“From Notting Hill To Love…Actually” was a delightful romantic comedy! Anyone who enjoys Sophie Kinsella’s books and heroine Rebecca Bloomwood, would also love Scarlett and McNamara’s writing. My husband gave me this novel for Valentine’s Day this year, and I was pleasantly surprised with it. The crisp writing made this an excellent “chic lit” novel, but also had enough weight to keep me interested. The author provided adorable characters that satisfy the zany plots of chic lit, who were also realistic and enduring. The heroine, Scarlett, is a movie fiend, who connects life to the movies. I identified a lot with Scarlett in this way because I appreciate good movies, and true movie fans will identify the inclusion of many famous plots throughout the novel. Although not to the same level of Scarlett, who seeks to recreate memorable scenes from movies in real life, which is alienating her from her fiancé and father.
To counter this, Scarlett decides to house sit in Knotting Hill for a month (this also satisfies her need to recreate the movie “The Holiday”). True to the scene in “Knotting Hill” when Scarlett has orange juice spilled on her by a stranger in the street, she is thrust into new relationships with a caring group of people who help her find her way in the city. Scarlett travels to Paris, and the outskirts of England, and the constant change of scenery made the novel evolve in a quick and exciting way. The subplot of Scarlett searching for her mother, who abandoned her as a child, was typically far-fetched for this genre, but worked well. When Scarlett starts to fall for her sexy neighbor, she is suddenly wondering whether she truly loves her controlling fiancé or whether she will find love in an unexpected place just like in the movies. This is highlighted against a backdrop of Scarlett’s journey to find her true self.
The novel was a light read, but the strong writing and engaging plot made it very enjoyable. The sign of a good book to me is when I look up the author to see if they have written any other books. I was happy to learn that McNamara has two others and I plan to read those also!