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I'm starting a thread for Louise and Charlie

edited March 2011 in - Writing Tales
Some of the comments about Louise's book, 'A Proper Charlie,' are getting a bit lost on the Chloe thread, so I thought it would be nice to start a new thread, just for Charlie.

And to report that I'm now 3/4 of the way through and thoroughly enjoying it, Louise. Your characters are wonderful and I keep laughing out loud. A lovely mix of serious themes and humour. Review on its way soon... probably Sun/Mon as I'm away for part of this weekend.


  • I have it on order, so I'm looking forward to reading it after seeing the Amzon reviews and what has been said by TB's here.
  • edited March 2011
    Good idea. Here's my review of Louise's book - A Proper Charlie.


    As Liz! has posted her review on the Chloe thread, here's mine for Charlie. It doesn't contain any spoilers.

    Charlie Wallis is a young woman working in media, has daydreams and is looking for love. Sound familiar? If you think Louise Wise's latest novel, A Proper Charlie, is another Bridget Jones clone, you'd be wrong. It was often a struggle to like Bridget, with Charlie you can't help it.

    In early chapters Charlie's naivety borders on annoying, but as the novel develops we soon realise she has dreams and it's those that have turned her into a survivor.

    Deciding she has hit on the next big story, she has to step aside when she realises her more experienced colleagues are already researching and writing front page articles. But why let a good idea go to waste? The lives (and possibly deaths) of prostitutes would make a cracking novel, she decides - and continues her perilous research.

    I think it was at this point I wondered if the author was pushing her character too far. How realistic would it be for a young woman to dress as a prostitute and climb into a stranger's car? We might not consider it, but as more of Charlie's past is revealed it actually seemed almost plausible.

    She'd had a tough life; Charlie grew up with no real family. But a boy she met in a home became her big brother and offered her his shoulder when crying was all she could do. Separated by his eventual adoption, he never forgot her and eventually found her a job with a newspaper he edited.

    And what of love? The joy of a good romance is not necessarily in discovering the love interest. It was obvious after only a few pages with whom Charlie was destined to find that love. But how could their lives be reconciled? That's where pace comes into play and the author managed it magnificently.

    A Proper Charlie is a good read. A main character researching prostitutes doesn't suggest much humour - but Louise Wise has balanced it well. Charlie's chaotic life could be a mess, but it's not. I particularly enjoyed the office scenes - the back-chat with co-workers was sharp and witty. Although the sudden change in tempo during one exchange between Charlie and a colleague seemed as unnatural as the breasts they were feeling.

    But the scene in Charlie's flat with a would-be punter made me laugh out loud with the climax brilliantly scripted.

    A good novel consists of several elements. Louise Wise's novel has all the basics, but it does lack a little polish. Attention to detail is critical and future editions need to be error-free.

    That criticism aside, this book was fun to read and was indeed a page turner.
  • edited March 2011
    Finished and throughly enjoyed it! Here's my review (to appear on Amazon very soon) :

    Charlie Wallis is one of those characters who stay firmly wedged inside your head when you've finished a book - but you don't mind at all because you'd actually quite like to have her as a friend. Charlie (Charlotte) is a brilliant creation. I could say she was funny, at times infuriating, intelligent, lovable, crazy (no, make that downright mad) but I wouldn't be any nearer to capturing her true character - you have to read the book to discover that.

    The other main characters are convincing too - loyal, devoted, brotherly Mel; shy, upper-class, nerdy astronomer Ben... You'll find yourself rooting for them all (well, most of them) and occasionally wanting to bang their heads together. Louise Wise spins a good yarn that will soon have you netted. You know where the story is going, lovewise, or you hope you do. But getting there draws you through some tangled webs and along the way you brush up against serious issues, like women caught up in prostitution and the problems of children in care.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will be looking out for more by Louise Wise. The five stars I wanted to give it were slightly reduced by the number of typos and minor mistakes, which could have done with the eagle eye of a good copy editor. But this aside, 'A Proper Charlie' is a book I'd recommend - chick-lit at its best and a worthy successor to Bridget Jones, the granny of them all. Charlie Wallis is an original and her author can be truly proud of her.
  • My copy is in the post and should be with me early next week.
  • It arrived today, so I'll be reading it this week.
  • How's it going?
  • I'm on the third chapter and I'm enjoying it. I did have a sneeky peak read at various points before I started chapter 1.

    I know I'm being a pedant but the one thing that has irritated me a little- probably because it has been drummed into me over the years- repeating a word very close together like the next sentence- think it was in Chapter 1.

    Otherwise I am looking forward to seeing how Charlie and Ben get on.
  • Thank you for the reviews ladies, they are coming in now. I have to say the annoying typos have been corrected in the ebook and soon to follow in the paperpack. Thanks to you all for pointing them out.
  • i can't see a word repeated in that sentence, Carol.
  • I didn't specify a sentence Liz.
    I will look which page it was on and which sentences it was.
  • ah, you said 'like the next sentence' so I thought the next sentence written was the one you meant, from the book!
  • No, sorry I didn't make it clear Liz.
  • Lol! There I was, reading and re-reading and thinking, by God, Carol's got wonderful editing abilities. No way would I have spotted that.
  • I'll be embarking on it later today, courtesy of La Baguette
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