I've Got Your Number
Picking and choosing chick lit stories by the back cover results in my sporadic reading of this genre. I have to admit that Sophie Kinsella dropped off my radar because of the Shopaholic books – I didn’t want to read about buying posh things when I was on a budget. But with her latest single title she is definitely back on it. With superb sparkle and wit, the book entertained me from beginning to end.
Poppy Wyatt is the luckiest girl alive – well, she used to be the luckiest. Oh, she is still engaged to the most wonderful man in the world and they are still getting married. And it is not like she has been in an earthquake or nuclear disaster, or the victim of a crazed gunman. She only just lost her fiancé’s ring – a ring that has been in the family for three generations – on the day that her future in-laws are coming back to town. At one of her bachelorette parties she surrendered to her girlfriends’ pleas and forked over her ring so they could try it on. But she gets distracted during a raffle draw, and she never dreamed that the fire alarm would go off, sending everyone into the street. Going from person to person, Poppy is distraught to discover no one has her ring. And if that is not bad enough, her cell phone is stolen.
She’s about to have a meltdown – because no phone means no communication – when she finds a discarded cell in the trash. Even though the phone has a company name on it, she grabs on to it as a lifeline. It was in the trash and they probably have millions of phones, and she needs one now. But she receives a call from Sam Roxton apprising her that she has his former PA’s phone, and he needs it back. Through skillful negotiation – well, more like persuasive begging – she convinces Sam to let her use the phone. The only condition is that she forward all the emails to his inbox until he can get the IT guys to change the routing.
Of course she has to read the e-mails to know which one to forward, and she realizes that Sam sure could use some coaching in building teamwork. He either ignores emails or answers them abruptly and sparsely. What is wrong with saying “Great job” once in awhile? Soon the desire to just help Sam becomes uncontainable, leading to unanticipated results.
Sam is all business – very focused and intent on his career and the success of his company. People should just do their jobs. Sam is not sure what to think about the whirlwind that has entered his life, but even though she is causing extraordinary pandemonium she has gotten under his skin. He feels compelled to help her find her ring, and he is not shy about telling her she needs to develop backbone, and quit letting people – like her future in-laws – intimidate her.
I am not sure how realistic the scenario is, now with the new smartphones, but that didn’t bother me. The writing, which is mostly in first person, is fun, witty and droll. The character growth is insightful and heartwarming. And most of all, the book made me laugh.
There are only brief glimpses of e-mails and text messages but Ms. Kinsella uses the idea of learning about an individual from these media to great advantage. Just think about how much someone would learn about you if they found your phone and read your inbox and texts.
I do have two minor quibbles. The author uses footnotes in her story, and honestly they are not needed. Oh, they are cute but they are a bit distracting. After a while I just ignored them. Also, while the ending is extremely satisfying, the author goes just a tad overboard with the no-hard-feelings scenario, which caused me to think “Oh, that would never happen”.
Still, the story completely pleased me on that emotional level, when you believe that two people have found the right person. If you love a story with a mixture of entertaining comedy and perceptive conflict, then you need to read Ms. Kinsella’s latest.