Reviewed by Cynthia Murphy
Pourasgari’s novel, Lemon Curd,
leaves an impression similar to that of its namesake.
It is a delightful combination of both sweet
and tart. The sweetness comes from the
romance, and much of the dialogue supplies the tartness.
is a fun, modern romance set
in Los Angeles and London. An argument
over a jar of lemon curd between Anna Lisa Gibson and Neil Whitaker is
start of their rocky road to romance.
When Anna Lisa gets to work the next day, she discovers that she
only has to work with Neil, she also has to share her office and her
with him. A professional turf war
ensues, but Anna Lisa and Neil develop a friendship while working
the account. Naturally, their friendship
leads to a mutual attraction. Outside
forces hamper the development of their relationship, but ultimately
and Neil overcome the odds. The climax
is somewhat expected, but very entertaining nonetheless.
This is a
charming novel. The main characters are
well-crafted. I felt that some of the
secondary characters were a bit superfluous, but the development of
and Neil was very strong. Pourasgari
her characters in several ways. She
makes good use of descriptions and events to reveal details. Most importantly, the characters feel
real. Anna Lisa is a successful woman,
but she has numerous anxieties about her looks and her track record
relationships. Neil is a suave,
Brit, but he still feels out of place during his early days in Los
Angeles. These anxieties make the
characters seem like
Pourasgari has also crafted good
dialogue between her main characters. At
its best, the dialogue between Anna Lisa and Neil is snappy and
fast-paced. These are smart, witty people
who are used to being the best at everything.
This shows in some of their verbal spats. There
are a few moments where the dialogue
drags. This is noticeable primarily
because of the strength of the dialogue in most cases.
There is also an underlying
question about the pace of life in our society.
The workaholic attitude that Anna Lisa and Neil share both
together and inhibits the growth of their relationship.
Pourasgari also questions the nonchalant attitude
toward taking whatever one wants. There
are always consequences to one’s actions, and Pourasgari does not let
characters simply take what they want out of life.
Each action seems to result in a ripple
effect that touches several other characters.
Curd is a fun novel that asks a few serious questions about our
society. The main characters are
likeable and well-crafted, and the dialogue is funny.
Overall, it is a very enjoyable debut novel.
(And it makes you want to eat some lemon
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