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Bookends (2000)

por Jane Green

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,778346,944 (3.46)13
Catherine Warner and Simon Nelson are best friends: total opposites, always together, and both unlucky in love. Cath is scatterbrained, messy, and--since she had her heart broken a few years back--emotionally closed off. Si is impossibly tidy, bitchy, and desperate for a man of his own. They live in London's West Hampstead along with their lifelong friends, Josh and Lucy, who are happily married with a devil-spawn child and a terrifying Swedish nanny, Ingrid. All's well (sort of) until the sudden arrival of a college friend--the stunningly beautiful Portia, who's known for breaking hearts. Though they've grown up and grown apart from Portia, the four friends welcome her back into the fold. But does Portia have a hidden agenda or is she merely looking to reconnect with old friends? Her reappearance soon unleashes a rollicking series of events that tests the foursome's friendships to the limit and leaves them wondering if a happy ending is in store. Fortunately, Cath has plenty to take her mind off Portia's schemes--like her gutsy decision to leave her job in advertising to fulfill her dream of opening a bookstore. And then there's James, the sexy real-estate agent who keeps dropping by even after the bookstore deal is done. With his irresistible smile and boyish charm could he be the one to melt Cath's heart? Above all, a story about friendship--its twists, turns and complications--and how it weathers the challenges of love, ambition, marriage, and, most of all, growing up. Warmhearted, sophisticated, and full of delicious surprises.… (mais)

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Inglês (32)  Espanhol (1)  Alemão (1)  Todas as línguas (34)
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I finished my re-read of this a few days ago, just didn't have the energy to post a review. I think the main issue I had was that the re-read was a bit of a bust. Probably because this wasn't as chick-lit as I was hoping. There are some serious issues here (discussion of HIV and AIDS) but also there is some mean-girling crap that goes on that just didn't fit the characters who were supposed to be adults in their 30s. The main character of Cath just reads as a doormat throughout this book and I just wanted her to be stronger and push back on people more. The ending was okayish, just not great.

"Bookends" has Cath and her best friend Si dealing with being unlucky in love. Living in London they seem to be going through the motions of things. Cath refuses to try her hand at love again after having her heart broken and Si is desperate to meet Mr. Right even though the men he is usually with are terrible.

Cath and Si have boring, but familiar get togethers with their college friends Josh and Lucy and things seem to be carrying along fine until a woman (Portia) from their college days pops up again.

Most of the book is Cath thinking about Portia and how Portia supposedly held them all together until she broke up their friend group. What gets me though is that when we readers finally get a glimpse of Portia, she's not all that Cath (or Green) makes her out to be. There is no there there, and I wanted there to be better development of her.

Cath stumbles upon a love interest that wasn't that interesting and Si ends up with a shocking new way of life after a betrayal. The book just ends up taking too many things on and not doing them well.

If the above isn't enough, we also have Cath trying to open a bookstore.

The writing is typical older Green (when she wrote her chick lit books taking place in London). This just doesn't read or feel like chick lit. The flow is okay, though going back to past and present was a bit much.

I guess I was just put out by the whole lesson to be learned about real friends that people who should be old enough should already know at this point. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
Excellent book. US cover is different. Read this book some years ago--always interesting to reread.... ( )
  lhaines56 | Jun 18, 2020 |
As a fan of Green's Jemima J, I read this book soon after it's pub date in 2002. This romance is as much about friendship as it is about the #hea. This is a love story for booklovers, set in London and perfect for those who enjoyed Hulu's original series Four Weddings and a Funeral. ( )
  StefanieGeeks | May 2, 2020 |
“But as our eyes adjust to the gloom, lit by a solitary light bulb in each room, Lucy and I gasp, because the only thing this place is, it could ever have been, is a bookshop.” (Quotation page 70)

Content:
They are friends since University: Cath, Si (Simon), Josh and stunning Portia. While Portia has left to find her own way, Lucy, married to Josh, perfectly fits into the circle. Cath, successfully working for a London advertising agency, has an almost lifelong dream, to open a bookshop including a café and Lucy loves to cook and bake. Together they find a shop that had been empty for a long time, but is just perfect for them. Soon Bookends is open and running. Cath is very close to Si, her best friend, but while Si is trying everything to finally find the man of his life, Cath is sure that she definitely is not made for relationships. Maybe meeting kind, understanding James, their estate agent and a very talented painter, could make her rethink the advantages of her single life. Then Portia is back and with her exciting times.

Theme and genre:
This is not a book about literature and bookshops, but about friendship that lasts from the lighthearted student’s life to the different circle of life of adults who have to earn money, start a family and want to live their dreams. It is about misunderstandings and the fact that dealing with problems is easier if one has friends for support.

Characters:
Cath, the main character, is single and happy with it, a little bit messy, but really cares for her friends, especially for Si, as he needs her. She just has to learn to trust herself and take care for her own happiness. Si is the perfect best friend as he loves to go shopping and is very good company. Lucy is an optimistic, loveable person and every character, such as Babysitter Ingrid, is special and well developed.

Plot and writing:
This romantic story is written in the first person and told by Cath and is located in Hampstead, London, with interesting, precise descriptions of the surroundings and the urban lifestyle in busy London. There are some foreseeable and some unexpected twists as serious topics are entwined in the story.

Conclusion:
A romantic, easy to read story about friendship, love, dreams and life – and about a bookshop. Entertaining, but with some lengths, because main protagonist Cath is just too indecisive in her behavior, with her thoughts circling almost endlessly around her fear to fall on love. I would have enjoyed to read a little bit more about the bookshop, café and its customers.
( )
  Circlestonesbooks | Mar 27, 2019 |
I really wanted to like this book as a little summer read, and while I loved the London setting, the story just fell short. The characters we pure stereotypes (i.e. A very neat gay man with promiscuous past, an overweight 30 yo that has not had a boyfriend in years, the beautiful stuck up woman with a great career but no love). Additionally, all of the story lines of the characters were predictable. To make this review short, it could have been so much better. ( )
  MicrobeMom | Mar 23, 2018 |
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Catherine Warner and Simon Nelson are best friends: total opposites, always together, and both unlucky in love. Cath is scatterbrained, messy, and--since she had her heart broken a few years back--emotionally closed off. Si is impossibly tidy, bitchy, and desperate for a man of his own. They live in London's West Hampstead along with their lifelong friends, Josh and Lucy, who are happily married with a devil-spawn child and a terrifying Swedish nanny, Ingrid. All's well (sort of) until the sudden arrival of a college friend--the stunningly beautiful Portia, who's known for breaking hearts. Though they've grown up and grown apart from Portia, the four friends welcome her back into the fold. But does Portia have a hidden agenda or is she merely looking to reconnect with old friends? Her reappearance soon unleashes a rollicking series of events that tests the foursome's friendships to the limit and leaves them wondering if a happy ending is in store. Fortunately, Cath has plenty to take her mind off Portia's schemes--like her gutsy decision to leave her job in advertising to fulfill her dream of opening a bookstore. And then there's James, the sexy real-estate agent who keeps dropping by even after the bookstore deal is done. With his irresistible smile and boyish charm could he be the one to melt Cath's heart? Above all, a story about friendship--its twists, turns and complications--and how it weathers the challenges of love, ambition, marriage, and, most of all, growing up. Warmhearted, sophisticated, and full of delicious surprises.

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