Awesome first novel. I loved it. Most of it was laugh-out-loud funny but surprisingly a few sections brought tears to my eyes. Penny was a fantastic character with a wonderful sense of humour. Some of her interactions with her husband Jack had me in stitches. However, the bathroom scene, while being funny, left me a little unnerved. I'll just say I never want to be in that situation.
I always find it interesting when authors leave part of the story up in the air at the conclusion of the book. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't. In this case, it's totally appropriate. To avoid spoilers, I'm not going to comment on that further except to say that life's like this. Even after we accomplish what we set out to do, it's not over, life goes on. Some people are happy with how things turned out; some are not. Perfect ending to a delightful story.
My one complaint is that Penny seemed to spend a little too much time walking around with her new best friend Haggis, an Irish Wolfhound. I know that walking-the-dog-therapy really helped Penny sort things out, but for me it got a little tedious.
My favourite quotes from the book are listed below. The first two I like because I can relate to the statements. The last one is just too funny (or sad, depending on how you look at it) to ignore.
...her home was a fortress, not a prison, to Penny. She felt protected and insulated from all the chaos and craziness of life. She like the sameness and predictability of each day. (page 36)
Penny hates it when friends and neighbours phone up and simply say hi without further comment, like she has instant voice recognition. That, or call display. For this reason alone, she almost prefers telephone marketers. At least you can tell them apart from everybody else. (page 295)
[Penny] likes the fact that Canadians will elect a person only if he or she has taken and passed a French fluency test. Maybe the Americans should have instituted a sort of competency test as well. Like basic geography. That might have eliminated a candidate here and there. Might have saved some stress. Some embarrassment. A few thousand lives. (page 82)
Highly recommended. I hope Crymble writes many more books. She's definitely on my authors-to-watch list.
For more information about this book or to Browse Inside, please visit the HarperCollins Canada website.
I'd like to thank those nice people at HarperCollins Canada for this review copy.
It Can Happen to You by Lynn Crymble, HarperCollins, ©2009. ISBN 9781554683079(Trade Paperback), 403p.