Title: A Hopeless Romantic
Author: Harriet Evans
Release Date: October 9, 2007
Publisher: Downtown Press
Genre: Chick Lit
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
From the back cover:
Laura Foster is a hopeless romantic. Her friends know it, her parents know it – even Laura acknowledges she lives either with her head in the clouds or buried in a romance novel. It’s proved harmless enough, even if it hasn’t delivered her a real-life dashing hero yet. But when her latest relationship ends in a disaster that costs her friendships, her job, and nearly her sanity, Laura swears off men and hopeless romantic fantasies for good.
With her life in tatters around her, Laura agrees to go on vacation with her parents. After a few days of visiting craft shops and touring the stately homes of England, Laura is ready to tear her hair out. And then, while visiting grand Chartley Hall, she crosses paths with Nick, the sexy, rugged estate manager. She finds she shares more than a sense of humor with him – in fact, she starts to think she could fall for him. But is Nick all he seems? Or has Laura got it wrong again? Will she open her heart only to have it broken again?
When I first picked up A Hopeless Romantic I was intrigued by the premise, because though I’m not necessarily a hopeless romantic, I love the idea of being one (if that makes any sense). However, I was a little daunted by the length of this hefty tome – 531 pages of chick lit? Really?
When I began to read it, though, I realized that A Hopeless Romantic is so much more than your average, fluffy chick lit novel. While most of the elements in a chick lit novel are present, this book really is about Laura’s journey to become a fully realized person. There is much less of the getting drunk with friends and embarrassing moments than in most British chick lit novels. As far as light and fluffy goes, this is more serious than your usual fare.
That’s not to say that A Hopeless Romantic isn’t light hearted though. It’s just that the novel focuses on Laura’s inability to find happiness within herself. It’s about her struggle to stop being a hopeless romantic, to stop trying to live the clichés her friends ascribe to her. Once she finally accomplishes that, though, is she even really still Laura? Or has she become someone else entirely?
For being over 500 pages, this book really flew by. I took it in small doses, but in the end, I ended up hunkering down with it and speeding to the end, wanting to find out what finally happens to Laura. The ending? It’s a bit anti-climactic and predictable, but is still satisfying.
One thing I would love to see is a sequel. I’d love to catch up with Laura a few years later, to see how she has evolved and come to handle the new changes and stresses thrust upon her by the choices she made at the end of A Hopeless Romantic. I feel like that’s high praise for a book – getting to know the characters so well and caring about them to the point where you want to continue their journey with them after the last pages are turned. Evans wrote the character of Laura incredibly well.
I definitely recommend A Hopeless Romantic. Don’t let the size daunt you – it’s quick, light, and very easy to read. If you don’t normally read chick lit because you find it a bit too fluffy, this might be a good book for you as well! I certainly enjoyed it!