When I was offered this book to read for review from the publisher, I didn't hesitate. I had just finished Tulip Fever, which I had devoured. Tulip FeWhen I was offered this book to read for review from the publisher, I didn't hesitate. I had just finished Tulip Fever, which I had devoured. Tulip Fever was not really my style of book, but I had read it because of the upcoming movie. I fell in love with the author's style of writing, so knew that I wanted to read Final Demand.
I was reading some other reviews on this book and saw it called Chick Lit and "a light read". I disagree. This book is not a light read. To me, it was more of a psychological drama. There is not a lot of physical action in the book. It is told from a few different points of view, with Natalie, the protaganist, being the main one. She has heard of a scheme to pilfer customer's checks and thinks she has the perfect cover. She will just divert some of the money from the larger companies bills to cover the individual customer's bills - so that the customer's bills appear to be paid, and she then deposits their checks into her own account. The extent that she goes to get the scheme going is outrageous though, and you will have to read the book to find out what she does.
On one afternoon though, the computers go down before she has a chance to transfer money to cover the customer's bills. She doesn't think anything of it and figures she will do it the next day - except that she forgets. This is the small ripple that will affect not only her life, but the customer's lives as well.
I love the way that the author gets inside the heads of the characters. In this way, you see all of their flaws - even the ones that they don't think or know that they have. I also read my own meaning into the title - Final Demand. I always like to try to figure out why the author used that title. In this case, the obvious one is that Natalie was stealing the payments and this caused some customers to receive their final notice - or final demand for payment. I also thought it could reference what some of the characters went through, and what the final demand in their lives were because of their actions, or inactions.
Even though I generally like a book with a lot of action, I found this to be a very good read. The characters were well developed, and I thought they were believable. Someone in a review noted that this wasn't a believable crime - and I have to disagree. This is very much a believable scenario, but one you just don't hear as much about because of the violent crimes that over shadow the white collar ones.
If you haven't read anything by Deborah Moggach - this is a good place to start!...more
I enjoyed reading this book and getting to know Lili. Even though it starts out letting us know she is a widow, this book isn't so much a book about I enjoyed reading this book and getting to know Lili. Even though it starts out letting us know she is a widow, this book isn't so much a book about a widow as it is a book about a woman ready to let go of the past, but afraid to do so. It also uses gardening to throw in some witty repartee in between each of the main chapters.
You have to like Lili. She is now a single mom, just working on getting through a day with her and her kids, Annabel and Clare intact. Her sister is a bastian of support for her, whether it is talking about the mistreatment they received as kids from their mom, taking care of the girls, or talking about the men in their lives. And for Lili there is a new man - but he is the instructor of their Saturday morning gardening class, and he is Danish, and Lili can't stop thinking about the unexpected kiss they shared.
There are a lot of lively characters in the book besides Lili and her sister. The gardening class is filled with people from all walks of life and they come together and blend naturally. As I mentioned earlier, in between each main chapter is a small one page chapter about a different vegetable. It gives you many tips on how to grow them successfully, with some sarcasm thrown in.
I found this to be a quick, easy read - and perfect inspiration to go dig around in some dirt!...more
I really enjoy books set in the South, they always have a different sort of feel to them. Merilee was likable, if somewhat naive, but given her circu I really enjoy books set in the South, they always have a different sort of feel to them. Merilee was likable, if somewhat naive, but given her circumstances I will cut her some slack. I loved Sugar - crusty on the outside, but very caring and loyal underneath - just don't get on her bad side! Of course there are a couple of men in the story - Dan Blackford, "Ken to Heather's Barbie", and a successful doctor to boot! And Wade, grandson of Sugar's best friend and potential love interest for Merilee.
Full of "southernisms" (Bless her heart. . . ) the anonymous blog/blogger lent some humor and wisdom to the goings on in Sweet Apple. There are lots of secrets that get spilled, lots of family - much of it dysfunctional, and lots of love and loyalty. And if you are familiar with the song that I am sure the book takes its name from, there is also murder.
It was a very quick read and I liked the way that it would jump back in time and share Sugar's history. The intermittent blog posts were also fun to read. Perfect for this time of year, it would be a great beach read!...more