Roommates Wanted: Until You Fall in Love…
Reviewed by Christina M. Hinke
Lisa Jewell. Harper, $14.95 (480p) ISBN 978-0-06-113747-1
Jewell's boisterous sixth novel is a compulsively readable jaunt through the lives of a handful of suburban London misfits. Leah, a shopgirl whose live-in boyfriend flees when she mentions marriage, lives across the street from Toby, a struggling poet who lets out rooms in his bedraggled Victorian house to ragtag tenants who pay rent when they remember and clutter up his otherwise solitary life. There's a cabaret singer who depends on sugar daddies to keep afloat; a mailroom clerk who shares a room with his mother; and a stylish recluse. And then there's longtime tenant Gus, whom Leah finds dead on the front walk one day. When Toby discovers that Gus has willed him a sickly cat and a pile of pounds with the provision that Toby use the money to make his life everything it could be, it provides the impetus for a shakeup at Toby's that sends the cast in different directions as they each find ways to grow up. Jewell (Vince and Joy) has a sure hand with the lightly humorous and romantic, and she delivers the goods: an eccentric cast, lively banter and plenty of warmhearted cheer. (Mar.)
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