The Time of Our Lives by Jane Costello
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
'Three best friends. One five-star hotel. Will it be the holiday of a lifetime . . .?
Imogen and her friends Meredith and Nicola have had their fill of budget holidays, cattle-class flights and 6 a.m. offensives for a space by the pool.
So when Meredith wins a VIP holiday at Barcelona's hippest new hotel, they plan to sip champagne with the jet set, party with the glitterati and switch off in unapologetic luxury.
But when the worst crisis of her working life erupts back home, Imogen has to juggle her BlackBerry with a Manhattan, while soothing a hysterical boss and hunting down an AWOL assistant.
Between a robbery, a run-in with hotel security staff and an encounter on a nudist beach that they'd all rather forget, the friends stumble from one disaster to the next. At least Imogen has a distraction in the form of the gorgeous guy who's always in the right place at the very worst time. Until, that is, his motives start to arouse a few suspicions . . .
Hilarious and heart-warming by turns, The Time of Our Lives is Jane Costello at her romantic best.'
Jane Costello is a lovely fluid writer, the words just glide seamlessly over the pages making reading her novels a truly effortless experience. She has a good sense of wit and ingenuity making all her characters believable and identifiable. Love her humour; one of the best writers for me of enjoyable funny novels is Sophie Kinsella and having read all her novels I truly believed no one would come close to the connection she has with readers; Jane Costello is the exception.
I managed to read this book in record time given that I am not on holiday sitting by a pool I read it in 3 days which is by my standards of evenings and weekends quite a feat. The story is basically about three friends, very different and individual; they have holidayed in the past together on budget cheap holidays, had to rough it but had fun together
so when one of the trio wins a competition for a luxury holiday in Barcelona they jump at the chance to have a week of luxury together. Since their last holiday together years previously the girls lives have moved on, Imogen has a daughter Florence who is just about to start school, Meredith is 7 months pregnant with her first child and Nicky is battling her own problems of getting her parents to accept her partner Jessica is in her life for good. Add to the mix a very sexy Journalist Harry, a boss with impossibly hilarious situations like when Imogen goes into a pharmacist and buys what she thinks is foot cream and it turns out to be Thrush cream and you begin to get a flavour of this wacky funny read.
There are some really poignant parts to this novel, deeper insights into the sometimes sad character of Imogen and all she has had to go through in her life but it is essentially a celebration of friendship, new beginnings and happy endings. Like all chick lit novels this is predictable in that it always works out well in the end for all the characters and you know that this will happen but it is such fun getting to that part and I was genuinely sad that I had come to the end.
I did laugh out loud with this novel; there are some really great one liners and Imogen's character shines through all the way, I found myself wanting it all to come right for her and for her to get what she deserved.
I could easily see this book being turned into a very successful film, engaging, funny, endearing characters, so many laughs that it leaves you with tears in your eyes and a feel good factor - lovely anytime read and thoroughly recommended.
This ranks with the best chick lits and I would easily give this novel a 4.5 stars - read it you won't be disappointed!
I would like to thank the publisher for sending me this wonderful book to read.