shake your head while saying 'yes'. It's very difficult to do. Whether it is the fault of the author, or an error in the Danish translation, I could not say.
On top of that, Calendar Girl is tedious. That's almost the worst part …
Margaret Hale is a young woman who moves with her family from the country to an industrial town where everything is different from what she's used to
Margaret Hale is a young woman who moves with her family from the country to an industrial town where everything is different from what she's used to. There is a different jargon, unfamiliar social norms, and a type of people she has never encountered before. She comes from a finer society and now finds herself among the working class. It changes her. Or rather awakens a previously hidden side of her. She feels great passion for social justice, creates strong bonds with different types of people, becomes an adult, where her parents don't measure up, and she develops feelings for a man she instinctively prefers to argue with.
This could have been a great story. And it was in a way nice and interesting. But unfortunately it lacked both soul and charm. A reader wrote in a previous blog post that " I feel like Gaskell doesn’t quite have Jane Austen’s sense of humor" and I agree with her. Had Jane Austen written 'North and South' she would have sprinkled the pages with humor and sarcasm. The pathetic parents would have had a humorous touch, neighbours and friendships would be filled with warmth and wit, and the love story would have given me butterflies in my stomach.
But the cloud never comes in that quarter of the horizon from which we watch for it.