From Notting Hill with Love… Actually – Ali McNamara

Everything to do with films features in Scarlett’s life. Her name, her job involves selling popcorn machines to cinemas, her fiancé’s family are owners of a large cinema chain, her mother was obsessed with films and so is Scarlett. And as the title of this novel goes From Notting Hill to Love Actually with every chick lit film in between, Pretty Woman, Bridget Jones, Four Weddings, Sleepless in Seattle to name a few.

Scarlett believes that you can live your life in fact that life is just like the movies whilst the prospect of settling down and living a life that is not like the movies scares Scarlett she wants to prove them wrong. Getting the opportunity to live in Notting Hill, it suddenly does look like everything seems to be mirroring something well known from the big screen but the she starts to seek something else and life can change and it does not really need the movies to do so.

This is pure chick film lit. If you know anyone who has seen these films and is fan and can probably quote parts then this is the book for them. The characters are not actually that strong, its plotline is lifted from all the films, and then just strung together with the main characters, Scarlett, her fiancée, the new friends in Notting Hill and the handsome man living next door. I can see where the author was going with it but sometimes it just did not work.  But it is fun and humorous in parts with a sprinkling of romance for anyone that wants to enjoy a book. This is the author’s first novel and a good effort and a clever idea nevertheless there is room for improvement in future novels, but I will still seek them out.

*(the lead female character in Gone with the Wind)

I read this in a day and it was a book I loved and did not like. I think it was the light escapism I loved, the films it reminded me of and the memories that they evoked. I have seen all the films that are mentioned in the book and remember when they first came out. With out a doubt, the British Films have some memorable moments that could go down in movie history!  

What I did not like about the book? Not that much really, but  I think it was the weakness of structure as I mention in the review, all the scenes are linked together and reenacted and the rest is just pure fill in. The films are better than the book if that makes sense. 

However, I have read the blurb for her new novel and this sounds interesting and I will certainly give it a go as the second novel I hope will have more structure to it. 

2 thoughts on “From Notting Hill with Love… Actually – Ali McNamara

  1. I think this sounds like such a fun read, it’s a good premise for a book.

    My married surname is O’Hara, maybe if I ever have a daughter I should call her Scarlett? 😛

  2. Loved this one.
    I can recommend Ali’s new one Breakfast at Darcy’s, very different to From Notting Hill.


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