Easily Amused – Karen McQuestion

This could in some ways be pushed as chick-lit book but there was something not quite so superficial about it that you can get with some books. It has something else, which I cannot place. It has a more grown up feel to it.

Lola is hurtling towards her thirtieth birthday, she has a job she loves, good health, a house that has been left to her in her great aunts will in friendly neighbourhood (much to Lola’s dismay) but there is one thing missing any sort of relationship.

When her younger sister Mindy announces that she is bringing forward her wedding to actually be on the day of Lola’s thirtieth, the tension between the two sisters comes to a head when Mindy wants to make a big ‘event’ out of the birthday. Lola cannot think of anything worse than having the fact she is single pointed out to everyone at her younger sisters wedding. But then Mindy does not think of anyone else but herself. Lola needs a man and quick, she has three weeks.

Step forward Hubert, friend since school, who has just split up with his long term girlfriend that Lola never liked. A school teacher who has the patience and care for everyone he meets. Including the neighbours that draw him into their little community whilst he stays temporarily with Lola. But Hubert is reliable; he is always there and is safe. Lola wants something else.

Then steps forward, Ryan who turns out to live in the neighbourhood and offers to be Lola’s not just date for the wedding but pretend fiancé. He is everything that Lola wants, handsome, well dressed, good looking and also a way of scoring points with her sister.  The neighbours and Hubert are not quite sure about Ryan; he is the mystery man of the street that never puts his rubbish out. The neighbours know, in fact they know everything that goes on and it is that which Lola dreads.

So what does Lola do? The only way to find out is to read the book.

Karen McQuestion has developed some characters that you love to hate but also ones that actually irritate you in the beginning, but you actually find yourself changing your mind about by the conclusion of the book.

The neighbours are irritating, they always seem to appear when you least expect or want them to but they do have a habit of being able to help without question. Hubert is such an ineffectual wet blanket, that I had no sympathy with him when his girlfriend finally got the message across that they were finished. However, by the end of the book Hubert takes on a different like and the way he takes to the neighbourhood and helping Lola settle into her Great Aunt’s house sees him grow in strength and character. Lola although determinedly to remain happy about her life, McQuestion portrays her as a confused character, intentionally I feel. She has her life and does not like it being interrupted and routine changed by Hubert, by Ryan, by her neighbours and her sister. Lola needs to find out how life is good when it is interrupted from the norm.

A good book, and although based in Wisconsin, America the few remarks which non–Americans might find difficult to understand as I did this does not detract from the books and McQuestion is definitely an author to look out for.

Thank you to Amazon Vine for allowing me to review this book.