cover image Thinking of You

Thinking of You

Jill Mansell. Sourcebooks Landmark, $14 trade paper (432p) ISBN 978-1-4022-8129-

U.K. chick-lit author Mansell (To the Moon and Back) returns with a hefty tome devoted to single mother Ginny Holland’s attempts to cope with the fact that her only child, Jem, has moved away to start college. Ginny, who’s decided to take in a roommate to alleviate her loneliness, is elated after the handsome Perry Kennedy responds to her ad, only to find herself rooming with his sad-sack sister Laurel instead. Ginny feels even more betrayed when her bestie Carla takes up with Perry after she introduces them to each other. Meanwhile, Jem begins falling for her rich cad landlord, Rupert Derris-Beck, much to her mother’s dismay. Ginny turns her attentions to the attractive Finn Penhaligon, an antiques dealer/restaurateur, but he may still be besotted with his beautiful, gold-digging ex, Tamsin. While the book is a fun read, the sheer number of characters and plot points can overwhelm, and the story hinges too much on coincidence and mistaken impressions. There aren’t any deep messages here, and Mansell takes the easy way out with a preordained conclusion. Agent: Jennifer Unter, RLR Associates. (May)