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Monday to Friday Man by Alice Peterson
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Monday to Friday Man

by Alice Peterson

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Gilly, at 34, is having a rather early mid-life crisis. She's not sure if she wants to stay in London, recovering from being jilted just a fortnight before her wedding. But when she starts looking at living further afield, an old friend suggests she take in a "Monday to Friday' lodger to help pay her bills. After several amusingly dreadful applicants, the almost perfect Jack turns up. His main fault is that he's quite secretive about himself, even after they start - inevitably - an affair.

Gilly has some good (if strange) friends who meet daily while walking their dogs. She works for one of them, and becomes very close to Guy, a nice young man who wears a hat all the time and is conveniently engaged to a girl who's currently travelling. This makes him totally off-limits as far as Gilly is concerned, and they develop a very good platonic friendship. Or so she thinks...

Okay, so it's somewhat predictable 'chick-lit' with a few quirks. But I like Alice Peterson's style, and there's a bit of humour as well as a few deeper issues - in particular a back-story about Gilly's little sister who was born with a serious congenital condition that left her physically handicapped with a short lifespan. For 20p on my Kindle, I thought this an excellent buy and it made a pleasant read.

Recommended if you want something light, fluffy, and mostly quite encouraging. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
This is a pretty decent example of comic romance though it does take a while to warm up. The female characters are far stronger than the male ones who aren't terribly interesting, sadly. Personally I would have preferred less airtime for Jack and Guy, and a greater focus on Gilly's friends and her marvellous boss - I think that would have made for a far more gripping read.

That said, aspects I very much enjoyed and which were very well written were Gilly's relationship with her twin brother and his irritating wife, and also her relationship with her life-limited sister. Really, the sister story is a tour de force of writing, and it made me cry on several occasions - and I don't even like families or children, so you can see just how powerful it was!

One plot line I found irritating or nonsensical, however, was the "deep, dark secret weekend life" Jack keeps from everyone, and which - in the Big Reveal - is supposed to make us like him even less. Um, I'm sorry? The kind of secrets he's keeping are actually rather sweet and he should definitely be congratulated for his compassion and sense of duty. I have no idea why Gilly and Guy think Jack is so dreadful for what he's done here. He most certainly is not - and I began to lose a great deal of interest in Gilly and Guy, and certainly in their opinions, at that point.

I also groaned very deeply indeed when Gilly's confusion about her lack of career is miraculously solved by her instantly becoming a best-selling writer - honestly, this was a cliche when it first arrived as a plot solver in the 1980s, and I wish writers would stop it! It's dull, unrealistic and a serious cop-out of the storyline. Besides of which, if writers were actually being realistic about the writing life, then Gilly would need to endure ten years of serial rejections, several nervous breakdowns, one or two scam publishing deals, at least one sweet-talking but ultimately useless agent, an incident involving foreign lawyers and a nasty email campaign, poor reviews (amongst some good ones), the silence of her family and the embarrassed sympathy of her friends. Put that in your pipe, Gilly, and smoke it is what I say. Harrumph already! So, writers: please get over yourselves and stop writing about writing. For the sake of all our sanities. You've got an imagination - venture outside your own heads once in a while and stop being so damn lazy.

Verdict: some good writing, but a tendency to laziness. 3 stars. ( )
  AnneBrooke | Aug 1, 2014 |
It's OK, not a favourite though. I didn't find the characters especially interesting or easy to warm to. ( )
  rhiand | Apr 28, 2014 |
Fairly predictable storyline in that you knew what ultimately going to happen but harmless fun along the way. For a quick light read I'd recommend. ( )
  autumngirl70 | Apr 3, 2013 |
I read this as part of a Book Club I belong to.
Whilst it didn’t suit everybody’s taste within the club, what it did do was prompt interesting debate and conversation between us all and there was a unanimous agreement that it was a damn good read!
‘Monday to Friday Man’ is humorous and light-hearted. It is an ‘easy’ read which was perfect for our first attempt at a book club. Chick-lit fans should read this book.
It is soundly composed, well structured and takes you through a range of emotions. Characters are well developed, some more than others and quite a few of us could definitely relate to Gilly Brown, which is a sign of a well written book. We could identify with certain characters and others we wanted to scream and shout out.
They all, though, provoked a reaction of some sort. Jack Baker, the lodger of mystery and intrigue caused a stir throughout our group, some positive stirs and some negative which goes to show the depth to which Alice Peterson has dug to produce well rounded, well believable quirky characters; the estate agent who deliberately plays down the houses and local areas, influencing her to stay in London instead, was one of our favourites.
The imagery within the story was marvellous, taking the reader on a journey of visual sensory adventure by placing them right in the mix. You walked the dogs with Gilly. You were in Jack’s parent’s house. You noticed the sympathy and concern written all over the estate agents face. You were there!
The book cover was eye catching and made you want to pick it up off the shelf. It looked girly and romantic. It did what it said on the tin! It worked in the kindle version too which is quite hard to master the two. Too much activity on a book cover loses detail when converted to a thumbnail for the kindle. In today’s electronic age, it is important to remember how your book will look in a digital format. If readers can’t see what the book looks like, they are less likely to download it, therefore missing out on a potentially great story. ( )
  matildawrenauthor | Feb 23, 2013 |
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Love stories. Chick Lit. What do you do if you're 34, single and recovering from being jilted two weeks before your wedding day? This is the dilemma Gilly Brown finds herself in. While friends are marrying, having children and moving into the depths of the countryside, Gilly finds herself alone in London and holding on to her fractured family with their tragic past. It's time to meet new people. So, she decides to get a Monday to Friday lodger, and after a succession of alarming interviews finally finds the perfect one in the shape of handsome reality television producer Jack Baker. Gilly falls for Jack's charm and is transported into an exciting social whirlwind of parties, dining out and glamour. When Jack is introduced to Gilly's family and friends, it's only the attractive and eccentric Guy, the newest recruit to her dog-walking group, who isn't quite so convinced about Jack's intentions. As Guy watches them grow closer, his suspicions of Jack and his feelings for Gilly deepen. Is Jack so perfect after all... and what exactly does he get up to at the weekends?… (more)

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