You guessed it - "Cocktails for Three" by Sophie Kinsella (writing as Madeleine Wickham, her real name) came to me in a parcel from my mother-in-law. I would not buy any of her books for myself, but I do like some light reading in the evenings, as you know from my previous post.
Also, I do like cocktails very much (as you know from several posts already, such as this one or the ones about my own cocktail parties, such as this year's party post). Therefore, seeing the title of this book, I thought, yes, that one sounds like fun.
Well, it is not quite full of light-hearted fun as you'd think. Quite the contrary. The story deals with postnatal depression, bullying at the work place, cheating, a fatal disease and grief.
There is friendship in the book and love, but also hate and people deliberately hurting others by their actions. There is trust, but also deceit. There are secrets, which shall all be revealed in the end, but not everything turns out well for everyone in the end.
Three friends meet once a month for cocktails, always at the same bar. They think of each other as being close, but they all harbour secrets - BIG secrets, with big consequences - from the others, which makes them question their closeness.
Most of what goes on in the book is rather credible, but as is so often the case when I read this kind of "chick lit", I can't but wonder at the amount of alcohol consumed by young, professional women. At least, this time, there is none of the "waking up next morning besides a stranger and not remembering how they got there", which is something I have always found rather unrealistic. Does that kind of thing really happen in the lives of young, professional woman as often as books and films want us to believe? I doubt it.
So, what I had expected to be very light reading turned out to give me quite a few things to think about, and left me somewhat sad several times. I did not have any preferred character, and did not care deeply for any of them, but the overall "message" (if I perceived it right) is something to be mulled over when my mind is not occupied otherwise.
By the way, the quip printed on the back of the book, taken from a review in "Marie Claire", is total rubbish: "These three women fairly sashay - or should that be stagger - off the page." No, they don't sashay at all, and while one of the women staggers a bit in one scene, that certainly does not characterize the whole story.