Beginner’s Greek Review
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As Peter Russell boarded his plane in New York, headed for a business trip in LA, he had a feeling that something life-changing was about to happen. And that’s when he met Holly—the woman of his dreams. After the flight, with Holly’s phone number in his pocket, Peter was convinced that Fate had brought them together—until, upon reaching his hotel room, he realized he’d lost Holly’s number.

Now, years later, Peter is preparing to settle down with Charlotte, a perfectly nice girl whom he really likes—but, if he’s honest with himself, he isn’t really in love with her. Still, they’ll be perfectly happy together…right?

But then everything—Peter’s wedding day, his job at the prestigious firm of Beeche and Company, and the safe and relatively happy life that he’d planned for himself—starts spiraling wildly out of control.

Beginner’s Greek is an intriguing novel about lost love, missed opportunities, and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s about being happy and being in love—and about finding The One.

After a somewhat shaky start, first-time novelist Collins does a wonderful job of weaving an intricate story, filled with all kinds of twists and turns and fascinating (albeit occasionally a bit far-fetched) coincidences. Though the female characters are sometimes a bit difficult to differentiate—particularly when Collins goes (rather unnecessarily) into the details of each one’s upbringing and family tree. But, in Peter, Collins creates a solid, likeable character. He’s hard-working and dedicated and sensible—yet, deep down, he’s a hopeless romantic. He’s a normal guy whose life has had its share of ups and downs (though probably more of the latter). And, really, who can’t relate to that?

Basically, Beginner’s Greek is a work of chick lit—albeit a clever and cunning work of chick lit that refuses to take itself seriously. The things that happen during the course of the book aren’t always believable—especially the over-the-top, life-changing event that really sets the story in motion. It’s often a bit contrived—and the coincidences are sometimes blatantly obvious. But somehow, it just works. Collins plays up all those dreamy, romantic chick-lit notions—but he also touches on those dreamy, romantic notions that we’ve all, at one point or another, secretly clung to. So while the story is often fantastical and romanticized, it’s also funny because it’s often so very perceptive.

While the serious, sophisticated reader in you might sometimes roll his or her eyes at the more shamelessly transparent parts of the story, the hopeless romantic in you will enjoy this smart and funny modern-day fairy tale.

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