Lucy Diamond is a Sunday Times bestseller with at least nine titles to her credit. Her genre is chick lit, with strong believable characterisations, lots of friendship and kindness to help overcome the different problems and misunderstandings, and resoundingly satisfying endings.
This is the second one I've read. I revisited the first few chapters of this one immediately after reading, to work out what makes it un-putdownable.
The first three chapters introduce three different women, and each is unexpectedly faced with a life crisis. Anna finds out while visiting her nana that her mystery dad was an Italian named Gino. The reader also discovers that her boyfriend's crap and her life generally in a rut. Catherine drops her twin children off to their respective universities and, hurting badly with empty nest syndrome, returns home unexpectedly to find her doctor husband in bed with another woman. The reader also discovers that she's downtrodden and under-confident. The third protagonist is Sophie working in a cafe in Italy, who receives a phone call to say that her father back in Yorkshire has just had a heart attack. She returns home for the first time in eight years, and the reader understands that she left after a bitter dispute as a teenager and hasn't been home since. We don't know what the bitter dispute was about, so of course immediately read on to find out.
Lucy Diamond's writing is marked by a strong sense of humour that influences her use of language: it's instantly entertaining and gripping. As the humour is delivered through her characters' povs, this also renders them likeable.
eg: Anna's boyfriend keeps a spreadsheet of their sexual encounters, and as a journalist she tends to think in headlines:
"Don't call me babe, she wanted to say. That just made her feel like a pig. A bad-tempered pig who didn't want to be marked out of ten each time she spread her trotters."
"WOMAN SUFFOCATES CRAP BOYFRIEND spooled a new headline in her brain."
His two sisters, married with kids, had lives "as thrilling as a pair of socks."
Key hooks: unsatisfactory status quo, call to action/something about to change, humorous and engaging voice.