Surprise Me, Sophie Kinsella’s most recent novel, is an adult contemporary fiction novel. This novel takes place in modern day London and revolves around the life of this somewhat young couple living in London. When the novel begins, Sylvie and Dan have been married nine years and are gearing up to celebrate ten years. We learn that they have two young daughters and that Sylvie works for The Willoughby House, an historic house in London that displays antiques and artifacts depicting local history. Dan owns his own business – have to admit that I’m not sure what his business deals with.
Anyway, one afternoon they attend a physical exam for life insurance purposes. During this exam the doctor conducting it points out that based on the exam and average human life expectancy, they could expect about sixty-eight more years or matrimony. Now, I think any normal couple would’ve expected news like this and reacted accordingly; that is not what Sylvie and Dan did. They overreacted big time. Sylvie comes up with the idea of surprising each other in order to keep the marriage from getting stale or boring. Dan agrees to this challenge even though he has a lot going on. The novel follows the adventures and misadventures of Sylvie and Dan as they navigate through this ninth year of marriage with more difficulty than they have the past eight years.
Sylvie’s dad died years prior to the start of the novel, but apparently Dan was really worried about her while she grieved for her father and maybe protected her too much. Anyway, during Sylvie’s “Surprise” campaign, she figures out that Dan and her mother are keeping secrets from her and working behind her back on something. She doesn’t know if it’s a big surprise for her or if its something more serious than that. The novel tells how Sylvie and Dan handle Sylvie’s let’s-surprise-each-other ordeal, how Sylvie deals with the secrets that Dan and her mother are keeping from her, the truth about marriage and herself. It shows how Sylvie handles her career, making realizations about her family and then figuring out what that means. There is more to the novel, but telling anymore would give it all away and take the surprise out of the book!
The novel is good and I would even call it a romantic comedy. There are many characters in this novel and I only named the two main characters, but there is the neighbor and her son, Tilda and Toby respectively. There is Dan’s old friends from school, and old girlfriend, and the lawyer. I liked the book and would recommend it to any woman who loves a good romantic comedy or a humorous book about a married couple trying to keep their marriage exciting. I checked this book out from my local library, but in case your local library does not have it, you can purchase it from Barnes & Noble for $28.00 (Members get it for $19.60) or Amazon for $18.32 (a Prime item).
Until next time, happy reading!! 🙂