Sylvie and Dan Winter lead a comfortable, safe, and pleasant
life. They have good jobs, a nice little house, two lovely
five year-old daughters. Altogether, it has been a good ten
years, but when they go for a medical exam for their health
insurance, the thought of being married to each other for
possibly sixty eight more years leaves Sylvie crestfallen.
Forever suddenly seems a very, very long time. Maybe if they
surprised each other once in a while ...
In her delightful MY NOT SO
PERFECT LIFE Sophie Kinsella had examined the subject of
what makes life
perfect from another angle; Katie Brenner wanted a perfect
life, while Dan and Sylvie live it, or as close to ideal as
married life can be. But how to maintain marital bliss,
where does one go from there? When you think of it, it can
be frightening: how can one possibly love another forever?
SURPRISE ME poses many questions: how well do we know our
spouse? Does the fact that we finish each other's sentences
mean that we have access to the other's thoughts? Is
worry-free coupledom for real, or is it because some things
are swept under the rug; or could it be simply laziness? Is
it easier to let the status quo be, if there's nothing
fundamentally wrong? Will shake things up make a marriage
more interesting in the long run? And the latter in itself
can be a minefield.
SURPRISE ME has the sort of premise for funny things to
happen, which do, but SURPRISE ME is so much more than that;
the incomparable Sophie Kinsella outdid herself like never
before. SURPRISE ME starts up fun and frothy, but soon
Sylvie has to forgo the surprises to enliven her marriage,
because life has a way of supplying them. SURPRISE ME is an
absorbing character study told in Sylvie's voice, and Ms.
Kinsella has mastered her patented conversational tone to a
point where the experience transcends reading. Sylvie's
voice resonated in my head, we became one for the duration
of SURPRISE ME; I became entirely immersed in her life,
The cast of characters is superb, and perhaps more subdued
than what we are used to from the author. Sylvie's widowed
mother, Margaret Lowe, is a marvel of complexity; I never
quite knew what to expect from her. Sylvie's recently
deceased father Marcus, whose presence permeates every facet
of Sylvie and Dan's life. The Winters' neighbor retired
Professor Russell is such a marvelous character, that even
though brief, his presence was most significant. He had me
tearing up more about what was implied in his conversation
with Sylvie than what was actually said. There was also
Sylvie's boss, Mrs. Kendrick, whose attempts at becoming
tech-savvy were often hilarious.
I recently discovered that Women's Fiction is not a genre
with which I am particularly comfortable, however SURPRISE
ME does not belong to this category; I found it beyond
amazing, and besides having more twists and turns than most
thrillers, SURPRISE ME had me re-evaluate my own life. Ms.
Kinsella has been a go-to author for me ever since I
discovered her work, and now I must say, Sophie Kinsella can
SURPRISE ME any day!
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella
comes a witty and emotionally-charged novel that delves into
the heart of a marriage—and how those we love and know best
can sometimes surprise us the most.
together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have a comfortable
home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate
so seamlessly, they finish each other’s sentences. They have
a happy marriage and believe they know everything there is
to know about each other. Until it’s casually mentioned to
them that they could be together for another sixty-eight
years…and panic sets in.
They decide to bring
surprises into their marriage to keep it fresh and fun. But
in their pursuit to execute Project Surprise Me—from
unexpected gifts to restaurant dates to photo shoots—mishaps
arise with disastrous and comical results. Gradually, the
surprises turn to shocking truths. And when a scandal from
the past is uncovered, they begin to wonder if they ever
really knew each other after all.
With a colorful,
eccentric cast of characters, razor-sharp observations, and
her signature wit and charm, Sophie Kinsella presents a
humorous, yet moving portrait of a marriage—its intricacies,
comforts, and complications. Surprise Me reveals that
there are often hidden layers of a close relationship yet to