NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A witty and emotionally charged novel that delves into the heart of a marriage, and how those we love and think we know best can sometimes surprise us the most
“A delightful take on the mixed blessings of marital longevity.”—People
After ten years together, Sylvie and Dan have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, and beautiful twin girls, and they communicate so seamlessly they finish each other’s sentences. They have a happy marriage and believe they know everything there is to know about each other. Until it’s casually mentioned to them that they could be together for another sixty-eight years . . . and panic sets in.
They decide to bring surprises into their marriage to keep it fresh and fun. But in their pursuit of Project Surprise Me—from unexpected gifts to restaurant dates to sexy photo shoots—mishaps arise, with disastrous and comical results. Gradually, surprises turn to shocking truths. And when a scandal from the past is uncovered, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other at all.
With a colorful cast of eccentric characters, razor-sharp observations, and her signature wit and charm, Sophie Kinsella presents a humorous yet moving portrait of a marriage—its intricacies, comforts, and complications. Surprise Me reveals that hidden layers in a close relationship are often yet to be discovered.
Praise for Surprise Me
“Genuinely funny.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Unexpected and wholly satisfying.”—USA Today
“In her signature fashion, Sophie Kinsella brings a cast of quirky, funny characters to this new work. [She] keeps the laughs coming. . . . Readers will follow the story with bated breath as the couple struggle to make their marriage right after everything they thought they knew about each other proves wrong.”—Library Journal
“Heartfelt . . . What at first seems like a light novel about familiar woes turns into a deeper story about trust, family, and perception.”—Publishers Weekly
“Winsome and zesty, Kinsella’s latest delivers all the hallmarks her many fans have come to expect.”—Booklist
“Pure fun . . . a hilariously moving look at marriage and the power of mixing things up.”—Kirkus Reviews
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
We found ourselves laughing out loud as we devoured Sophie Kinsella's hilarious examination of marriage. Sylvie and Dan have sailed through the first ten years of their union, but as their tin anniversary comes around they start to worry about things growing stale—especially when they take stock of failing relationships around them. Determined to keep their marriage fresh, the couple embark on a campaign to surprise each other weekly, sometimes with hysterical and disastrous results. We loved Sylvie's wry, often hilarious observations on motherhood and marriage, and we found ourselves cheering for this couple to make it through their rocky patch.
Kinsella's heartfelt latest, after My Not So Perfect Life, concerns the secrets that are unearthed after daddy's girl Sylvie Winter and her husband, Dan, agree to continually surprise one another in an effort to make the most of their lives. Thirty-two-year-old Sylvie idolizes her dead father Marcus Lowe, a larger-than-life charmer whose charisma hijacked even Dan and Sylvie's wedding video. Despite their simpatico relationship, Sylvie suspects that Dan envies her father and resents her family's wealth. The couple agree to give each other treats, and they tend to go comically wrong (a boudoir shoot, a reunion with the wrong person), until a visit to a garden that Dan helped design appears to awaken his interest in Mary, an old girlfriend Sylvie never knew about. Sylvie notices Dan's sudden spaciness and irritability as well as his surreptitious conversations with others; she also uncovers a secret phone that throws her marriage into question. At the same time, she attempts to deal with trouble at the quirky museum where she works; her boss's nephew Robert Kendrick is threatening to turn the place into condos if they can't monetize their business successfully, and soon. Sylvie matures along with her narrative: what at first seems like a light novel book about familiar woes turns into a deeper story about trust, family, and perception.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Surprise Me is a funny well-written novel with quirky characters, witty dialogue and a unique plot. I’ve read several of Sophie Kinsella’s books, and she never fails to spin a funny tale. Although her books are a little over-the-top, as well as her latest one, Surprise Me, they always make me laugh. The first half of this book is a bit silly, but the second half is anything but; it’s emotional, character-driven, and utterly absorbing.
Sylvie and Dan have a comfortable home, a loving marriage, and twin five-year-old girls. However, after their GP mentioned that they could live long enough to be married for another sixty-eight years, Dan and Sylvie began to panic. Neither one of them could fathom being married to the same person for that length of time. So the two of them started to brainstorm ideas to spice of their marriage and keep it fresh, for their long-expected years together. The two decide that surprising one another with exciting adventures, loving gestures, and romantic outings, was the way to go. The problem was, though, that sometimes, surprises don’t have the expected positive outcome that a person is looking for; something Dan and Sylvie, unfortunately, discovered for themselves.
Sylvie thought she knew her husband thoroughly, but to her surprise, she learned that there was a lot that she didn’t know about Dan. When family secrets were on the verge of being exposed, Sylvie and Dan became stressed to the max. Marriage isn’t always easy, as most couples find out, but then again, nothing worthwhile and precious usually is. Loving someone is looking for the good in that person, and never losing sight of what they mean to you.
Surprise Me is a well-written and thoroughly enjoyable read. Thank you, Dial Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy. I loved it!
Really do not buy. It was a painful reading .... worst book by kinsella
I ultimately liked the story line and message — just took a bit too long and too many roads to get there. Enjoyed My Not So Perfect Life much more than this one.