- Reviewed by David M. Kinchen
Do do that voodoo that you do so well — from the song “You Do Something to Me” from the 1929 Cole Porter Broadway musical “Fifty Million Frenchmen”
By her own admission, London advertising executive Ashleigh Prince’s love life, as chronicled in Chrissie Manby’s “Getting Over Mr. Right” (Bantam Books Trade Paperback Original, 304 pages, $15.00, originally published in the U.K. in 2010) has been one disaster after another, apparently through no fault of her own. She’s attractive, successful at her work and, for once in her life, she has a fairly long-term — three years and counting — relationship with accountant Michael Parker.
To be sure, he’s like a lot of guys, deficient in the commitment gene; Ashleigh is 32 and wants to get married and have children, but Michael is satisfied — at least Ashleigh thinks so — with a dating relationship. Becky, Ashleigh’s best friend since childhood, points out that commitment includes moving in together and hinting, at least, about a permanent relationship, but when Ashleigh is dumped by Michael via Facebook, she’s devastated.
Not for Ashleigh a pint or two of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, erasing her boyfriend’s contacts from her computer and iPhone and getting on with her life; no, she goes into full-scale madness to revive a relationship with a man that all her friends — especially Becky — tell her that’s not worthy of her. They give her the sensible talk about getting over Michael, and start over with someone who wants what Ashleigh wants. Surely, there are men out there who can appreciate what a wonderful woman Ashleigh is. But Ashleigh Prince is not listening to sensible advice (who really does?). It’s OK to get mad, but ladies, don’t try what Ashleigh does or you’ll end up in a jail cell or a mental hospital, with a stalking restraining order in place.
After attempts to get Michael back that are beyond reason, including begging him to return during an unannounced visit to his office, and scoping out the well-endowed Brazilian interior designer who’s stolen him away, Ashleigh embarks on a journey from lost-love to lunacy, an odyssey that includes spending tons of money — make that Pounds of money, since this is England, after all — on psychic hot-lines and a voodoo curse.
Echoing “What Not to Wear, “Getting Over Mr. Right” is a handbook of what not to do with relationships. And it’s hilarious, once you get over the heartbreak that Ashleigh endures. “Getting Over Mr. Right” is 100 percent chick lit, but guys can relate since we’ve been dumped by women we felt were perfect in every respect.
I quoted Cole Porter’s song lyrics in this review because of an important plot element that I’m not going to disclose, but Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” might be just as appropriate, even though the catchy tune was obviously a product of the pre-Facebook, pre-cell-phone-texting era:
You Just slip out the back, Jack
Make a new plan, Stan
You don’t need to be coy, Roy
Just listen to me
Hop on the bus, Gus
You don’t need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, Lee
And get yourself free
She said it grieves me so
To see you in such pain
I wish there was something I could do
To make you smile again
I said I appreciate that
And would you please explain
About the fifty ways
* * *
“Getting Over Mr. Right” is a wonderful look at a woman who deserves better than the lying, cheating boyfriend she so desperately wants back. You’ll get behind Ashleigh Prince in her efforts to deal with Michael Parker — and you won’t be disappointed at the twists and turns the author gives us before Ashleigh comes to her senses.
About the Author
Chrissie Manby is the author of several romantic comedy novels. She lives in London with her Mr. Right. Her website: www.chrismanby.co.uk