Title: Surprise me
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: Bantam Press
Price: Rs 599; Pages: 368
There is a lot of pressure on authors today, people want a little bit of classic love in their romances, but there cannot be anything traditional about the approach, the character and so on. If you need success, you gotta walk the line with such measured steps that it ensures a balance between old and new. Speaking about ‘Surprise Me’- Sophie Kinsella has managed to bring a rather nice mix of sane to the mundane insanity.
The protagonists Dan and Sylvie have an idyllic marriage. They have twin children, good jobs, a wonderful house and great friends. And yet, one random statement gets them thinking, do they really have it all? While everything in their life has managed to tie itself up in a neat bow, is this all they ever wanted out of life? The churnings of the mind start throwing some uncertainties their way and the two decide to stop being boringly predictable but try their hand at surprising each other. In a bid to surprise each other, the two intend to add some spice to their marriage and peel layers off each other that they didn’t know existed.
Right, when the decision is made – Tilda, Sylvie’s best friend predicts, “Surprises have the habit of going wrong!” within the moment you have read the prophesy, you are automatically seeing Sylvie and Dan’s marriage fall out. But Stella manages to keep you turning the pages and smiling all through. The end is perhaps Stella’s better works through the books in its entirety isn’t her best.
What works for the book is just how much each ordinary situations in life have been woven into a mirror for each reader to see a little bit of themselves here and there. Women who have ever turned to google, youtube and such, to find easy solutions will find themselves giggling through these pages. Yet, in the many instances that crop up during ‘Project Surprise,’ there are moments that the circumstances seem as forced as the concept of trying hard to surprise one.
While it is true that marriages are made in heaven – is the biggest lie one hears, it is also true that the many situations Kinsella has packed make Dan and Sylvie’s marriage a wee bit too tedious. Yet, it is her clever writing and wise anecdotes that reflects our (the reader’s) everyday life that makes Stella a winner.
Yet, after having read the book, after having laughed along with the situations, any reader would find themselves hoping and praying that they too would experience a true and faithful relationship life, Sylvie and Tilda! Yup, you read it correctly, for all their grand marriage, it is Sylvie’s best friend Tilda who will put stars in your eyes cause boy, you would want a girl like that, by your side – in sickness, in health and at a party!