Cocktails for three- Where’s the high?

It’s no secret that i love Sophie Kinsella’s writing.As a corollary, i assumed that i would like Madeleine Wickham’s writing as well.After all,it was by the same author. I wouldn’t say i was entirely right. The writing styles are as different as morning and night. Whereas,Kinsella enthralls you with her witty writing, Madeline’s writing is more restrained and mature.I haven’t read any other Madeleine novel and might run the risk of over-generalizing.

Cocktails for three is about the lives of 3 young with-it women who work for a magazine in London and are best of friends.
Roxanne is a confident and gutsy young lady who has a secret lover whose identity nobody knows.Not even the other 2 girls.

Maggie is the capable editor of the magazine who finds it difficult to grapple with the issues of motherhood

Candice is the quintessential trusting,generous blonde with a troubled past.

The trio meet regularly at a local bar to gossip and catch up with their lives.Their lives change when, unexpectedly Candice’s schoolmate turns up as a waitress at their favorite bar.The story is not exactly path breaking and is predictably tame.
Each woman has a different ghost to conquer and as usual the story is about how the women get their act together at the end of it all..Can chick-lits have an ending other than a “happily ever after”?.

I was a little dissapointed with the typecasting related to names.Do all Roxanne’s have to be gutsy and spunky ?.Similarly, do all Candice’s have to be blonde,unsuspecting innocent girls?.The book didn’t make me gasp out of surprise at any point in the narrative.

That is where i realized that the Kinsella name hung about this novel’s neck like a dead albatross. This book was not meant to have crazy twists.It was meant to chronicle the journeys of 3 young women who were battling 3 different situations. When i started seeing the book in this light,i felt that the book was not that disappointing.It was a standard Danielle Steele-type fare(sans the melodrama and copious amounts of tearing!).Despite the book being devoted to 3 heroines,all 3 characters are etched out well.

The emotions that the 3 central characters go through are also captured very well.However,some emotions like the insecure feeling that Maggie has when her mother in law tries to help her out or the one where Candice feels guilty about the families that her father ruined is a little grating on the nerves after a point as it gets too excessive.

Overall,its a decent read. Not as light-hearted or funny as i would have wanted it to be.If i didn’t know that this was written by the same lady who wrote Confessions of a shopaholic, i would probably not judge it this way!.Definitely not my style of writing,but i have promised myself to read a few more Madeleine books to understand her style better.I would stick to Cecilia Ahern or Danielle Steele if i needed a non-humorous chick-lit fix !

Rating : 2 out of 5.

Ok,i have signed up for the Booker challenge and have decided to start of with Winner’s circle where 6 booker winners need to be read in the next one year.. doable i guess..I have read only 2 books ,that too a long time ago.. needs a revisit!! List of winners..

2009 – Wolf Hall (Mantel)
2008 – The White Tiger (Adiga)
2007 – The Gathering (Enright)
2006 – The Inheritance of Loss (Desai)
2005 – The Sea (Banville)
2004 – The Line of Beauty (Hollinghurst)
2003 – Vernon God Little (Pierre)
2002 – Life of Pi (Martel)
2001 – True History of the Kelly Gang (Carey)
2000 – The Blind Assassin (Atwood)
1999 – Disgrace (Coetzee)
1998 – Amsterdam: A Novel (McEwan)
1997 – The God of Small Things (Roy)
1996 – Last Orders (Swift)
1995 – The Ghost Road (Barker)
1994 – How Late It Was, How Late (Kelman)
1993 – Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha (Doyle)
1992 – The English Patient (Ondaatje)
1992 – Sacred Hunger (Unsworth)
1991 – The Famished Road (Okri)
1990 – Possession: A Romance (Byatt)
1989 – The Remains of the Day (Ishiguro)
1988 – Oscar and Lucinda (Carey)
1987 – Moon Tiger (Lively)
1986 – The Old Devils (Amis)
1985 – The Bone People (Hulme)
1984 – Hotel Du Lac (Brookner)
1983 – Life & Times of Michael K (Coetzee)
1982 – Schindler’s Ark (Keneally)
1981 – Midnight’s Children (Rushdie)
1980 – Rites of Passage (Golding)
1979 – Offshore (Fitzgerald)
1978 – The Sea, the Sea (Murdoch)
1977 – Staying on (Scott)
1976 – Saville (Storey)
1975 – Heat and Dust (Jhabvala)
1974 – The Conservationist (Gordimer)
1974 – Holiday (Middleton)
1973 – The Siege of Krishnapur (Farrell)
1972 – G. (Berger)
1971 – In a Free State (Naipaul)
1970 – The Elected Member (Rubens)
1969 – Something to Answer For