Getting over it

Anna Maxted

Book - 2001

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FICTION/Maxted, Anna
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New York : ReganBooks 2001, c2000.
1st pbk. ed
Item Description
Originally published in Great Britain in 2000 by Random House, U.K.
Physical Description
403 p. ; 22 cm
Main Author
Anna Maxted (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

%% This is a multi-book review. SEE the title "Welcome to My Planet" for next imprint and review text. %% ((Reviewed May 1, 2000))Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Maxted, contributing editor to Cosmopolitan UK, has a quick wit and creates amusing characters in her first novel. Helen, the thirtyish heroine, is a features writer for a trendy women's magazine. She's reeling with grief at the sudden death of her father, and her stress is compounded by the neediness of her mother and grandmother. Helen has plenty more on her plate--she is being evicted from her apartment, she is trying to save a friend who is being abused by her fiancé, and her neurotic cat suffers a series of psychosomatic ailments. Behind the hilarious one-liners, there's a serious theme: it's tough for a young person to "be in charge" when a parent dies. Unfortunately, the appeal of this likable, if nonessential, novel will be limited in the United States by its many British colloquialisms. In addition, the book is far too long and loaded with slapstick scenes; its episodic content would have worked better as linked short stories. For larger collections.--Joyce W. Smothers, Monmouth Cty. Lib., Manalapan, NJ Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Had Maxted published this sharp, witty tale of a British woman's love life and real life before the Bridget Jones phenomenon, Fielding's novel might have been noted as a pale comparison. Written in a hip, readable, often poignant and always funny style, protagonist Helen Bradshaw's story is set in modern-day London, where the 20-something editorial assistant comes to terms with her father's death and her own life. The plot spans one year, beginning with the day Helen learns of her father's fatal heart attack. Helen struggles with faithless boyfriend, Jasper; her self-centered but sexy landlord, Marcus; and her solipsistic "best friend," Michelle. Meanwhile, her demanding and unsupportive boss at GirlTime magazine cracks the whip. A complex part of Helen's healing process is repairing her relationship with her overbearing mother, Cecilia, who, though she mourns her husband inconsolably, eventually finds new direction in her life. Helen discovers real love in the patient and humorous veterinarian, Tom, and she learns enough about real friendship to hold onto her loyal, true buddies Lizzy, Luke and Tina, saving the latter's life in the process. As she stumbles from one crisis to another, Helen is always likable, even if the decisions she makes often make the reader want to give her a good shake. Although the narrative tackles many issues, from the loss of a parent to the horrors of domestic violence, Maxted's bouncy, upbeat tone never falters. Revealing a touch for comic timing and versatility, she paints scenes of hilarious pratfalls, biting sarcasm and heart-wrenching pathos. While comparison between this work and Fielding's is unavoidable, Maxted's laugh-out-loud debut novel will come out ahead. (June) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Helen learns a great deal about facing the unexpected and living her own life when, in one tumultuous period, her father dies of a heart attack, her mother attempts suicide, and her boyfriend confesses to infidelity. Reprint.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Far from fulfilling her life's dreams, Helen wrestles with lowly job positions, old cars, and disastrous relationships until her father's death slowly puts things into perspective.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Helen Bradshaw isn't exactly living out her dreams. She's a lowly assistant editor at GirlTime magazine, she drives an ancient Toyota, and she has a history of choosing men who fall several thousand feet below acceptable boyfriend standard. Not to mention that she shares an apartment with a scruffy , tactless roommate, her best girlfriends are a little too perfect, and the most affectionate male in her life—her cat, Fatboy—occasionally pees in her underwear draw.

Then Helen gets the telephone call she least expects: Her father has had a massive heart attack. Initially brushing off his death as merely an interruption in her already chaotic life (they were never very close, after all), Helen is surprised to find everything else starting to crumble around her. Her pushy mother is coming apart at the seams, a close friend might be heading toward tragedy, and, after the tequila incident, it looks as though Tom the vet will be sticking with Dalmatians. Turns out getting over it isn't going to be quite as easy as she thought.