Title: Holly's Inbox
Author: Holly Denham (Bill Surie)
Published: 2007 Pages: 665
If you’ve been hanging around here long enough, you’ve probably noticed the absence of chick-lit from my reading lists. No, I’m not a book snob and I don’t have anything against chick-lit, it just doesn’t happen to fall into my hands while browsing for books at the store. I maintain that makes me selective, not snobby. Why am I defending myself?? Anyway, I first saw this book over at Bookfool’s and thought the idea of it was cute. A book entirely of emails? Sometimes that exactly what the doctor ordered. I was delighted when the author contacted me to read this book. I gave my standard “fair and honest review” response, which is what I’m fully prepared to give.
Holly’s Inbox is a rather chunky novel of emails. Think Bridget Jones minus the diary and with a lot more dialogue. And you know how much I love Bridget. The story? Holly has just started a new job as a receptionist at a busy London bank. Her fellow receptionist, Trisha, kindly takes her under her wing and teaches her the dos and don'ts of the company while also giving her the daily gossip about the other employees. Other emails include those from her family, including her crazy wine-loving Granny and nightclub owner brother Charlie, and her friends Jason and Aisha who work together at Holly's previous job.
All in all, Holly's Inbox was a lot of fun to read. I wasn't planning on reading this one until August, but Catch-22 proved to be a little too arduous in the evenings, so I picked this one up to read in bed. And let me tell you, it kept me reading for hours at a time--way past my bedtime! I kept thinking, just one more day, just one more week, just one more month! The story spans over five months and what to expect? Romance/lust, betrayal, secrets and lies, refound love, family bonding, heartache, and definitely above all a lot of laughs. Holly is much more competent than Bridget, but she still finds herself in a few uncomfortable snafus--especially when she sends her emails to the wrong recipient! And of course there is also the misunderstanding that can come from the written word rather than the spoken word. Tone is often misconstrued and it causes a lot of trouble for the characters.
I would recommend Holly's Inbox--especially as a light weekend read or a vacation read. Definitely perfect for the summer. It is highly entertaining and I was surprised at how much depth and characterization could come from simple conversations between the characters. I felt like I really got to know the characters of Holly's Inbox and cheered them on or cringed at their mistakes. A small complaint--I felt like some of the storylines were a little underdeveloped, even for an almost 700 page book. And then there were some stories that seemed to come out of left field and never really went anywhere after the shock wore off. But really? Not a book to dissect--just a book to have a lot of fun with. Note of warning--a bit of foul language and sex talk. Since the book is all email, though, it's just talk.
Do you email while you're at work? Have you ever gotten in trouble for an email that was sent or know someone who had a horror story?
Other thoughts on Holly's Inbox (let me know if I missed yours):
Bookfoolery and Babble
Diary of an Eccentric (Anna)
A Novel Menagerie (Sheri)
Peeking Between the Pages (Dar)
Visit Holly's Inbox for a taste of the emails