Monday, July 28, 2014

LOTS OF LAUGHS AND CONFUSION IN "LUCY TALK"





Like Candace Bushnell's Sex &The City, Fiona Walker's Lucy Talk evolved from a newspaper column and is a modern epistolary novel as the story is told in the form of emails, blog entries,  Microsoft journals, notes on the fridge, answer machine messages, Lucy's disposable notes to herself, letters, postcards, posters, invitation cards, menus, newspaper cuttings,  telephone conversations and even memos! Hence, a fun book to read and the reader is immediately drawn into Lucy Gordon's  funny and rather exasperating world. I've re-read it so much that the cover's rather worn but it's always like I'm reading it for the first time.

It's immediately gathered that that the heroine Lucy Gordon is an employee at the marketing department of Widgetex Ltd, which manufactures time saving gadgets. She lives at Burr Cottage with two other girls- Jane Redven ( a driving instructor and horse enthusiast) and Bella Smith (an art teacher and a bit of a goth girl) and their neighbour , Mike Ensor (nicknamed 'Big Mike' throughout) is a vet. Several people have funny nicknames in the novel; Lucy's boss Gavin Slater is dubbed 'Slave Driver', a rival/colleague at work Dave Marks is 'Ambitious Dave', a bitchy superior Gabriella Peartree is 'Fruit Bat', Bella's boyfriend is called 'Brick' (real name Phil), Lucy's little sister's boyfriend is called Scrumpy (real name Carl) and the local riding instructor (who Jane fancies) is 'Horsy Tim'.

Lucy's family consists of Malcolm who spends most of his time in the shed taking apart machinery and putting them back, her mum Liv who loves to cook except some of her dishes are  very weird (Deep-fried artichoke hearts with vermouth and lime sauce, Bread and Butter ice cream lightly drizzled with date sauce), Violet, her alcoholic ( and I think rather senile) grandmother,  Alice, her troublesome vegetarian sister and her absentee big brother- Jeremy- who lives in New Zealand (to get away from his crazy family members, except Lucy).

For most of the story, Lucy writes to Jeremy and her absentee roommate (Bella's predecessor and Lucy' best friend) Mo who apparently joined a travelling cult... don't even get me started on that.  Lucy has a boyfriend Greg, who works as a pilot in a chartering service and it's apparent to those who really know Lucy and the readers that Greg is a dirt-bag; he takes her for granted, lies to her, cheats on her and takes advantage of her but she's too much in denial, too much in love or just plain too stupid to see it until after a long while. That's how she is for most of the novel and you feel like shaking her or screaming at her for being indecisive, obsessive and simply not seeing what's going on under her nose- aside for the fact Greg was not worthy of her, she failed to see someone she knew very well was clearly in love with her. One would wonder what the guys see in Lucy Gordon (who somewhat reminded me of a less promiscuous Ally McBeal) but she's constantly described as sweet and very beautiful. Despite those two traits, Lucy is really annoying and her second attempt of finding love with Alex ended partly because of her mishandling of the relationship and her own silliness- but in that scene where the truth was revealed to her in the worse possible way, you just  can't help but feel sorry for her and call her rival/backstabber all sorts of unsavory names.

Lucy struggles between rising up the corporate ladder at work despite obstacles like rivals and periods of stress and finding her real man and at the end of the novel when she does- all you can say is 'FINALLY, YOU SILLY FOOL!' and simply laugh at how nearly she missed her chance, congratulating the lucky man who finally won her after several pages of barely veiled hints of his love for her.

Lucy Gordon is a memorable character and one simply can't help but love her and going back to her world by picking up the book again!

Quote from book: 

It's no good. I adore him. I'm going to have to say something now. No time to send this. 

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