Paige Nick’s A Million Miles from Normal is a page-turner, a must read from one of South Africa’s hottest new authors. With a quirky, eye catching jacket and a plot filled with wit and humour and flavoured with a dash of drama, the book enthrals you from start to finish.
Rachel Marcus has just landed in New York with dreams of a fabulous life and a desire to prove herself. Except the city that never sleeps does not want to play along. Unable to find a proper job or apartment she ends up at a crap ad agency, working for a hippie and sharing an office with an alcoholic drug addict, and living in a shoebox apartment that she shares with two cockroaches and a rat. Do not even get her started on a love life, since all the men she meets are stalkers, ex-cons, geriatrics or whack jobs. Moreover, she is desperate for a cup of Five Roses.
The plot is straight forward, with no unnecessary bells and whistles to encumber the flow of the book. Although the book occasionally employs stereotypes and clichés, it never seems farfetched or forced. Nick creates believable characters, each with their own unique quirks and flaws. From the eccentric Dan Charter to the girl who only strives for a bit of normalcy, the characters come alive between the pages of the book. Two separate incidents, one with a bee and one with a hole, were particularly memorable and those images will stay with me for a while.
This chick lit title is an entertaining read for those who can appreciate curling up with a glass of wine, a bar of chocolate and a good book. But do not expect your run of the mill chick lit title, this is chick lit with substance and definitely a book to sink your teeth into.