Title: How to Fall in Love with a Man Who Lives in a Bush
Author: Emmy Abrahamson
Publisher: Harper 2018
Rating: 3/5 stars
Reading Challenges: Reading Assignment; Modern Mrs. Darcy - In Translation; Seasonal Series - Read by the pool
Vienna: famous for Mozart, waltzes, and pastry; less famous for Julia, a Swedish transplant who spends her days teaching English to unemployed Austrians and her evenings watching Netflix with her cat or club hopping with a frenemy. An aspiring novelist, Julia’s full of ideas for future bestsellers: A writer moves his family to a deserted hotel in the dead of winter and spirals into madness! A homely governess loves a brooding man whose crazy wife is locked up in the attic! Fine, so they’ve been done. Doesn’t mean Julia won’t find something original.
Then something original finds Julia—sits down next to her on a bench, as a matter of fact. Ben is handsome (under all that beard) and adventurous (leaps from small bridges in a single bound). He’s also sexy as hell and planning to shuffle off to Berlin before things can get too serious. Oh, and Ben lives in a public park.
Thus begins a truth stranger than any fiction Julia might have imagined: a whirlwind relationship with a guy who shares her warped sense of humor and shakes up the just-okay existence she’s been too lazy to change. Ben challenges her to break out; she challenges him to settle down. As weeks turn to months, Julia keeps telling herself that this is a chapter in her life, not the whole book. If she writes the ending, she can’t get hurt.
My mom picked up this book at a free library event and thought I would like this quirky story. Unfortunately, most of it just fell flat for me. I was intrigued by the storyline. I loved the character of Ben. But... the writing was very juvenile. Choppy sentences. First person narration that read more like a blog post than a book. I don't know if it has something to do with the translator, or that's really how the book is written. All I know is that I kept having to stop reading with thoughts like "Is that really the sentence you want to put into print?" Some may like this little book, I didn't.
But what if the ending isn’t hers to write?
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