Skip to main content

Bachelor Boys by Kate Saunders

I picked this one up based on the recommendation of the trusty Emily of Emily and Her Little Pink Notes (may she blog again soon). Prior to Emily's review I'd never heard of Kate Saunders before and so went in knowing next to nothing but that it was a rather obscure British chick lit and Emily was awfully fond of it. And that's essentially enough in my book. I had a little trouble finding a copy, but then my Christmas elves came through for me once more and I received a copy of Bachelor Boys as a gift this year. I'll tell you, I've just been in the mood for these kinds of books lately. And by lately, I really mean since the beginning of the year. Smart, sassy, beleaguered women, up to their eyeballs in the competing forces of work, family, dating--or the extreme lack thereof. I don't know what it is. But these witty, artful, and sometimes emotionally wringing British stories have just been doing it for me in spades.

Cassie grew up next door to a home. Her mother was a psychiatrist deeply involved in her work and inclined to view her only child more as a specimen to be studied than an actual, you know, daughter. Her father was . . . well, a real piece of work is about the only way to describe him. As parents they were less than desirable, presenting a united front of frigid indifference. But next door? Next door lived the Darling family. The big, teddy bear-like dad, the two boys Fritz and Ben, and the mother Phoebe. To Cassie, the Darlings represent everything that is warm and welcoming and good. When they spot her peeping over the fence one day, the Darlings immediately invite her over. And from that point on, Cassie has a home and a family. Real ones. Years later, now the editor of a lit mag, Cassie receives a phone call from Phoebe informing her that she has the most incandescent of plans. In short, she intends to marry off her two bachelor boys and it is up to Cassie (who knows them better than anyone) to find them suitable women. And fast. You see, Phoebe would like to see them both safely married. And she has a limited amount of time left before the leukemia that's eating away at her reaches its goal. And so, despite her myriad misgivings, Cassie promises to help. Quite simply, she would do anything for the woman who was her mother in every way that counted. The problem is, of course, the boys. Charming as hell, insanely talented, and rakes to the core, how will she ever whip them into shape in order to be married off in time?
Let me just start by saying it was the writing that impressed me first with this book. It was unexpectedly layered and leisurely. Kate Saunders certainly understands how to take her time telling the story, in order to give the reader enough space to absorb the wealth of history that lies between Cassie and the Darling family. The luminous relationship between Cassie and Phoebe is what comes out first and most startlingly. And, wow, is it lovely. The book is worth the read just for that dynamic alone. Phoebe is artful and elegant and full of love and style and a heart big enough to encompass any and all who come across her path. She reminded me a fair bit of my own mother-in-law, and I understood Cassie's enchantment and love for this woman who put her arms around her as a child and never let go. Of course, no one in this book is perfect. Not even Phoebe. Some of them are more woefully flawed than others (why, yes, Fritz ole boy, I am looking at you), but they all occupy the gray areas when it comes to their insecurities, vices, and motivations. Cassie herself is charming and a worthy heroine, despite her blind spots when it comes to the proper men to date. But you can't help but sympathize with each and every one of them. We none of us cope perfectly when love, ambition, and our dratted pasts get in the way. It was a delight to trace their winding course toward the finish. The ending was hard-won and came at a price for all of them. But the journey was decidedly worth it. Highly recommended for readers who like their chick lit with a hearty dose of depth, emotion, and exquisitely drawn family interactions.

Linkage

Comments

  1. I'm so glad you liked this one! I loved Bachelor Boys, as you know. It was a great find that I'm still grateful to Emily for. You're review reminded me I really need to pick up another Kate Saunders book so thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Emily of Emily and Her Little Pink Notes (may she blog again soon) -> LOL at this! I really hope she comes back soon. I believe this book has been in my wishlist ever since I read her review. You made me want to read it soon.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have never heard of this book before but am completely taken in by your review. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous8:00 AM

    Wow, I'd forgotten about this book. I read it a few years ago when it came out in hardback in the US. I don't remember much about it, but after reading your review I wish I still had my copy!

    KarenS

    ReplyDelete
  5. I still miss Emily and Her Little Pink Notes! I hope she comes to see these comments - a mini ode to her :) I haven't read any Kate Saunders, but Bachelor Boys sounds like a lot of fun!

    ReplyDelete
  6. so happy you liked it, I will soon start blogging again but I have so much going on in my life right now (congratulations on your pregnancy! I am also expecting a baby girl :)) plus a really bad internet connection but I am reading a lot and will soon share my new discoveries

    ReplyDelete
  7. Erin, go with THE MARRYING GAME. *grin*

    Chachic, I know. I miss her.

    Celesta, my pleasure. I hope it works out for you, too.

    Karen, really? How funny. I'm glad I ran across it. The writing was a cut above, IMO.

    Katie, very fun. But resonant at the same time.

    Emily, *tacklehug* You're expecting as well?! Congratulations, that's wonderful. :) And a girl. That's so exciting. When are you due? I've got 2 months left and am counting down the days. Can't wait to read about everything you've discovered while you've been away.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

You Might Also Like

Angie's Best Books of 2019

It is the last day of the year. How are you doing at this point? You good to go on? I'm going to. For a number of important reasons, which are too varied (or possibly too private) to enumerate here. So how about we say we shall go on because: "Gansey. That's all there is." I find that "Because Gansey" is highly motivating when motivation is thin on the ground.

Also thin on the ground have been my posts this year. And yet, I'm still not stopping. And I still greatly enjoy arriving at this final post of the year. And so here I leave my best books of the year. It wound up being a respectable nineteen titles this year. Nineteen for 2019. That's down a fair bit from last year's whopping twenty-eight, but rather on par with previous years' lists and more than 2016 and 2017, respectively. I'm pleased. I'm pleased with every book on this list, with every one of the books you shared with me and the ones I've been able to share with you. …

Angie’s Best Books of the Decade

I am winded, you guys. Winded from laboring over this list. This is the first time I've attempted to cobble together a Best Books of the Decade list, and I can't say I'll be up to it for another ten years or so. But my, I couldn't resist the challenge (or profound pleasure, if we're being honest). I kept trying to winnow it down, kept forcing myself to be ruthless. Like somehow I could (or should) keep it to a top ten (flat impossible) or at least a top twenty-five (who are we kidding?). But after bidding those constraints good riddance, I really did press myself to take a hard, clear look at what hurts (to mangle my favorite Hemingway quote). Because these novels hurt in the best way. Each entry on this list is a five-star book in my books. Which means I wouldn't change a single thing about a single one of them. They are the ones I call perfect when I recommend them to friends and strangers. They are the ones I have read and reread over the past ten years and…

Triple Prize Pack Giveaway!

Not long ago I discovered a few of you tweeting to get me to the 300 follower mark. As little things I read on Twitter often do, that one sort of made my day. You're all really too sweet for words and I joked that perhaps it was time for a giveaway. The truth is I've been in the mood to have one for awhile now and this is as good a time as any. So here's the deal. This will be a triple prize pack giveaway, meaning there are three packs and you can indicate which one you'd like to be entered to win in the comments. I will choose three random winners and contact them. This giveaway is open to anywhere The Book Depository ships! Here's the list of countries, FYI. Since I tend to read a lot of urban fantasy, straight fantasy, and young adult, I've chosen a set of each including all books currently in print in that series.
The Urban Fantasy Pack The Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews (My reviews here, here, & here) The Fantasy Pack The Queen's Thief series by M…