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Obsidian Blue

Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

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Cute Romance that Keeps Things Realistic

Thinking of You - Jill Mansell

I know I know. I usually give Mansell some grief, however, this one really works on all levels and I loved that Mansell didn't just give everyone a happy ending. She was quite realistic about some follow-ups with certain characters. I will say though, that this whole dude who didn't realize he wasn't the father of the child that was born plot reminded me a bit of one of her other books though. 


"Thinking of You" has Ginny Holland dealing with her empty nest after her daughter goes off to university. Ginny had her daughter Jem are very close. Ginny doesn't see how she is going to get through her days without her daughter coming home to her. After visiting Jem and meeting her new flatmates, Ginny realizes she is going to need something to do so that she doesn't ruin Jem's independence. Ginny takes on a new job waitressing and also rents a room out at her place.


Due to the room renting and new job, Ginny meets new people, Finn (her boss), Evie (runs the restaurant portion of the antiques store he runs), Laurel (her new lodger), and Perry (Laurel's brother). Up until now most of Ginny's life has revolved around Jem, her best friend Carla and her ex-husband Gavin. 


Mansell manages to juggle several story-lines throughout the book.


Ginny tries to start dating again and thinks that Perry would be the perfect guy. Though he has lying tosser written all over him, I did shake my head at how Perry was able to get women to do what he wanted. Ginny also finds her thoughts shifting to Finn and I liked how these two interacted together after their terrible meet-cute where Finn accuses her of being a shoplifter (I cracked up).


Ginny's ex-husband Gavin sounds like a total pain, but I laughed at all of his get your life together pep talks to Laurel (Ginny's lodger). Laurel was a hot mess though I laughed at her and her constant bringing up of her ex. 


I also really like that Mansell included Jem's third person POV. We do get to see how badly she is with things while she is away from home (falling for someone totally unsuitable) and how she starts to act towards her friends like Davy and Lucy. 


The writing was really good and at times very funny. I laughed out loud a few times with the banter between Gavin and Laurel as well as between Ginny and anyone else.


“But you were the one who came to see it! You said it was just what you were looking for!” Her voice rising—and not in an I-fancy-you way—Ginny said, “You said it was perfect!”

He blinked, nonplussed. “It is perfect. For Laurel.”

Frantically, Ginny ran back through everything he’d told her. “No, hang on, you said your flat was too small…”


"For ninety minutes now she had been listening to the Story of Kevin. Ninety minutes was the length of an entire film. She could have watched Anna Karenina and been less depressed."


I thought the ending was quite sweet, but was happy to see some foreshadowing that some relationships which were said to be fine, came to an end or almost an end by the epilogue. And I was very happy we didn't see Jem or Lucy thinking of their friend Davy beyond being friends. Most romances would have had one of the girls fall for him or something.