First SentenceEvery other storefront is a sandwich shop without a low-carb advertisement in sight.
Take one twenty six year old American, add to one two thousand year old city, add a big dose of culture clash and stir.
To think Hannah ever believed that Americans differed from Brits mainly in pronunciation, sophistication and dentistry. That’s been the understatement of a lifetime.
She lands upon England’s gentle shores with no job, no friends and no idea how she’s supposed to build the life she’s dreaming of.
Armed with little more than her enthusiasm, she charges headlong into London, baffling the locals in her pursuit of a new life, new love and sense of herself.
Author’s Note: I used all the feedback that reviewers have kindly provided to edit the book for its US launch. So, for instance, footnotes are not included in the US edition.
What a great gem of a chick lit Single in the City is! I’ve had this book on my wishlist for yonks and I finally got hold of a copy of it when Michele offered Misfortune Cookie to myself for review (and I absolutely have to read in order) and I am so glad I finally got around to reading it!
Single in the City is such a delightful read. Written in a fun and very comical style, vaguely reminiscent of the likes of Kinsella herself, I found it entirely unputdownable as I laughed from one of Hannah’s exploits to the next. My favourite absolutely had to be the cultural discovery of British men generally being uncircumcised, which I honestly didn’t realise was a thing in America. I was caught in the midst of a good old guffaw several times while reading, that one in particular being cause for running in to tell my boyfriend all about it.
As Hannah (great name by the way) comes over to London and fumbles her way through the unexpectedly different culture, we get the privilege of seeing her first observations of Londoners through her eyes. As a Brit myself, I already knew many of the things Hannah is learning throughout the novel so it was a lot of fun to gauge the reactions of somebody who isn’t at all used to British norms. From something as simple as ordering a sandwich:
I don’t see any salads. “No, no salad.”
He closes the sandwich and starts wrapping it.
“Uh, can I please have some tomatoes?”
The lady next to me is staring at me like tomato is a dirty word.
“You didn’t want salad.”
“That’s right, no salad. I want tomatoes.”
To the idea of liquid lunches and London’s public transport system. All the while, Michele details the Americanisms for us Brits in the form of footnotes and boy do I love them. There are many things I’ve learned from watching American TV but there were still many things for which I was most grateful for an explanation!
I did have a little issue with the non-existent scene breaks which often broke up the story a little. When you’re happily reading along and suddenly it’s two days later, you just have to stop and get your bearings for a moment. It breaks the flow and I just wished there were more scene breaks but that was my only real issue with it.
Hannah herself comes across as being a little bit shallow. She’s big into fashion and labels and almost missed a chance with a great guy because of this. However she’s a wonderfully quirky character, spontaneously moving to London with a nonrefundable and expensive ticket on a drunken dare without a plan and improvising her way through London life. As such she ends up going through all sorts of hilarious dating exploits, work issues and accidentally falling into a life she comes to adore and I love her. I really do. She has taken life by the horns and ran off with it, which is an admirable thing.
So guys, Single in the City is a great book with a warm ending. By the end you’ll be pining for more so if you’re into chick lit and haven’t read this one yet – do so!!
The Single in the City series: