Author: Miranda Dickinson
Genre: Chick Lit
Published: 8th November 2012
Source: Review copy from publisher
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First Sentence“Excuse me, miss?”
Elsie Maynard looked up from her half-crossed-out shopping list to see the hulking figure of a security guard blocking her way.
Elsie Maynard never expected to be starting again…
…but eighteen months on from the biggest challenge of her life, she is doing just that –because she made a promise to the person who believed in her the most.
Determined to step into her uncertain future, Elsie meets handsome Oliver Hogarth, who seems intent on winning her heart; she inadvertently founds a choir, and overcomes obstacles – most of which involve arrogant Torin Stewart.
Then a heartfelt request brings her to Paris – and the final item on ‘The List’ that she never dared complete.
Can Elsie follow her heart and put her past to rest?
First and foremost When I Fall in Love, though you’d definitely think as much from the very festive and lovely cover art, is not a Christmas themed book. In fact, not a single part of it is set in December. What it is is a gorgeous story about moving on from a great loss and discovering life and how to love once again, and it definitely has that magical feeling. When I Fall in Love is the kind of book that can be read and enjoyed at any time of year and as such would make a perfect Christmas present for chick lit readers.
When I Fall in Love is actually the first of Miranda Dickinson’s novels I have read but I’m definitely a convert. The warmth of her writing is simply amazing and her sense of humour makes me feel right at home. She also happened to get something in my eye once or twice.. how that happened is beyond me. It was just dust I swear.
The characters in the novel really make the story what it is. Miranda has written side characters with as much life as the heroine, including characters that make just a small cameo, and without overburdening us with too much information either. They really give us a well rounded story and I loved every moment of Cher’s dating exploits and ice cream experiments in her little retro ice cream café, Woody’s bizarre quips and speeches but ever-present minuscule fanbase from his 15 minutes of fame in the 80’s, and Torin’s sporadic appearances. I did find the way Elsie treated Torin quite annoying, if I’m honest. Every time they met, he was nothing but kind but she would take something the wrong way and an argument would ensue but I have to admit that I loved the other part of Elsie that we saw whenever she was around him. To everybody else she was nothing but sweet but he brought out her passion. And I couldn’t stop laughing at Elsie and her sister’s trip to ‘that European furniture store’. I’m not saying why though, that would spoil the fun, but I had to mention it.
While there are some sad parts, that’s inevitable with a story about recovering yourself from a great loss, When I Fall in Love is altogether an uplifting novel that I’d be happy to read by the fire or on the beach. Elsie is a lovely character and I just wanted the best for her all along. I’m also very tempted to see how many items from The List I can complete before my fiancé completely disowns me for being an embarrassing weirdo.