Thursday 1 March 2018

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella @KinsellaSophie #SurpriseMeBook @BeckyShort1 @TransworldBooks

After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other's sentences. They have a happy marriage and believe they know everything there is to know about each other. Until it's casually mentioned to them that they could be together for another sixty-eight years... and panic sets in.

They quickly decide to create little surprises for each other, to keep their relationship fresh and fun. But in their pursuit of Project Surprise Me - anything from unexpected gifts to restaurant dates to photo shoots - mishaps arise with disastrous and comical results. 

Gradually, the surprises turn to shocking discoveries. And when a scandal from the past is uncovered, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all...

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella was published in hardback by Transworld on 8 February, the paperback edition will be published in June this year. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

Sylvie and Dan have been married for seven years and are the parents of twins. They are happy, they know everything about each other. They can even finish each other's sentences.
At a routine medical when they are given a clean bill of health, they are also told that they will both probably live to be a hundred. That means that they have over sixty more years together.

That's around 25,000 breakfasts and they'll probably have sex another 11,000 times. Despite their closeness and the fact that they are undoubtedly madly in love, this really freaks them out. They decide that they will create surprises for each other; maybe they'll take exotic holidays, or prepare unusual breakfast ... there are lots of things that will make the time better. Or will they?

Although Sylvie and Dan are happy together, and love their children and their job, they have very different backgrounds. Sylvie is the spoilt, only child of a very successful businessman, whilst Dan was brought up in a family that worked hard for their money. Sylvie's father has always been her hero and she was distraught when he died tragically in a car crash. Everyone felt that Sylvie 'didn't cope' and her family, and especially Dan have continued to shelter her from the real world. She will always be 'Princess Sylvie'.

Recently though, Sylvie has noticed that Dan seems to resent her father's memory. He becomes quite blunt and cold when she talks about him, or looks at his photos, or when they watch their wedding DVD where her father stole the show with his looks and presence.

Sophie Kinsella writes with a very sharp wit.  Some of the scenes during Project Surprise Me really had me laughing out loud, and I certainly won't be ordering a bespoke breakfast as a treat for my bloke.

Despite the humour in this story, the author also deals with some serious and emotional issues. Sylvie begins to question Dan's behaviour and becomes more paranoid about what he is doing, and why, and this allows the author to explore the feelings of grief and oppression that Sylvie has kept hidden for many years. The slowly unfolding story of Dan's connection to Sylvie's father is expertly handled, whilst Sylvie's own awareness of what has been hidden from her can be quite painful to read at times.

Surprise Me is filled with surprises; not just for Dan and Sylvie, but also for the reader. This is so much more than a story of a marriage, it's also a gently unfolding tale of family betrayals and secrets.

Clever, funny, emotional; Surprise Me will make you laugh, and make you cry. Highly recommended from me.

Sophie Kinsella is an international bestselling writer.
She is the author of many number-one bestsellers, including the hugely popular Shopaholic series.
She has also written seven bestselling novels as Madeleine Wickham.
She lives in London with her husband and family and avoids surprises at all costs.

Visit her website at and find her on Facebook at
You can also follow her on Twitter @KinsellaSophie and Instagram @sophiekinsellawriter

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