By Mhairi McFarlane
Available now from Harper (HarperCollins)
Edie and her catty friend Louis are at a wedding for two of their coworkers, but when Edie leaves for a breath of air the groom follows - and kisses her. This is witnessed by the bride and instantly makes Edie persona non grata for trying to break up the happy couple on their wedding day.
I love that Edie never blames herself for this act. Jack's the one who chose to kiss her. However, throughout WHO'S THAT GIRL? she grapples with the messages they exchanged and the attention she encouraged. She's got to figure out why she was content to get strung along by a cad like Jack if she's going to be confident in herself.
Since Edie's boss appreciates her talent, he finds her a job outside the office in her hometown: ghostwrite the autobiography of popular TV star Elliot Owen. Things get off to a horrible start, but Edie soon realizes Elliot isn't just a spoiled primadonna. In fact, she rather likes him, but is determined to be professional and keep her distance. Unsurprisingly, both of them manage to make a hash of actually communicating their feelings.
WHO'S THAT GIRL? is a fun later-in-life coming-of-age (Edie is 36), with a romance that builds believably. It's a gentle read, despite the turbulence of Edie's love life and the sadness in her past. She's learning how to reconnect with her sister, makes a connection with her father's bitter elderly neighbor, and reunites with her two best friends who are both terrific. (I'd read books about them!) There's a good sense of place, and I enjoyed figuring out what the British slang meant.
Don't be fooled by the thickness of the spine. I finished WHO'S THAT GIRL? in a single, breezy afternoon. I enjoyed seeing Edie come to believe that she was as vivacious and attractive as her true friends told her. (And man, there is a great scene in this novel for seeing a toxic person get their comeuppance.) I'm definitely planning on giving Mhairi McFarlane's other books a try.