Subject: A first-class customer service
To: HEM Machines
To the manager:
Call me optimistic, but I was hoping after your past three failed attempts to remove my faulty washing machine, this time you would send me the correct amount of men, on the right day of the week, and that they might successfully extract my machine from my kitchen.
Two men arrived, on the right day, but apparently without a trolley, which my particular job 'required.'
OK, if you don't want to find your washing machine sitting outside our flat in the street, then I suggest you send the right amount of removal 'specialists' with the correct tools on the perfect day of the week. Oh, and please remind them to come in a van, because I'm guessing they'll need a van to get it home, and a map, a compass, a full tank of petrol, and maybe a flask of coffee to keep them going. Oh, and my name is Holly Denham, although undoubtedly you'll have me down as Dinham.
(excerpt from Holly's Inbox)
When I received Holly's Inbox by Holly Denham (a.k.a. Bill Surie), I was surprised that it was more than 650 pages. I thought I'd take a peek and after reading a few of the emails, I was hooked. It took me only two days to finish the book.
Holly's Inbox tells the story of Holly Denham beginning with her first day on the job as a receptionist in a corporate bank in London. You can tell right away that Holly isn't an expert receptionist, but she's an expert at email. With all the messages sent between Holly, her best friends Jason and Aisha, the bank's other receptionist Trisha, her family, and various people in the office, you begin to wonder whether she does any actual work. I don't want to say too much about the characters because part of the fun of Holly's Inbox is getting to know them through their emails, but you're in for a treat with Holly's new-to-the-Internet granny and her brother, Charlie, who fumbles his way through the construction of a new fetish night club. Tensions arise when Holly begins dating a bank executive, and her boyfriend from her school days begins working for the company.
Holly's Inbox is a different type of chick lit, not only because it is written by a man but also because the narrative is a series of emails. The characters are better developed than you'd expect from a book comprised of emails, and Surie does a great job unfolding Holly's story and the stories of the secondary characters. Much of the book takes place inside Holly's inbox, but readers get to read a handful of messages in Trisha's inbox and Toby's (Holly's old boyfriend) inbox as well. Most of the emails are humorous and sarcastic, but the book has its more serious moments, too. While reading Holly's Inbox, part of me felt like I was spying on someone, and another part of me felt like I was communicating with old friends. When I heard the book was all emails, I wasn't sure it could be pulled off, but Surie succeeded. The ending left me wanting to know more about what happened to Holly, and they'll be a part two at some point. (Surie told me by email that a U.S. release date for the second book has not been set.)
I highly recommend Holly's Inbox for chick lit lovers and others looking for a unique, quick, and light read. Check out Holly's Inbox for excerpts from the book, and stop by Diary of an Eccentric tomorrow for a guest post by Bill Surie.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of Holly's Inbox from the author and Sourcebooks for review purposes.