Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Days Like These: A Book Review

You've stuck to a reading diet of substantial literature, avoiding anything too saccharine. But at some point you need a little sweet to satisfy that craving for the literary equivalent of candy floss.

DAYS LIKE THESE is a highly predictable piece of feel-good writing, all empty calories that amuse without asking much of you in return. The novel follows Judy Schofield, British grandmother, and her brief escapade as caretaker of her exceedingly precious grandchildren. Hilarity ensues. There is wit to be found in these pages.

It's the sort of fiction that is often set in highly competitive New York City circles, with all those tiger parents looking to get their offspring an advantage in future advancement. The world that Judy falls into is packed with after school activities and learning oppportunities and high pressure to perform, which she as the clueless woman of a certain age has never experienced. For variety, the setting is London, but the same sort of people populate this novel. The alternate location shakes things up a bit, which is always welcome.

For those who had their children later in life, you might be cringing at the thought that author Sue Margolis thinks the average 62-year-old female has no idea what the competitive elementary school environment involves, but this book is all about suspending disbelief so swallow your stung pride. No, you're not all that old at 62. But there's a love story in here and it just wouldn't work so well if the Judy character was in her 70's, right?

Ah yes, there's romantic tension and secondary characters having the usual sorts of issues, and let us not forget the queen bee-mean girl character who sits atop the parental food chain. She gets her come-uppance, of course, because that's what always happens in these sweet little novels that you can consume in a weekend.

With all the unpleasantness in the world, this is a perfect time to settle in with Sue Margolis' newest. Escape into a place where everything comes right in the end and the endings are happy. Sometimes you need to indulge in a heavy dose of sugar.

With thanks to Penguin Random House for the early review copy.

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