Book Review: Lizzie’s Christmas Escape by Christie Barlow
I admit I have been doing some other things over the Christmas holidays but this book has still managed to put me in a complete reading rut. So, finally, at around the 60% mark, I’m throwing in the towel. I really can’t think of a single thing that has endeared me to this book to make me want to go on.
Lizzie wants a Christmas escape because basically she’s a selfish cow who, despite her age, needs to grow up. Her kids have left home and she feels her husband, Henry, takes her for granted/ignores her/neglects her. The truth of the matter is he’s working long hours while she stays at home making a bit of pin money as a seamstress. She gets angry when he comes home, clearly exhausted, and eats his dinner in front of the tv before heading off to bed. And that’s about it when it comes to Henry’s crimes.
Apparently that’s enough for immature and gullible Lizzie because when a single male, Marcus, moves in next door, she instantly falls for him.
Lizzie’s moping around and whingeing about how hardly done by she is nearly did my head in. Here’s an idea, Lizzie, how about you expand your business so that you poor ol’ Henry doesn’t feel like he has to take on extra work to pay the bills. Although I suspect Lizzie’s a crap seamstress anyway, considering that there’s a few chapters dedicated to her shopping for a dress to wear on a date with Marcus and the dilemma she faces when she can’t afford the ‘perfect’ one. I mean, seriously? She’s a seamstress!! Can’t she just make her own dress?! Ugh.
Marcus is just about the most unintentionally sleazy character I’ve read in a while. He knows Lizzie is married right from the start, but that doesn’t seem to stop him from constantly approaching her (without ever bothering to introduce himself to Henry or call around when he’s home) and, basically, using her. She’s so self-absorbed she doesn’t even see how much Marcus is taking advantage.
As I’ve only gotten to around the 60% mark, I can’t tell you for sure, but I would assume Marcus is either some sort of a criminal or gay. Some ‘bombshell’ anyway that will shock Lizzie into running back to Henry with her tail between her legs and screaming that she now realises it’s Henry she really loves. What.ever.
I must also mention Lizzie’s bestie, Ann. Well, what a pain in the proverbial. One minute she is telling Lizzie that she should go out with Marcus and have some fun etc etc. The next minute she’s warning her to be careful because she’s married etc etc. Make up your mind!!!!
There’s all sorts of cliched romantic moments with Lizzie and Marcus that made me cringe: ice skating, dog walking, him buying her expensive gifts… Gross.
There is a sprinkling of Christmas, so I will give it half a star for the effort of making the holiday relevant to the storyline.
The cover/blurb indicates there’s humour in the book, but I’m afraid I find nothing funny in making plans to be unfaithful. I didn’t even get the Gary Barlow part because I have no idea who he is (okay, I did google, but I was clueless until then).
I was going to try and finish the book but the last chapter I read was a detailed account of Lizzie and Ann’s weekly bingo night (where Lizzie wins and will spend that money on the new dress and a weekend away with Marcus, I assume). Not really the escapism I was looking for…
One out of 5. Did not finish.