Thirty-five-year-old student Shari Diamond has a penchant for all things British. She meets fellow linguist (and super hot Brit) Christopher T. Brown — Kit, for short — by chance in Chicago, and there begins her romance and the perpetuation of her incredibly potent fetish. Kit and Shari become inseparable, making a jaunt from New York City to London in no time. But in his native land, Kit seems to have a whole lot of secrets — and Shari has a whole lot questions without answers.
I went into Laurie Gwen Shapiro’s The Anglophile with such high hopes. As someone admittedly obsessed with British culture and language and a devoted reader of chick lit, I thought this novel would marry all of my favorite things in one nice, pleasant package! I wasn’t expecting The Great Gatsby, but this was just pure rubbish.
Honestly, I pretty much hated it. For starters, Shari is selfish, spoiled and self-obsessed — and the fact that she meets Kit when she has a boyfriend and doesn’t waste any time sleeping with him immediately turned me off this story. Going on a journey that spans more than three hundred pages with a character you don’t like isn’t exactly a good time. Still, I pushed myself to finish — even though it felt like ripping my teeth out at points.
The plot is just . . . thin. And meandering. Everything relies upon chance and a complete suspension of belief at points — like the fact that Kit and Shari are suddenly in a serious relationship after knowing each other for a matter of days. Um, what? And while I did enjoy the very brief tour of London and surrounding areas in the latter half of the book, I spent most of the novel confused and overwhelmed. I mean, she’s traveling the world with this guy? And there’s some weird subplot with a childhood friend, and then we sprint ahead a year in time out of nowhere at the end of the book and Shari’s aunt has a pet skunk and there’s some strange medicine swap snafu and Kit becomes some secretive, weird guy and then they meet Ringo Starr and . . .
I know, slow down. That’s how I felt, too. None of the pieces added up to anything other than complete fluff — and it wasn’t even intelligently written fluff. I’m all for light, fun reading, but this was ridiculous.
As much as it disappoints me to say, I’d pass on this one. There are plenty of other British (and women’s fiction) books in the literary sea to waste your time on The Anglophile.
2 out of 5!