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Who'd Have Thought it? - Christine Webber

"Who'd Have Thought It?" is a rarity for me. That is, a contemporary novel that I truly enjoyed reading. (Normally, I avoid contemporary novels like the plague. But the premise of this novel --- as explained by the author on a radio talk show I heard recently --- piqued my curiosity so much so that I felt compelled to buy the book.)


The novel begins in Venice where a British couple (Annie and Edward Templeton, both of them doctors in their 50s with 2 adult daughters) have come to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Until that moment, Annie did not know that her husband had fallen out of love with her and taken up with Susie, a slightly younger Blonde he has loved for some time. Annie was trying to coax Edward to go out to dinner, dressed in one of her sexy outfits. But Edward had no interest in that at all, saying little. One gets the impression that Edward keeps his emotions tightly controlled.  But then he feels that this charade cannot go on. He tells Annie everything. She is DEVASTATED.


The novel then takes the reader ahead by a year. Annie is living on her own in Cambridge (where she has a medical practice with a few other doctors), picking up the pieces of her life.


There are elements in this novel that are deliciously funny. I enjoyed being part of the journey in which Annie goes about re-inventing herself. After a year without Edward, she has opened herself to try and find love again. She learns that dating in your 50s is very different from dating when in your 20s.


I also enjoyed the interconnecting "side stories" the author provided on Annie's daughters (Alice, who is sensitive, hard-working, and a bit of a straight arrow --- and Lucy, the younger daughter who is bubbly, adventurous, and a thoroughgoing extrovert), Annie's colleagues Gareth and Jonathan, and a number of her longstanding friends. Simply put, this novel is A WINNER.