I’m going to add my voice to the chorus of people who love this book. Yes, it’s a sort of rom-com chick lit light read but the characters are deeply real and as funny and lighthearted as it often is, there are also moments of profound revelation, pathos and bittersweetness. Justine - Sagittarius - is a copy runner for a respected magazine who is hoping to get a cadetship. Childhood friend Nick - Aquarius - is trying to make it as an actor. His girlfriend is beautiful model Laura and she thinks it’s probably time for Nick to get serious about life and forget acting. Justine knows that she’s in love with Nick and although she bears no animosity to Laura she thinks Nick should stick to his true calling. So she does a bad thing: when typing up the faxed horoscopes she changes the Aquarius forecast to try to nudge Nick in the right direction, knowing that he sets a lot of store in this stuff. Nick consistently misses the point but Justine’s fake news has a real life effect on various other Aquarians.
Justine and her brain often have dialogues. She’s also a grammar Nazi who walks around with a Sharpie changing bad spelling and punctuation. She knows her Shakespeare and has an exceptionally retentive memory. The dogs in the pound are written as having people-type personalities (so often a bit rude), especially the one-eyed tramp dog Brown Houdini-Malarkey who plays a central role in the final satisfying denouement. It’s rare to find a book that you can truthfully describe as being genuinely heartwarming but not at all schmaltzy. I’ll bet Darke sets a trend with her quirky, up to the minute style but if so, let’s hope those other authors also possess Darke’s depth of insight into people and all the vagaries of life as it’s actually lived - by the old, the young, the rich, the poor, the successful and the struggling. Really enjoyable. By Snapdragon - Aries sun, Virgo moon, Sagittarius rising.
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