Title: Surprise Me
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: The Dial
Publication Date: February 13, 2018
Summary (from Goodreads): After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have all the trimmings of a happy life and marriage; they have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other’s sentences. However, a trip to the doctor projects they will live another 68 years together and panic sets in. They never expected “until death do us part” to mean seven decades.
In the name of marriage survival, they quickly concoct a plan to keep their relationship fresh and exciting: they will create little surprises for each other so that their (extended) years together will never become boring. But in their pursuit to execute Project Surprise Me, mishaps arise and secrets are uncovered that start to threaten the very foundation of their unshakable bond. When a scandal from the past is revealed that question some important untold truths, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all.
If you are a fan of Sophie Kinsella, you are in for a real “surprise” with Surprise Me. This book is a little bit different from Kinsella’s typical novels, however the wonderful writing that we have come to expect is definitely still here. This book is a mix of humour and seriousness. The characters are super quirky and the themes of aging, friendship, and family really pull the book together.
I have yet to read a book written by Sophie Kinsella that hasn’t made me laugh out loud. Surprise Me begins with a bit of a serious discovery made by Dan and Sylvie. After finding out that their life expectancies and marriage will be 68 more years, they struggle to grasp what the future will hold. What becomes a fun and interesting exploration of how to spice things up through various surprises leads the couple on a path that is both revealing and at times quite funny.
Kinsella is definitely one for creating a cast of eclectic and off-beat characters that you just can’t help but fall in love with. Sylvie is one that is such an enjoyable and well-developed character that transforms throughout the novel. Her friends are the greatest side characters with their outlandish ideas which gives the book that classic humour seen in many of the authors books.
There are some really deep and meaningful themes that are explored in Surprise Me that give the book a real depth. The concept of aging and how it relates to a life that is both long and full is one that I have not come across before, and it really makes me think. I also loved the friendships that Sylvie has forged and how she seems to have so many different friends to count on. Also, Sylvie’s family is very important to her and these are the parts of the story that get quite interesting.
While Surprise Me may not be as light and fluffy as some of Kinsella’s other works, this is one that is just as well-written and contains lots of laugh-out-loud moments. I love the characters and the whole concept of this book. It is one to pick-up if you are in the mood for a book that has a mix of seriousness and fun.