Monday, 21 January 2013

Små Citroner Gula/Yesterday's News by Kajsa Ingemarsson (4/5)

First published: 2004
Original title: Små Citroner Gula
Original language: Swedish
Translation to English by: Neil Betteridge, 2012
Page count: 326

GoodReads says: ”It wasn’t the first time someone had grabbed her breast. Nor was it the first time a man had panted in her ear and pressed his hard crotch against her. But it was the first time someone was doing it against her will.”

The woman in trouble is Agnes. In Yesterday’s News she will rebound from personal tragedy and find courage in the face of the unknown. In the end she stands there as the hero of her own life.

Yesterday’s News is one of the greatest bestsellers of all time in Sweden with more than 800,000 copies sold – 1 in every 4 Swedish women has already read it!

The main character Agnes has most things in life: a family who is always there for her, a good job at a fancy restaurant, a boyfriend who loves her, and a best friend whom she knows inside out. Or does she? All of a sudden things begin to crumble, one by one, and soon nothing is as it was. Her boyfriend Tobias leaves her for a big busted singer, and she is fired by Gerard, the sexist and abusive owner of the restaurant where she works. She gambles everything she has on the success of the newly opened restaurant, but the road to the glowing review which will open the door to fame and fortune has, to say the least, unexpected twists and turns.

I say: I read this in Swedish for uni and had no idea that it was so popular, since I tend to ignore everything chick-lit, but having read it I can understand why. The characters were very realistic; the problems they went through relatable (well, most of them); there was an abundance of emotions and drama; and all the talk about working in restaurants made me miss working in a restaurant pub.

But most of all I think I enjoyed this because I could relate to Agnes in more ways that I’d really like to admit.

It’s chick-lit so there’s really not that much to say about it, and the synopsis above pretty much says everything; it was fast-paced, honest, oftentimes infuriating, pretty predictable but with humour in the right places. I read it in one sitting, not so much because it was intriguing, but more because I enjoyed being in Agnes’ head and world – her parents were so cute - and it had a sweet ending.

So yeah, chick-lit that I, not only enjoyed, but am also recommending as a nice feel-good novel without any of the usual drivel.
Oh, and apparently it's been turned into a film that's being released in a month (and looks nothing like the book)

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