What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

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UNSOLVED: One specific book > British Chick Lit. 90s/early 2000s fiction. Woman in her late 20s (with boring office job) has a quarter life crisis, fling with a younger man (university student). She drinks a lot with friends.

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message 1: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1531 comments I read this around 2004. The author is female. I would describe the genre as kind of upmarket chick lit? Mass market but not too cheesy. Think Emily Barr or Kate Bingham (but definitely not by either of those authors).

The main character was a woman in her late 20s having a sort of quarter life crisis, unhappy in her job, feeling she hadn't achieved what she was supposed to by this point in life, freaking out that her friends were settling down and getting married. She started dating a much younger man, maybe about 19 years old, but felt conflicted that he was too young for her. He really fell for her and was upset when she finally broke things off.

The rest of the plot was about her deciding to make some changes in her life and start acting like more of a grown-up. I can't remember exactly what she did but it probably involved changing her career. The book was set in the UK and she went to the pub with her friends a lot. Can't remember anything about the cover.

Any help appreciated.


message 2: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1531 comments bump


message 3: by Kris (last edited Oct 10, 2018 06:20PM) (new)

Kris | 33490 comments Mod
Rachel, what's the tone - romantic, angsty, steamy/clean, funny, etc.? What are Emily Barr and Kate Bingham novels like?

Can you tell us more about the couple - their jobs/student/skills/interests, how they met, what they have in common, etc.?

Is it set in a large UK city like London or Edinburgh?


message 4: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1531 comments Hi Kris

I would describe the tone of the book as thoughtful, sometimes humorous but somewhat angsty.

I mentioned Emily Barr and Kate Bingham as examples of authors who write mass market fiction aimed primarily at women, but without the stereotypical "chick lit" approach that tends to focus on shopping and escapism. For a more recent comparison, think How Do You Like Me Now? or Living the Dream - these both had a similar tone to the book I am looking for.

The female main character had a boring office job that she hated - maybe something in marketing? The love interest was still a university student.

It was set in a UK city, but I don't remember which one.


message 5: by Kris (new)

Kris | 33490 comments Mod
For purposes of elimination: she's never been married? she's not a college/university professor?

Do you think they met through online dating, a chance encounter in a pub, a college course, etc.?


message 6: by Rachel (last edited Oct 11, 2018 07:27AM) (new)

Rachel | 1531 comments No, I don't think the heroine was ever married - but a lot of her friends are starting to settle down, hence the quarter life crisis. She does not work in academia. She either has a highly paid job that she hates, or an entry level job that she can't seem to progress in - can't remember which - but not at a university.

I think she meets the guy by chance, maybe in a pub or a club. She definitely spends a lot of time drinking. I remember a mention of her drinking Bloody Marys with friends after a big night out. I think she initially didn't realise how young the guy was when they first met, and debated whether to continue seeing him after she found out. They did end up dating but (view spoiler)

When I try and picture the book cover I seem to remember it had a photo image with green grass on it, and maybe a blurred female figure? but i might be mis-remembering.


message 7: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1531 comments bump


message 8: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1531 comments bump


message 9: by Rainbowheart (new)

Rainbowheart | 16272 comments Have you checked this list?

Best Older woman/ Younger man romance


message 10: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1531 comments I'll have a look Rainbowheart, but I wouldn't really describe it as a romance book.

Than again, My Cousin Rachel is on that list so I guess anything goes!


message 11: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1531 comments bump


message 12: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1531 comments age gap relationship bump


message 13: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1531 comments age gap relationship bump


message 14: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1531 comments age gap bump


message 15: by Kris (new)

Kris | 33490 comments Mod
No Strings Attached (Chic Manila, #3) by Mina V. Esguerra No Strings Attached by Mina V. Esguerra?

(Google search - site:www.goodreads.com chicklit "late twenties" "younger man")


message 16: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1531 comments Kris, this has so many similarities with the book I am looking for, but it's not the one! The protagonist in my book was British and white. I also think there was a bigger age gap - the love interest was about 19 and a university student, while the main character was about 28-30. Thanks for the suggestion though.


message 17: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1531 comments age gap relationship bump

I just had a random memory that the book may have ended with the main character singing onstage with her friends even though she had a terrible singing voice, as a "dance like nobody's watching" kind of thing. But I could be confusing two different books here.


message 18: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1531 comments age gap relationship bump


message 19: by Patricia (new)

Patricia | 17 comments Did she meet this younger guy in Hawaii? I think in the end of the story she goes back to Hawaii (or he came to where she was). I'll check my book reviews and see if I can find a book for you.


message 20: by Patricia (new)

Patricia | 17 comments Is the book FLIRTING WITH FORTY by Jane Porter?


message 21: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1531 comments Thanks Patricia for the suggestion, but this isn't the book I'm thinking of. The heroine had never been married and didn't have kids. Thanks anyway!


message 22: by Patricia (new)

Patricia | 17 comments You are very welcome! Hope you find the book you are looking for.


message 23: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1531 comments quarter life crisis bump


message 24: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1531 comments quarter life crisis bump


message 25: by Kris (last edited Jul 30, 2020 08:49PM) (new)

Kris | 33490 comments Mod
I added some plot details to the topic header, so your book might be recognized from that description alone. Many members only read the headers.

Feel free to update it by clicking the small "edit" link after the topic header. This only works on the full Desktop website - not the Mobile website or app. (On the Mobile website, there's a "Desktop version" link at the bottom of the page.)

- What's he studying at university or hoping to become when he graduates?


message 26: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1531 comments Thanks Kris. I can't remember what the guy was studying. The book didn't really go into detail about that as it was told from the woman's POV.


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