Imogen, who's from Liverpool, now works in London and saves
up with her friends Meredith and Nicola to take sun
holidays together. We first meet the girls as they return
from a run-down cut-price resort, and they plan to save for
a few years, then travel in luxury.
THE TIME OF OUR LIVES is what the girls intend, but in 2012
Imogen is lone parent of a four-year-old daughter and has a
recent promotion in a major food business. Cutting loose is
going to be difficult. Her boss assures her she needs the
break, but he still asks her to leave her phone switched
on. Meredith is seven months pregnant and Nicola is out
and proud. Barcelona's swankiest hotel, here we come!
From the free food calamity in business class to the nude
wrinkled beach sunbathers - which happen to include Imogen
and Nicola's past geography teacher - we can speedily tell
that this trip is not going to be as intended. What more
can go wrong? A faulty shower, pickpocketing, and a PA
rings to say that an executive has been arrested for
improper behaviour while drunk on an aeroplane. The
newspapers want a comment. Imogen just needs some peace
and quiet, but that's the last thing she's going to get.
This fun and flavoursome read kept me giggling with all the
mishaps balanced by the good friendships of the three
ladies. There is a handsome man in the offing, Harry,
staying in the same hotel, but Imogen keeps running into
him at the worst times. Not only that, but Imogen is still
hung up on the man who left her with a baby on the way. A
new mum has no time to be glamorous. Anyway, has she
anything in common with Harry? And what if the work crisis
means he's the last person she should be speaking to?
At times the clumsiness of a character, unprofessionalism
or daftness of another one felt overdone, and I actually
wanted a break from calamity. However the better I got to
know Imogen the more I understood and sympathised with
her. By the end she has learnt what's more important to
her - taking her daughter to the first day of school, or a
work press conference. Jane Costello has written several
women's fiction books and if she overloaded this one with
chaos, at least we won't forget that we're supposed to be
having THE TIME OF OUR LIVES.
Three best friends. One five-star hotel. Will it be the
holiday of a lifetime . . .?
Imogen and her friends Meredith and Nicola have had their
fill of budget holidays, cattle-class flights and 6 a.m.
offensives for a space by the pool.
So when Meredith wins a VIP holiday at Barcelona's hippest
new hotel, they plan to sip champagne with the jet set,
party with the glitterati and switch off in unapologetic luxury.
But when the worst crisis of her working life erupts back
home, Imogen has to juggle her BlackBerry with a Manhattan,
while soothing a hysterical boss and hunting down an AWOL
Between a robbery, a run-in with hotel security staff and an
encounter on a nudist beach that they'd all rather forget,
the friends stumble from one disaster to the next. At least
Imogen has a distraction in the form of the gorgeous guy
who's always in the right place at the very worst time.
Until, that is, his motives start to arouse a few suspicions
. . .
Hilarious and heart-warming by turns, The Time of Our Lives
is Jane Costello at her romantic best.