From Publishers Weekly
The heroine of Maxted's third comic confessional (after Running in Heels) is 29-year-old Holly, the incurably optimistic founder of a London dating agency called Girl Meets Boy. The agency is a hit, but, natch, Holly has her own boy troubles: her ex-fiance, Nick, takes his time moving out, and in the meantime infuriates her with his resolutely boyish sensibility (he makes his living dressing up as Mr. Elephant at children's parties). Holly sets herself up with Stuart, a promising applicant at her agency who turns out to be very different from what she imagined: he rapes her on their first date. The experience leaves her so numb and confused that she's not even sure it was rape, and comes up with heartbreaking rationalizations ("Well, here's the truth-I'm so ashamed I'm almost too embarrassed to say-but while he pinned me down, I held my stomach in. See? That proves it. If a woman is being you know, she wouldn't hold in her stomach"). She becomes depressed, makes bad business decisions, fights with her sister Claudia and bewildered friend Rachel and makes the bizarre choice to see Stuart again. Worst of all, she can't trust anyone anymore. Holly's road back to happiness is a long one, not helped by Stuart suing her for defamation when she eventually goes public with the facts. Maxted takes Holly's ordeal seriously, but her attempts to keep a light tone come off awkwardly. To Maxted's credit, Holly never becomes pitiful or self-dramatizing, but the author sometimes errs on the side of glibness, making this an oddly breezy read punctuated by jarring moments of anguish.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Maxted, author of Getting Over It (2000) and Running in Heels (2001), once again tells the story of a young woman at a crossroads in her life. Holly Appleton is running a dating service called "Girl Meets Boy" with the help of her sister, Claudia, and her friend, Nigel. She's just broken off her engagement to Nick, who is handsome and caring but too immature. Holly decides to jump back into the dating scene by choosing a "Girl Meets Boy" client. She picks Stuart, and the choice turns out to be disastrous. Stuart is slick and arrogant, and after their second date, he forces himself on Holly. Unable to even call what Stuart did to her rape, Holly sinks into depression. To make matters worse, "Girl Meets Boy" gets some bad publicity, and Nick's parents tell him that he is adopted, bringing out his insecurities. Maxted manages to maintain a light tone and still address Holly's plight with the seriousness it deserves. Holly and Nick are so likable that the reader can't help rooting for them. Kristine Huntley
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