One Night at the Jacaranda by Carol Cooper
Author: Carol Cooper
Format: kindle edition
Release date: 26th November 2013
One man dying of cancer. One struggling journalist. A group of single Londoners. One night that changes everything.
The trouble with speed dating is that three minutes can last a lifetime, and ever since he was diagnosed, Sanjay doesn’t have a lifetime to waste.
For one booze and hope-fuelled night, the lives of a group of 30-somethings criss-cross. As well as Sanjay, lawyer Laure, divorced doctor Geoff, beleaguered mother-of-four Karen and traumatised ex-con Dan all face each other across the Jacaranda’s tables in their quest for love, solace or amazing sex.
Undercover journalist Harriet is after a by-line, not a boyfriend. She’s a struggling freelance with a live-in lover, who unexpectedly has to choose between the comfortable life she knows and a bumpy road that could lead to happiness.
As Laure, Sanjay, Geoff, Harriet, Karen, Dan and the rest of the bunch discover, it’s not just about finding someone who’s dynamite between the sheets. It’s about finding yourself, and that’s not always where you expect.
I received this book in an exchange for an honest review by the author
When Carol contacted me to request a review for her book I was not quite sure to accept or not. It did not sounded like something I usually read but I decided to give it a go. Overall I can say I’m pleasantly surprised.
One Night at the Jacaranda starts with a group of people speed dating at the Jacaranda Bar in London. Each one of them are looking for different things. Love, sex, fun, friendship, solace and more. Speed dating is an organized form of matchmaking that focuses on meeting a lot of people in a short period of time. The characters have 3 minutes to examine the opposite sex and ask questions to each other. One day after the speed dating they have tick their crosses online which persons they’d like to see again. As the story unfolds, you find out more and more about every character but some things are not what they seem like. It turns out not everyone was saying the truth.
The novel started off really well for me. I enjoyed Carol’s writing style. It is fresh, up lifting and straight to the point. The story is well paced too. It was interesting to get into in all those different peoples life stories. They are just people like you and me. You can relate to them very easily. If I’d to choose a favourite character I’d probably choose Hariet or Laure. I was also very enjoying reading about Geoff and Karen though. Being a doctor, journalist and mother for years, Carol included her mix of knowledge which made the story more diversified.
I think it’s not easy to have so many different characters in one story. I’ve read a book recently which an similar amount of characters and it was a disaster to keep them apart because they were so alike but Carol found a clever solution and the chapters are very well structured. Even though I had some problems with the secondary characters. Sometimes I just couldn’t remember who they were and had to go back to see what had been written about them in the latest chapters. It was an enjoyable and entertaining read. I’d absolutely recommend it.