Friday, July 30, 2010

Review: "Mixed Doubles" by Jill Mansell

I have the tendency to read review books through the week and to choose something off my own shelves to read on the weekend. It's not something that I plan, necessarily, although I do find that it's a good way for me to keep pace with the wonderful review books that I receive and keep up with Mt. TBR at the same time. Last weekend I was perusing my bookshelves and was seriously craving some British chick lit. It's been a while since I've read any of that, and if I had to pick an absolute favourite genre, it would be British chick lit all the way! My eyes fell on my unread copy of Mixed Doubles by Jill Mansell, and I thought how fitting it would be to feed my craving with a book by the author who started my addiction in the first place!

Mixed Doubles is one of Mansell's earlier works, originally published in 1998. It starts off just prior to the New Year. Three friends, Liza, Dulcie, and Pru are making New Years Resolutions, as has been their custom since they became friends. The three women couldn't be more different. Liza is a single, gorgeous food critic for a newspaper with a following. Everywhere that she goes, men fall in love with her, and despite the fact that she tries to have relationships with them, none of them last for more than a couple of weeks. She resolves to get married before the year's end. Dulcie is married to a handsome, devoted man but is bored with her life. Patrick works a ton, and has little time left over for Dulcie. She resolves to divorce her husband and get out there and have a little fun. Pru is married to the slimy Phil. He gambles, he cheats, and Pru overlooks everything in the name of love. Pru resolves to stay married.

The three friends have definite plans for the year ahead, but little do they know that the year ahead has some rather different plans for them.

Anyone who has read this blog before knows that I can get a little gushy when I start talking about Jill Mansell. I haven't met a book of hers yet that I didn't like, although I like some more than others. This one fell in the middle range for me, but not in a bad way. The friendship between the three women was interesting. I didn't get the impression that the three were joined at the hip, they all had different interests and ran in slightly different circles, yet you could tell that they really cared about one another. The characters and their various dilemmas were easy to relate to, and it was easy to root for their individual happy endings.

The various romantic relationships that form (and unform) in this book are part of what makes it so highly enjoyable. Mansell has a knack for creating characters and relationship pairings that you fall in love with within the first couple of chapters. Even when the characters themselves can't see how perfect their prospective mate is, I always have fun watching them figure it out for themselves.

Jill Mansell is my go-to author for when I need a fast, fun, and immensely satisfying read, and Mixed Doubles doesn't disappoint. If you're a fan of British chick lit, or chick lit in general, I recommend giving this one a try.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Recommended to: Fans of chick lit
Challenges: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge, 2010 Chick Lit Challenge, RYOB Challenge 2010

I personally purchased my copy of this book.


  1. I totally agree - Mansell's characters are the best and always make you want to read more. Great review!

  2. I am a recent convert to mansells books, I love themx

  3. I recently bought my first Mansell book but haven't gotten to it yet - I am looking forward to it!

  4. I feel the same way you do about Mansell! I'll have to get my hands on a copy of this one. I can't get enough of her books.