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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Review: Without Further Ado

Title: Without Further Ado
Author: Jessica Dettmann

Publisher: 8th March 2023 by HarperCollins Publishers Australia

Pages: 368 pages

Genre:  contemporary, romance 

My Rating: 4.5 crowns


Can a modern woman take lessons in love from Shakespeare? Beth O'Leary 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.

My Thoughts

Without Further Ado was not what I expected but a whole lot more fun. With not so much Shakespeare but rather much more quirky, laugh out loud moments,  Jessica has delivered an engaging read that I would definitely recommend. 

‘For a moment Willa felt her heart race with excitement, and she put her hand to her chest. It was The Feeling: the Much Ado feeling. She let it wash over her, this wave of hope and elation and joy.’

Watching Willa’s realisation and growth throughout the story was a highlight. Her quick comebacks and one liners were hilarious! I was most definitely laughing out loud! Willa is surrounded by a cast of characters that likewise bring much to this tale of friends, life, family and futures. 

‘You live too much up here - ’ Kat tapped the side of her friend’s head ‘ - and not enough in here  - ’ she patted the left side of Willa’s chest.’

Don’t be mistaken - this is not all fun, romance and laughter. Sometimes subtle but more often right in your face, Jessica delivers her take on many contemporary issues surrounding life and relationships. 

‘…regret’s not the end of the world. You’ll regret things you do, and things you don’t do. It’s part of the marvelous insanity called the human condition.’

This is a romantic comedy you will not want to miss. Light, quick and easy to read this is the epitome of perfect escapism but with an underlying message that many of us can relate to.

‘… you might learn to just live your life and stop thinking about where everything fits into your story. You don’t get to decide that. Life just goes where it goes. Always seeking some sort of ultimate happy ending can stop you from enjoying the life you’re living right now.’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

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