Tuesday, November 12, 2013

{REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY} DON'T WANT TO MISS A THING by JILL MANSELL

Don't Want to Miss a Thing
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: 11/5/13
Format: ARC
Pages: 432
Source: Received from publisher for review
Rating: 4 stars

Dexter Yates loves his fun, care-free London life; he has money, looks and girlfriends galore. But everything changes overnight when his sister dies, leaving him in charge of her eight-month-old daughter Delphi. How is he ever going to cope?

Comic-strip artist Molly Hayes lives in the beautiful Cotswold village of Briarwood. When it comes to relationships, she has a history of choosing all the wrong men. Leaving the city behind, Dex moves to Briarwood - a much better place to work on his parenting skills - and he and Molly become neighbours. There's an undeniable connection between them. But if Dexter's going to adapt, he first has a lot to learn about Molly, about other people's secrets...and about himself.
 


Jill Mansell is an author who's been repeatedly recommended to me, particularly as I love British Women's Fiction. I was so excited to begin Don't Want to Miss a Thing. That excitement was immediately rewarded.

Don't Want to Miss a Thing was sweet, and sad, funny, and exceeding charming story of a circle of friends whose lives are all thrown into a much different path than they expected. For me, I found this to be a story of embracing the unexpected journey. If that doesn't convince you that DWtMaT is worth a read, let me add this: I was reminded of Maeve Binchy, one of my all-time favorite authors. I loved how many of her books included several points-of-view, centered around a place or time, such as Evening Class or Nights of Rain and Stars. Needless to say, this is a huge compliment to Jill Mansell.

Don't Want to Miss a Thing's characters/stories included: Dex, single and successful, who's life is completely altered by his sister's death, and the choice to raise his niece; Molly, Dex's new neighbor and new best friend, who's torn between wanting Dex and knowing he may hurt her; Molly's best friend Frankie, who's happy life may be a fa├žad; and many more characters, Dex's friend Henry, Frankie's daughter Amber, the local barmaid, a former television star and her lost love, and believe it or not, more characters. Just reading this, it might seem like the book had way too much going on, but Mansell managed to create these very interesting and intersecting storylines, and maintained cohesion to tie all together.

Don't Want to Miss a Thing is a really good story in it's own right. But if you're looking for a story that will remind you of Binchy, I highly recommend it.



Favorite Quote:

  Frankie's eyes stayed closed but she felt the beaming smile spread unstoppably across her face. Did that make her a shameless, loose-morale trollop?
  It did?
  Yay!     ~ARC, pg. 306



Interview with Jill Mansell
 


You've written so many books. How do you continue to keep each book fresh?
JM:  Ah, it does get trickier as the years go by! These days I have to actively seek out plot ideas I've not used before...or sometimes I'll start writing a storyline then realise fifty pages later that I used something similar twenty years ago. Of course, if I leave it in, someone will read those two books one after the other then accuse me of just writing the same old book every time!


Do you control your characters, or do they ever surprise you by taking over the story?
JM: I'm not much of a pre-planner so I kind of rely on my characters surprising me. Basically it's like trying desperately to think of an interesting present to buy your auntie for Christmas then suddenly getting a flash of inspiration and finding the most perfect gift just in time. And once you get your flash of inspiration it's impossible to ignore it - that's the way you have to go. With the characters, it can be brilliant but it can sometimes make the rest of the book tricky to complete!


Does Don't Want to Miss a Thing have an overall message? If so, what do you hope readers take away from the story?
JM:  I write feel-good fiction. I trust in the innate goodness of people. Dex is a hedonist, terrified of the responsibility of stepping up to the plate and taking over the care of his niece, but he does it. Anything truly worthwhile is never going to be easy, but achieving it is going to make you feel better about yourself.


Can you recommend a recent book you've read?
JM:  Wonder by RJ Palacio is one of my favourite books of all time. Ooh, and a brilliant one just out in the US is The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. Try it - you'll LOVE it!


Is there a particular book or author who's inspired you?
JM:  Every time I read and enjoy a book, that book's author inspires me. I'm always trying to improve my writing and create the best book yet. And every time I struggle to write more than two hundred words in a day I remind myself that Nora Roberts writes a squillion books a year. That both terrifies and inspires me!

Can you tell us about any current or future projects?
JM:  Oh, I'll carry on writing to the best of my ability and hope that ONE DAY a wonderful movie producer will fall in love with my books and bring them to life on the big screen. That's my dream scenario. Fingers crossed...

 



Praise for Don’t Want to Miss a Thing
“A little bundle of joy changes everything in this quirky chick-lit tale... charmingly well charted.” —Publishers Weekly


“Utterly charming from the first page, Mansell’s engaging tale is as welcome and warming as a cup of tea on a rainy night.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 ½ Stars

 



Purchase Don't Want to Miss a Thing
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository  |  Books-a-Million | IndieBound | Sourcebooks




Giveaway

Two winners will receive a Jill Mansell Prize Pack, containing a copy of Don't Want to Miss a Thing & another of Mansell's books, courtesy of Sourcebook.
Open US/Can only, must be 18 years of age to enter.

To enter: Fill the form with your name/email address. For an extra entry, leave a comment. "Could you give up your lifestyle to take care of someone you love?"
 

 

About the author
Jill MansellWith over 7 million copies sold, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Mansell writes irresistible and funny romantic tales for women in the tradition of Marian Keyes and Sophie Kinsella. She worked for many years at a neurological hospital, and now writes full time. She lives with her partner and their children in Bristol, England. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter, or visit her website for more information: http://www.jillmansell.co.uk/.






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40 comments:

  1. Great review Andrea! This isn't something I would normally pick up, but you have me intrigued!

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  2. Love Jill Mansell!! Her stories helped me believe in the chance of love again.

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  3. Sounds like a great book. I don't think it's so much giving up your life, as it is creating a new one.

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  4. I haven't read anything by Jill Mansell :( but always wanted to, her stories sound wonderful. I would give up my lifestyle in a heartbeat to take care of that person, i think being with them would be more important to me then being without.

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  5. Thanks ;) I could give up a few things; not reading though.

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  6. This sounds really good. I could give up or adjust my lifestyle for someone I loved to take care of them and not think twice about it. Thank you for the chance to win.

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  7. I can and I have given up my lifestyle to take care of a loved one. Granted, it was short-term but it strengthened the bond between my parents and I.

    I have been wanting to read one of Mansell's books and I love the covers. Thanks :)

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  8. Love reading books about babies because I have one myself so that's my biggest reason for wanting to read this... besides your great review!

    I could absolutely give up my lifestyle to take care of someone I love... I mean being a mother to your own child is even like that!

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  9. Absolutely but I feel a lot of are already there with our aging parents

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  10. This is a great review, Andrea. I love Binchy so I'll definitely give Mansell a try. Thanks for sharing the interview, as well. I love Ms. Mansell's answer about the message in DWtMaT - that's so true. :)

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  11. For my family and close friends, I'd do whatever/give up whatever I had to. They come first. Not saying that it wouldn't be hard but gotta do what needs to be done is one of my mantras. Thanks for sharing!

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  12. Such a great review Andrea. I am one that gives everything to the people I love including friends so I can definitely see myself giving up a lot to help someone I love if they needed me.

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  13. Sounds like a wonderful novel! I think I'd really like it; thanks for the giveaway too.
    I can't imagine trying to come up with new story ideas over the years...especially if you write in the same genre all the time.

    As for the giveaway question, I would change my life to help someone I loved, yes, even though it would be difficult.

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  14. Great Review Andrea! I'm glad that you enjoyed this story so much! It's always great to discover a new author :) I haven't read much British Literature for pleasure. I'm more of a multicultural literature person myself :)

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  15. Yes, I could give up my lifestyle to take care of someone I love. This book sounds really good. Thanks for having the giveaway.

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  16. I'm sure I could! When I was 13 my grandmother was dying of cancer and my family had to move away. I wanted to help so I said I wanted to stay and clean house and cook for my grandfather. So I did. It was hard to watch my family leave, but I had a chance to get to know my grandparents in a way a lot of grandkids never do. It was hard to watch her get very sick and finally lose her, but I grew up so much because of it.

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  17. Replies
    1. I know I could give up my lifestyle for someone I love.

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  18. I would and I have. My dad was sick and he and my mother moved in with me so I could help her take care of him.

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  19. Yes, and I have to take care of my father. I wouldn't have it any other way.

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  20. Without any hesitation, I love my family very much and would give anything to help them in their time of need.

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  21. Feel good fiction! I think I like that description.

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  22. I really like British womens fiction! I don't read it often, but what I have read I really like. It's definitely 'feel good' fiction!

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  23. Yes I could give up my lifestyle to take care of someone I love.

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  24. I like Mansell's books. I'm glad you liked it.

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  25. Definitely! I love my family and I would do anything for them.

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  26. I would do whatever it took to take care of those I love.

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  27. Yes. I would do whatever I could to take care of those important to me. We are only given one chance in this life. I intend to do my best to love my family to the best of my ability.

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  28. Hooray, thanks so much for the lovely comments! It's wonderful to know that so many people have either read and enjoyed my books or are keen to try them! xxx

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    1. Thank you for the great interview! I look forward reading more of your novels in the future.

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  29. I enjoyed the review and the interview. I am not familiar with Binchy, but this sounds pretty fun.

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  30. Yup, I can and have. My mother had an emergency 5 artery heart bypass in July 2005 and I left my home, the failing relationship there, and the worst my 2 dogs that Mom was allergic to, and moved into her home when she came home from the hospital. She had 6 most rehab and it took a year to be back to herself. I ended up kicking out the ex, re-homing the dogs :( and selling the house. The book looks really good. Gonna check it out!

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  31. I've heard such great things about this author but still have never tried her! I'm glad I read your review, because I wouldn't have guessed from the covers that they contained more serious subjects. Enjoyed the interview, ladies.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  32. You had me at Binchy:>) Great interview and looking forward to reading this book and the discovery of a new favorite author.

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  33. Oh, and to answer the comment question; yes, I could and have, several times. I'm am in the middle of considering doing so more permanently by moving to help with my aging parents.

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  34. Yes, I've done it everyday for the past 20 years with my 6 children. I'm a stay at home doing odd jobs to help with bills and I homeschool. We stay very busy :) I must add too, that I wouldn't change a thing!
    Thanks,
    Lori

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  35. Yes, I would definitely give up my lifestyle to take care of someone I love.

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  36. If it was for someone I loved, I definitely would.

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  37. I think so.... After all, it would be for someone I love. I don't image it would be very easy though.

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