The Monday to Friday Man (by Alice Peterson)

I have very much liked the books I have read by Alice Peterson, so I was delighted to learn that one of her recent novels was available for 20p in e-book form for the Kindle. I thought this was a short-term special offer, but it seems to have remained at this price for some time, and is extremely popular as a result!

The story features Gilly who is 34, and having a rather early mid-life crisis. We meet her brooding about the fact that she was jilted just a fortnight before her wedding; worse, her ex-fiancĂ© has become engaged to someone else.  She feels frustrated, and wonders if she would be happier leaving London altogether, and starting life afresh in the countryside.

But when she starts looking at living further afield, an old friend, working as an estate agent, suggests she might take in a "Monday to Friday' lodger to help pay her bills. After a friend hypes up her advert, and then Gilly meets several amusingly dreadful applicants, the almost perfect Jack turns up. He's a TV producer who goes home at weekends, and is remarkably easy to get along with. His main fault is that he's quite secretive about himself, even after he and Gilly start - inevitably - an affair.

Gilly has some good (if slightly strange) friends who meet daily while walking their dogs. She works for one of them, and gradually becomes very close to Guy, a nice young man who wears a hat all the time and is conveniently engaged to a girl who's currently travelling. Indeed, it's his girlfriend's dog he is walking. This makes him totally off-limits as far as Gilly is concerned, which enables them to develop a very good platonic friendship. Or so she thinks...

Yes, it's somewhat predictable 'chick-lit'; light women's fiction with a few quirks. However, I like Alice Peterson's style, and the story moves on apace. There's a  bit of humour here and there, as well as a few deeper issues - in particular a back-story about Gilly's little sister who was born with a serious congenital condition that left her physically handicapped with a short lifespan.

For 20p on my Kindle, I thought this an excellent buy and it made a pleasant read. Definitely recommended if you want something light, fluffy, and mostly quite encouraging.

Note that the Amazon link is to the paperback edition of this book, but if you follow it and then look for 'other editions' the Kindle one should show.

Review copyright Sue's Book Reviews, 13th September 2012

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