review by Maryom
Sylvie and Dan seem to be a perfect couple - they've been together ten years, have a happy marriage, twin daughters, and a lovely home. They've grown so close, they can tell what the other is thinking, can finish their sentences, predict their every move. They're looking forward to a long life together ... till someone mentions that could be sixty-eight years! Sixty-eight years! How can any relationship survive that long, especially when they know each other so well? Suddenly the future is stretching out before - filled with boredom! What they should do, they decide, is surprise each other more often - with unexpected gifts, sexy lingerie, brunch dates, even a new pet - but soon Sylvie begins to think Dan is not so much trying to surprise her, as keep secrets from her.
Sylvie's professional life is also under scrutiny, as the niche museum she works for finds itself being roughly dragged into the twenty-first century.
Surprise Me is the latest stand-alone novel from Shopaholic series author Sophie Kinsella - and a little bit different to her other books. It starts out pretty much as you would expect from a romcom - light-hearted, with misunderstandings and pratfalls, as the couple try to outdo each other in their attempts to liven up their marriage, but the last third of the book moves into murkier territory as the secrets Dan's been keeping are gradually brought to light. Even so, I really enjoyed it. It's perhaps on the whole, not as laugh out loud funny as other of Sophie Kinsella's work, but that's balanced by a deeper insight into long-term relationships, and the secrets families hide beneath a happy exterior.
Maryom's review - 4 stars
Publisher - Bantam Press
Genre - adult, romcom