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Kiss Him Goodbye by Victoria Routledge - Book Review


Kiss Him Goodbye
Victoria Routledge
Time Warner Paperbacks

Fiction-Net Rating 3 Star Rated Book

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Cover Story

Kate Craig has many pet hates but top of the list is London. She's managed to steer clear for twenty-one years until her boyfriend, Giles, convinces her to visit his palatial Chelsea home. Kate's week of indulgence is idyllic until Giles drops his bombshell: he's off to Chicago on a four-month training course. Kate is challenged - either she retreats back North or she stays and takes on London.

Feeling dazed and confused, Kate discovers herself cleaning the cupboards in the first flat she sees. Filthy cupboards Kate can cope with but in this case, there are flatmates that come with them.

We Say

Victoria Routledge must be gaining in confidence. At five hundred and sixty-eight pages, her second novel, Kiss Him Goodbye has a lot more meat on its bones than its predecessor, Friends Like These (even though she cheats a little bit and uses some characters from the first book). I'm not sure that this novel has anything more to say than the first one but what it does say, it says more convincingly. Arguably, the plot is a little thin but the writing is more assured.

In truth, it's all pretty harmless good fun. A young woman is let loose in London with a couple of men-behaving-badly type flatmates. Meanwhile, her annoyingly perfect boyfriend is climbing the career ladder on the other side of the Atlantic. The main character, Kate, has an amusing perspective on the events in her life and is easy to like. Her flatmates, Harry and Dant, become more interesting as you get to know them and provide a neat antithesis to the immaculate Giles (Kate's boyfriend). It all progresses quite nicely, if a little predictably, as Kate begins to realise that the universe does not revolve around Giles.

I enjoyed the descriptions of Kate's work in the offices of a publishing house. There were lots of great characters here and plenty of office gossip to liven things up. I also liked the character of Cress - a realistic female villain who it would have been good to see more of throughout the story.

My only real complaint with Kiss Him Goodbye is that I found Kate a bit too wimpy at times. It wasn't entirely convincing that an adult woman could be duped into living in London against her will. Also, eating chocolate and putting on weight to demonstrate her liberation and newly found confidence seemed like an outdated metaphor.

But minor gripes aside, Kiss Him Goodbye is funny, well written and enjoyable.

Review by: Rachel Taylor

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