The middle aged woman finding independence after separating from a loveless marriage isn’t exactly a new idea, but if done right, it is a great plot. Love, Lies and Lemon Cakes by Sue Watson is almost one of these. As the promotion states, it’s heartbreaking and absolutely bloody hilarious. However, it almost made me want to throw the book at the wall because of all the issues I had with it.
Faye Dobson is a forty-two year old British hairdresser who leaves her husband and regains her youth while hooking up with handsome Aussie Dan, who is nine years younger While I do enjoy this plot, most of the actual conflict takes place within the first half of the book. The second half is just filled with showing us how great the new Faye is or trivial plots that were just used to make the book longer. If she had just gotten rid of one or two sub-plots, it would have been even better. However, it did lead to a brilliant resolution, which is a plus.
I’m conflicted with the characters. While they were an amusing read, they were a tad one dimensional. Their dialogue seemed forced at times, which made them a little less realistic. However, Mandy, one of Faye’s co-workers, was amazing and has to be my favourite character. She should have her own book.
As an Aussie, I have to comment on Dan’s Australianism. Not only is he the surfer stereotype, the way she explained his language was strange. Maybe it’s because I’m from the West and he’s over East, but I have never heard anyone say ‘sanga’ or whatever it was. He was still a charming and good for Faye so I can’t complain too much…. Apart from one scene which still angers me. Seriously. Why would you reveal your guilt over your mother’s death the first time you go on an unofficial date with someone?
The writing itself was great. Watson used a lot of sensory detail that made me hungry at times. I also had to laugh at the witty humour. That was except for when she used the ‘be a dreamer, but go for it’ rant, which she used a lot. It was almost as annoying as the ‘men only want to date younger women’ rant.
As funny as Watson was, there were some points which were just a little offensive to me. She seemed to use anorexic as an insult, which is always off-putting. Faye also had a habit of talking too much and saying the wrong things which was hilarious. However, she referred to it as ‘tourette’s’ jokingly. If she used ‘Foot-in-mouth disease’, she would have created the same meaning without it coming off as insensitive.
Overall, I enjoyed the books. There were a lot of ups and downs. I would get tired of something and then she would add something interesting, or I liked it and then she wrote something which was bizarre. It isn’t the best book in the world, but it was a nice light read. I’m giving it 6.25/10.
Discussion Point: Faye thinks the Aussie accent is sexy. It isn’t. What accent do you think is the sexiest?