Roommates, romance, missed connections and the odd bit of sex make up this fairly predictable first work from British writer Anderson.
When Will shows up on Eve’s Edinburgh doorstep, she’s not exactly surprised, but she is concerned that Will isn’t where he’s supposed to be—that is, at his wedding. Having jilted his fiancée at the altar, he begs Eve for asylum, and, being best mates, she offers her spare futon. The temporary situation becomes permanent, though, since Will doesn’t want to live with his mum, and the house he shared with his fiancée is out of the question. So the two settle into a cozy life of fixing each other dinner and watching TV together—not so unlike a married couple. In fact, at about page ten it becomes apparent that the two will unite, the only question being when and how. There are some diversions, however: Eve has Ian, a prosperous if finicky lover who becomes increasingly jealous of Will’s presence. And there’s Poppy, the new assistant at the flower shop where Eve works. Will falls in lust with the perky girl and sets about wooing her, not very inventively, with flowers. The story skips along with a speedy comic pace as Will attempts to conquer the seemingly chaste Poppy, and as Eve struggles with her feelings for Ian (if she has any feelings for him). When Eve catches Ian kissing another woman, they break up, bringing to the forefront Eve’s hidden longing for the childish though fun-loving Will. Is it too late for romance to bloom between the old friends? It seems so when Eve and Ian reunite and plan marriage, but, to Anderson’s credit, the reader is kept guessing until the last page—when shocking revelations all around put things in their natural order.
Amiable, lighthearted, though hardly distinguished from many another of like breed.