Miracle on Regent Street

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Miracle on Regent Street , Ali Harris, book reviewMiracle on Regent Street by Ali Harris is the story of Evie, who feels she is invisible. She lives with her married sister, has no love life and her colleagues think she is the girl she replaced two years earlier. The department store she works in and loves is struggling, so Evie decides to turn things round, but no one realizes the changes are thanks to her…

Having heard good things about Miracle on Regent Street, when I fancied a bit of lightweight reading around Christmas this seemed like a good choice. Sadly, it soon became apparent that I should have gone for something else.

The main problem with the novel is the character of Evie. She drove me mad. She is utterly pathetic, but I couldn’t even find any sympathy for her. Who would put up with their colleagues calling them the wrong name for two years? I get mispronunciations of my name quite frequently, but I correct them – mine isn’t an easy name, and anyway mispronunciations are understandable. It’s hardly the same as being called Sarah when your name is Evie.

Then there’s the romance. When a handsome American comes into the store, he thinks Evie is her super-fashionable and cool colleague Carly – at the time Evie is wearing a designer blouse like Carly. Evie doesn’t correct him. The whole thing descends into farce, with Evie even pretending she lives at Carly’s address. She is so happy to have met this perfect man, yet it doesn’t bother her that he calls her Carly, nor does it occur to her that there can’t be a future for them as long as he doesn’t know who she is. Of course this is a chick-lit romance novel, which allows for some unrealistic situations and a bit of fairytale romance, but there has to be some reality in it, something believable. Evie’s antics just make no sense.

The only saving grace for Miracle on Regent Street is the setting, the store Hardys. Evie loves it, despite the fact that it is so out of touch and on the verge of being taken over. It reminds me of a store I knew like it, out of date but still a bit special – and loved by its customers. Evie’s makeovers of the various departments are brilliant, classy and elegant, taking the store back to its glamorous heyday of the 1940s. The descriptions of these are the best bits of the novel, and I found myself looking forward to them.

All in all, I was really disappointed with Miracle on Regent Street. It wasn’t badly written, but the main character was a joke, and in a character-driven genre like chick-lot, that’s just a no-no. In future, when looking for a lightweight read, I think I’ll stick to the few authors of chick-lit that I know are good.

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Miracle on Regent Street
by Ali Harris

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Written by eilidhcatriona

A Scottish lass in her late twenties living in London. A prolific reader always interested in something new.

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