â€˜WISE FOLLIES’ by Grace Wynne-Jones
Why waving goodbye to Mr Wonderful may be the wisest folly of all…
Alice Evans has got a GSOH, GFCH (gas-fired central heating), a cat and a Mitsubishi colour portable. People have told her she can look pretty if she tries. She’s thirty-eight and single, so will someone please pass the message on?
What Alice thinks she needs is Mr Wonderful. A man like her pottery teacher, James Mitchel, who’s warm and wise and gorgeous. But as one long, hot summer disappears with no sign of her snaring the man of her dreams, Alice is forced to consider the alternatives.
Should she settle for Mr Mediocre, her dull but dependable ex boyfriend Eamon, and spend the rest of her days trying to like golf?
Or could there be another way for a woman to ditch all the longing – and really start living her life?
‘In the opening lines of the book, Alice Evans introduces herself as ‘thirty-eight, single, and very keen on art and gardening’. At a cracking pace, the story follows Alice through the pressures and pleasures of her life as a feature writer for a glossy women’s magazine and her search for the love of her life. Early on, her previous boyfriend Eamon proposes that they marry after he returns from a few weeks in Peru. Gradually, Alice warms to the idea – after all, as Eamon had said, ‘We’re both alone, Alice. We’re both nearly forty and, maybe, want a family.’ While Eamon is away, Alice joins a pottery class and meets the tutor, James Mitchel, who is handsome, kind and shares Alice’s love of art. Alice falls madly in love and plots ways to spend time with him. Also, from the past, there is her first best friend, Aaron, and Liam, who has moved in next door with Elsie. There are numerous other characters who influence and brighten up Alice’s life: her housemate Mira, best friend Annie who has a son called Josh, Mrs Peabody next door, old school friend Laren, and all the people who work on the magazine. Grace Wynne-Jones has a gift for writing comedy and there are many episodes in the book which make the reader laugh out loud. There are also many deeper, poignant moments as Alice experiences disappointment and later when her wedding to Eamon looms, as she struggles to work out what she should do. Wise Follies refers to those times when people choose an apparently foolish option, but which turns out in reality to be wise. A really funny, cracking story.
Beryl Thomas (Full Review) A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.
‘Grace Wynne-Jones has a wicked sense of humour which enlivens every page…Alice and her friends, and her hilarious magazine assignments, at times leave the reader rocking with laughter.’ THE IRISH TIMES
‘Wise Follies is a smooth refreshing read…Bring tissues and a paper bag to laugh into when you read this book outside the privacy of your home.’ IRISH TATLER
‘This fresh new voice will appeal to women of all ages.’ PUBLISHING NEWS
‘A quirky, hilarious novel.’ WHAT’S ON
‘Sharp, funny and moving.’ WOMAN & HOME
‘When you think Alice, think Bridget Fonda chasing Matt Dillon in ‘Singles’, think Kirsty MacColl singing, ‘I put you on a pedestal/You put me on the pill’…this is a novel about finding yourself, and we can’t but cheer for Alice’s gradual emancipation.’ THE EXAMINER
‘A superior romance full of wit, honesty and perception.’ RTE GUIDE
‘A gently amusing account of finding love in the nineties, an enjoyable read written with an observant wit.’ BOOKS MAGAZINE.
‘This may sound like Bridget Jones territory but Alice is less spiky, certainly drinks less and makes more effort to make a life for herself…The writing is full of quirky wit and energy.’ ‘Book of the Week’ THE EXPRESS