Review: 'Single in the City' by Michele Gorman (2014)
Take one twenty six year old American, add to a two thousand year old city, add a big dose of culture clash and stir.
To think Hannah ever believed that Americans differed from Brits mainly in pronunciation, sophistication and dentistry. That's been the understatement of a lifetime. She lands upon England's gentle shores with no job, no friends and no idea how she's supposed to build the life she's dreaming of. Armed with little more than her enthusiasm, she charges headlong into London, baffling the locals in her pursuit of a new life, new love and sense of herself.
At the end of last year I reviewed Michele Gorman’s Christmas novella, ‘Christmas Carol.’ I really enjoyed Michele’s writing, so when I was contacted by Notting Hill Press about reviewing her novel ‘Single in the City’ I was straight away enthusiastic. As soon as I started reading it, though, I realised the storyline seemed quite familiar to me and after checking my Goodreads list I discovered I actually read the novel in 2011. However, Notting Hill Press decided to republish the novel this year, including some small changes, and I remembered quite enjoying the novel the first time I read it, so was looking forward to re-reading and reviewing!
Twenty-six-year-old Hannah Cummings has gotten tired of her boring life in Connecticut. One evening, after a few glasses of wine with her best friend, she decides to take it all into her own hands and move across the ocean, to the city of London. Even though she has no job or place to stay, Hannah is willing to give it her best shot. Yet, being an American in England turns out to offer quite a few other unexpected challenges to Hannah, such as the language and the customs, while also trying to find and keep a job and searching for her own Mr. Right. Will Hannah make it in London or will she be forced to go back to her American life?
Michele Gorman’s novel has the basic recipe for an entertaining and trustworthy chick lit novel: a heroine who decides to make a big change in her life, to move to another country, where she has to build up everything from scratch. Even though Hannah is a bit naive at times, she is an enjoyable main character, and I personally really enjoyed joining her on her adventures within the city of London. Her struggles and search for the perfect man result in quite a few laugh-out-loud situations, such as the sandwich scene at the start of the novel. I also loved the conversations between Hannah and her American best friend, Stacy, which is a fitting example of that one great friendship a chick lit novel can’t do without, if you ask me!
I didn’t notice too many differences between the original novel and this version, except for one definite improvement. In the earlier version, footnotes were included to explain all kinds of American phenomena. The footnotes weren’t really necessary, so I’m glad the decision was made to leave these out. I’ve had some experience with Michele Gorman’s writing, and I really enjoy her personal style. The story flowed easily, was quick-paced, and funny. On the whole, ‘Single in the City’ is an entertaining, light and fun read that is perfect for a lazy afternoon or a day in the park or at the beach; I already look forward to reading the sequel, ‘Misfortune Cookie’!