02/07/2002

Man Overboard (by Monica Dickens)

I have mixed feelings about Monica Dickens. She has quite a literary heritage - being a descendant of Charles Dickens - and I usually enjoy her writing style. However I tend to find her novels a bit depressing or disturbing.

Still, I'll try anything once, so when I found 'Man Overboard' second-hand, I thought I'd see what it was like. The blurb on the back sounded interesting.

The story is about Ben, a widowed naval officer, who starts an affair with the glamorous - though self-centred - actress Rose Kelly.

Then Ben loses his job, and struggles hard to find another, while trying to stay close to Rose - and also wanting to spend time with his 11-year-old daughter Amy.

He tries a variety of jobs, from dish-cleaning at a restaurant upwards, before finally finding somewhere that he can be happy. Predictably, he also finds a nicer woman who may be able to give him lasting happiness.

Nothing special - I kept reading, but none of the characters leapt out at me, and I didn't feel any emotion. I probably won't read it again, but it was pleasant enough light reading while it lasted.

No longer in print in either the UK or USA, but fairly widely available second-hand.

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