This timeless storyline – English woman engaged to a perfect-on-paper man, suppressing thoughts of The One Who Got Away – paired with her organics-crazed boss sets this story squarely in The Present, if imprecisely.

Without a glance at the copyright date (2001), you’d never have to know it wasn’t published in 2011.

If you can stomach some trite twists of fate, this is a fun read. Honeymoon, our central character who goes by Honey, is funny and likeable. Her digressions are many, but for each that wrestled me away from the plotline, another made me laugh out loud.

Like when Sister Ven says “How do you feel?”

“Fat,” I said.

When Ven was thirteen she won the Metropolitan Police Trophy (don’t ask) and the local paper came to take a picture of her at school with her statue thing and they asked her how she felt and she said, “Fat,” because that’s how she felt. She hadn’t expected to win and she’d been caught wearing her second-best school-uniform skirt, the one she felt fat in. She wasn’t fat at all, she was just in a bad mood about having her photograph taken – we’ve both always hated having our photograph taken. … Anyway, the fools printed it. The headline was: “Dulwich Schoolgirl Feels Fat.” The journalist must have thought fat was some hip new word for happy, like when “bad” meant good for a bit.

Here, I believe these characters exist, that they share a past and a love for one another.

Later on, however, e-mails to Honey from The One Who Got Away reminded me time and again that this was a work of fiction. These e-mails are more like perfectly written novel excerpts – and the voice, too, is all too reminiscent of our Honey’s.

But then, they read like an excerpt from a fun novel, so how crippling a criticism is that really?

Because we here in the future know her organics – (also, cigarrete, sex, profanities) – loving boss has the right idea about his diet, I’m paring this book with a 2007 Parducci Sustainable Red. It’s not only certified organic, but also are carbon neutral – just like checking out this oldie-but-goodie from the library.

And for this story of wedded catastrophe, virginal white just won’t do.

♥ Chardonnay