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Bookends by Jane Green
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Bookends (2000)

by Jane Green

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Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
Good "chick lit" set in London. Story revolves around a group of college friends and their lives after several years on their own. I enjoyed it. ( )
  wareagle78 | Feb 8, 2014 |
This book felt a little long and I kind of felt like I lived a year in the life of the characters, day by day, but overall the story was good and I enjoyed it. ( )
  ABShepherd | May 15, 2013 |
Nice read. I enjoyed this book, the story brought me in immediately. ( )
1 vote LisMB | Nov 9, 2011 |
I liked the whole idea of a novel centered around opening a bookstore/cafe and going for your dreams, but I didn't feel that aspect was central enough, or full enough of suspense and conflict. The good aspects of the book makes me wish I could rate this a tad higher, but it couldn't hold me to the end. I felt I had read this book dozens of times before. This was better written than most chicklit (which isn't high praise), with a heroine that was relatable--not size 0, not born with a silver spoon and not too-stupid-to-live. I did enjoy the English setting and voice.

Though this is narrated first person by Catherine Warner, this had an unusually ensemble feel to it, since it's about five friends: Catherine herself, Portia, Simon and Josh who she met in university, and Josh's wife Lucy who is her business partner. Actually, that may have been one of the weaknesses, that the first person voice wasn't the best way to tell the story of this group of friends. And too often--which is also too often a danger of a weak first person--too much is told, not shown, sometimes dragging, sometimes running through events without developing so that pacing was also a problem.

Not a problem you tend to notice much because it's really a quick read. A good light airplane/beach read if you're drawn to chicklit, but nothing here makes me want to try more of the author. If many chicklits are tired soap operas, this was far too much of a cliche sitcom. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Sep 8, 2011 |
When a good friend from college shows up again, the dynamic of a group is thrown off and everyone must struggle to find equilibrium. A bookstore, food, TV shows, HIV and love find them.

Four friends, best friends Cath and Simon, and married Josh and Lucy, find their group dynamic thrown out of whack when at the opening of Cath’s and Lucy’s new bookstore, a beautiful friend from college shows up. Funny-ish, a moderately fast read, and a bit predictable in Simon’s case…

This was an okay read. ( )
  kayceel | Feb 9, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
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The first time I met Josh, I thought he was a nice guy but a transient friend.
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Book description
Catherine Warner and Simon Nelson are best friends: total opposites, always together, and both unlucky in love. Cath is scatterbrained, messy, and — since she had her heart broken a few years back — emotionally closed off. Si is impossibly tidy, bitchy, and desperate for a man of his own. They live in London’s West Hampstead along with their lifelong friends, Josh and Lucy, who are happily married with a devil-spawn child and a terrifying Swedish nanny, Ingrid.

All’s well (sort of) until the sudden arrival of a college friend — the stunningly beautiful Portia, who’s known for breaking hearts. Though they’ve grown up and grown apart from Portia, the four friends welcome her back into the fold. But does Portia have a hidden agenda or is she merely looking to reconnect with old friends? Her reappearance soon unleashes a rollicking series of events that tests the foursome’s friendships to the limit and leaves them wondering if a happy ending is in store.

Fortunately, Cath has plenty to take her mind off Portia’s schemes — like her gutsy decision to leave her job in advertising to fulfill her dream of opening a bookstore. And then there’s James, the sexy real-estate agent who keeps dropping by even after the bookstore deal is done. With his irresistible smile and boyish charm could he be the one to melt Cath’s heart?
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0767907817, Paperback)

Bookends, Jane Green's third comic novel of contemporary love and lust, proves beyond a doubt that when it comes to light reading, plot is everything. Bookends makes a great case study because it has little going for it besides plot. Dialogue? Stilted. Characters? Clichéd. Writing style? Sloppy. And yet the book is well-nigh impossible to put down. A few friends meet at university: Simon, the chirpy gay character; Portia, the glamour girl; Josh, the adorable, unpretentious catch; and Cath, the overweight, insecure narrator. Portia strays from their crowd, but the other three remain friends into their 30s. Now successful Londoners, each faces a personal crisis: singleton Cath leaves a secure job to start a bookstore; Simon looks for love; Josh's marriage goes through growing pains. And then Portia, as intimidating and elegant as ever, wanders back into their lives--with surprising results. Green is a past master of the ugly-duckling-turned-swan story. Cath's transformation--neatly echoed by the changes in the lives of her friends--is completely addictive. Plot does indeed rule. --Claire Dederer

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:34 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"Catherine Warner and Simon Nelson are best friends: total opposites, always together, and both unlucky in love. Cath is scatterbrained, messy, and - since she had her heart broken a few years back - emotionally closed off. Si is impossibly tidy, bitchy, and desperate for a man of his own. They live in London's West Hampstead along with their lifelong friends Josh and Lucy, who are happily married with a devil-spawn child and a terrifying Swedish nanny, Ingrid." "All's well (sort of) until the sudden arrival of a college friend - the stunningly beautiful Portia, who's known for breaking hearts. Though they've grown up and grown apart from Portia, the four friends welcome her back into the fold. But does Portia have a hidden agenda or is she merely looking to reconnect with old friends? Her reappearance soon unleashes a rollicking series of events that tests the foursome's friendships to the limit and leaves them wondering if a happy ending is in store."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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