Walking With Elephants is the story of Suze Hall, a woman at a crossroads in her life in more ways than one. Not only does she have to deal with an unwelcome new boss in the form of her nemesis Wanda, she also finds that an old flame is back in her life. On top of all this, her best friend is wrapped up in her own new man and is unavailable for emotional support.
A light-hearted and at times very funny tale of modern life, Walking With Elephants rings true on a number of levels. Suze is a very sympathetic character without seeming flat or one-dimensional, and Karen S. Bell builds up a supporting cast who help to flesh out the narrative. The story is fast-paced but still has time to stop and reflect, and the resolution is satisfying and complete.
This is a book that covers a side of life that is rarely discussed in novels. Suze is no Bridget Jones; instead, she seems much more real, and her problems seem a lot more grounded in a reality that many readers will recognise. One slight criticism, though: the cover doesn’t really reflect the nature or tone of the book; it’s a perfectly good cover, but I can’t help wondering if a different approach would vastly extend the appeal of this very highly recommended and very entertaining novel.
Star rating for Walking With Elephants: 4½ stars.
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