Can a modern woman take lessons in love from Shakespeare? Book Lovers meets 10 Things I Hate About You in this sparkling romantic comedy from beloved Aussie author Jessica Dettmann.
'Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more. Men were deceivers ever ...'
Since she was sixteen, Willa's curious touchstone in life and work has been the 1993 film Much Ado About Nothing. She's always looking for The Feeling, the stirring in her heart - and loins - that she gets when watching the opening scenes. Now she's navigating her mid-thirties, her career as a romance publisher in an unusual family business, and her determination to remain child-free, while quietly holding out for a love as big as Beatrice and Benedick's.
But when relationships start to get complicated between Willa, her cousin Imogen and the four sons of the family she works for, and the events of her own life begin to mirror the plot of her beloved comedy, Willa must consider whether there is such a thing as too much ado.
A delightfully Shakespearean romantic comedy about modern love, women's roles and how the films and stories we grow up with shape us.
'An absolute delight! With its witty dialogue, relatable characters, and laugh-out-loud moments, this book is the perfect escape. Jessica Dettmann has outdone herself with this charming and hilarious story. Not to be missed!' Sally Hepworth
'Without Further Ado has genuine heart, proper out-loud laughs, and a perfect not-too-Hollywood ending. Dettmann has created a one-off in her protagonist, Willa. Smart as a whip, fiercely independent, hilarious, loyal, fearful and self-sabotaging, she's a romantic heroine for our times (whilst having one foot planted in the late 1500s!).' Tim Minchin
'Glorious, full of laughs, love and realness. I loved it so much I want to live between the covers.' Sacha Horler
Praise for Jessica Dettmann:
'Sharp and crisp and funny. I was dazzled' Mia Freedman
'Heartwarming yet biting' Sunday Telegraph
'A totally engaging and disarmingly charming writer' Kathy Lette
'Sparkling and heartwarming reading' Ben Elton
'Dettmann is such a clever writer - her imagery is fresh and hilarious and her take on life is so dry and funny' Cassie Hamer
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Jessica Dettmann’s third novel is funny, charming and cleverly written—everything we want in a modern romance. Heroine Willa is looking for someone more complex than the dating apps are offering up, but she doesn’t let the bad dates get her down. Instead, she focuses on her work as a romance book publisher in a family business with four sons. Here, she takes inspiration from the 1993 film adaptation of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, searching for storylines that give her the same giddy feeling of elation she had on her first viewing at the age of 16. When a conflict between her cousin Imogen and the four brothers puts Willa on shaky ground, she must come to terms with some home truths and the way her beloved movie has influenced her belief system. We adored the Shakespeare-inspired world Dettmann has created in Without Further Ado. Besides being a lot of fun, it also examines the choice to be child-free and women’s societal roles in a considered and satisfying way.
Refreshing, Hilarious & Dazzling
Without Further Ado is a refreshing, immersive and beautiful read. From page one, I was drawn into Willa's life; her character shone through with every page. Jessica Dettmann has done a phenomenal job with her eclectic narration and hilarious dialogue. The banter between old friends was well-captured and so realistic. The awareness of capturing "The Feeling" while spiralling in one's "story" made me stop and reflect on numerous occasions. While our protagonist brings romance to life through publishing and doesn't believe in marriage and having children, something is holding her back from addressing her attraction to one of the Smith brothers. How this was deciphered individually and through her supportive tribe of friends and family was memorable. The ending was well crafted, but one of my contentions was the little surprise that Ewan unveiled. I felt it was a compensation package that made the outcome more favourable. Despite this, this book made me feel a rollercoaster of emotions on many levels.
I look forward to reading more of the author's work.
It's safe to say this is one of my top reads this year!
Thank you, NetGalley & HarperCollins Publishers Australia, for giving me a free ARC. This honest review is left voluntarily.