Book Review: A Desirable Residence

Image via Chick Lit+

Rating: 3 out of 5

I’ve just finished my 19th book! I always enjoy reading Madeleine Wickham novels, but I must admit that she’s greatly improved her craft ever since she started going by the pen name Sophie Kinsella. She’s most famous for her Confessions of a Shopaholic series, which I haven’t read, but I absolutely love all her stand-alone novels, such as Twenties Girl and The Undomestic Goddess.

I reviewed Wickham’s book The Wedding Girl over the summer, and after reading dystopian classics 1984 and Fahrenheit 451, it was nice to read something less dense.

A Desirable Residence (1996) follows a close-knit group of Brits who are all involved in a certain home in Silchester. Liz and Jonathan Chambers own the home, but they–along with their 14-year-old daughter Alice–needed to move into the tutorial college that they just purchased.

Stuck with two mortgages, they ask real estate agent Marcus Witherstone for help. Soon Marcus finds the Chambers family two tenants: Ginny and her actor husband Piers. Piers is up for a big TV role, and Ginny is obsessed with the life of fame and fortune that they’re so close to reaching.

Depressed over the loss of their old home, Alice frequents the place and grows quite fond of hanging out with Piers and Ginny, who seem so much cooler than her parents. However, in the end, she realizes that all of the adults around her are nothing but disappointments.

Needless to say, the title of this book is ironic, because there’s nothing desirable about this residence or anyone living in it. I pitied Alice and Marcus’ sons, Daniel and Andrew, because they are merely pawns in this ridiculous game their parents play. Marriage, parenthood, career–nothing is sacred to these obnoxious, entitled people.

Unless you’re a fan of adulterous spouses, overbearing parents, or spineless fraudsters, you are going to hate 95% of these characters. Wickham does an excellent job of depicting real-life relationships, but as Kinsella, she does the same with characters you also like and respect.

This book was interesting enough to make me want to finish it, but I think that I’ll stick with the author’s most recent work from now on.

Vote for my 20th (and possibly last) book of the year!

Ok readers, I have a favor to ask of you! I’ve set a goal for myself that I will read 20 books this year. Actually, this goal wasn’t intended, but looking at my reading pace a few months ago, I figured 20 would be a nice, achievable number (I’m not including any non-fiction I’ve read this year). Many of you probably read 20 books in a month, but alas I have sacrificed most of my potential reading time to grad school.

Anyways, I’m currently reading my 19th novel, A Desirable Residence by Madeleine Wickham (aka Sophie Kinsella), which is a pleasant piece of chick-lit after my run of dsytopian classics. And now I’d like YOU to vote for my 20th book of the year! (Considering how busy I am writing my final paper and preparing for the holidays, it’s quite possible that it might even be my last book of 2011! *cue ominous music* DUN DUN DUN!!!

Here’s your choices:

  1. The Trial by Franz Kafka
  2. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  3. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
  4. Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  5. Summer and the City by Candace Bushnell

So let me know which one I should read and why…My fate is now in your hands!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving break, and–of course–thanks for reading!

Love, Book Club Babe