From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Pearson (I Don't Know How She Does It) dips into Nick Hornby country in her slick latest. In 1974 Wales, 13-year-old Petra is in love with David Cassidy, an obsession she shares with her best friend, Sharon. When they hear that Cassidy is playing a concert in London, the girls sneak away to see him, bringing Petra into brief contact with Bill, who writes for The Essential David Cassidy Magazine. Nearly 25 years later, Petra is separated and seeing how she had sacrificed her ambitions for her husband's when, after her mother's funeral, she discovers a letter her mother had intercepted years before. The letter was informing Petra she had won the Ultimate David Cassidy Quiz, and her prize was a trip to meet the star in California. A magazine picks up the story of Petra's missed opportunity, and suddenly Petra and Sharon, along with Bill, who now works for this magazine, are headed to Las Vegas for a belated meeting. Petra has a piercing wit and a boundless charm, but it's Pearson's insights into friendship, celebrity worship from the inside out, and the knocks you take in life that create a winning novel of hope, lost and found. (Feb.) (c)
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During the 1970s, Welsh teenager Petra and her best friend, Sharon, are wild for pop singer David Cassidy, along with millions of other fans the world over. They spend huge chunks of their leisure time perusing The Essential David Cassidy Magazine for clues to David’s likes and dislikes, unaware that most of the material is being created out of whole cloth by ne’er-do-well English major William Finn, whose take on the cherubic singer is a good deal more acerbic than theirs. The novel’s second half finds the characters 25 years later as Petra is grieving the death of her mother and the end of her marriage, while Bill is now running an empire of celebrity magazines though still unlucky in love. A lost letter brings them together for a David Cassidy reunion concert, which proves to be a turning point in both of their lives. Pearson is at her best in capturing the way teenage girls use their romantic obsessions with celebrities to work out their fears about real relationships with the opposite sex. An afterword includes Pearson’s delightful 2004 interview with a 54-year-old Cassidy. --Joanne Wilkinson