The Vacillations of Poppy Carew

by Mary Wesley

Poppy has just been dumped by her long term, live in boyfriend for another woman- a richer woman. She then learns her father is very ill, and goes to visit him in hospital, where he dies while laughing at the news about her ex-boyfriend who he never liked. Before he died, he told her to organise a fun funeral for him, and directed her to a new company that did rococco themed funerals.

She now finds herself in new territory- she has to plan the funeral, she meet her dads solicitor and finds out he was actually rich, and this leads her to start to learn a whole lot about her dad as a person that she never knew. She deals with the breakup of her relationship- reflecting that actually her ex was rather selfish, and not good for her. She comes across a few men who are interested in her, and gets sucked back in by her ex for a while.

The good points about this book is that it is quirky, light hearted and easy to read. But there quite a few things I didn’t like- for example almost all the main characters. The author tried to create humor in the characters flaws, but ended up creating characters who were pretty terrible people, that I didn’t connect with or like. I could imagine how it would work as a movie- I think the humorous side and the chemistry would come out more- and I discovered that it has been turned into a movie in 1995. But when you have to spend an hour or more to read through the characters’ selfishness, pettiness, indecisiveness, poor choices and so on, in order to get to anything vaguely resembling a redeeming characteristic, it is not so great.

You might like this book if you like Bridget Jones but with a bit more complexity, flawed characters and stupid decisions.

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