We’re delighted to be sharing Elena’s thoughts about vintage romcom What If? by Shari Low on the Rachel’s Random Resources tour.
It’s been 20 years since this book was first published so therefore is set in a world before social media. The Internet was something we had to dial up for and wait for the screeching to end in order to use. All the references throughout the book really made me smile as I was smack bang in the middle of my degree at the time so I relished the good dose of nostalgia I received while reading it.
Carly Cooper is approaching her 30s. She is single and hates her job working for a toilet roll company. Home is a tiny studio flat in London which costs a hefty chunk of her salary. After school she went travelling to some amazing places and got engaged a fair few times but never actually got married. Now that she is doing some soul searching she feels that in order to truly move on and learn from her mistakes she must revisit all of her ex fiancés to try and fathom what went wrong with their relationships.
The way the book is structured, the first half of the book is told through a series of flashbacks with the story of each of her fiancés and the reasons for their failed romances. We get to know each of the men Carly almost marries and the reasons their relationship ended.
In the second half Carly springs into action – going on a quest to track down her exes – a much harder task 20 years ago than it would be today with no social media, smartphones or Internet stalking to help her. She relies on letters and phone books instead.
I absolutely loved this book and the nostalgia I felt really added to my enjoyment along with the chatty easygoing writing style.
It’s funny and uplifting and despite being written 20 years ago still has relevant themes for today. In fact some of the references are really prophetic!
I particularly love how each of the chapters is named after a famous song of the era and every time I read a new one I had the song going round and round in my head.
What If? is a fun and witty read which has made me desperately want to read the follow-up book in the series.
Shari Low is the #1 bestselling author of over 25 novels, including One Day In Summer and My One Month Marriage and a collection of parenthood memories called Because Mummy Said So. She lives near Glasgow.
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