The blurb: American Kit Kincade believes women are little more than a life support system to an ovary. Shelly Green, pinstripe-underpanted, cultured, classical guitarist, thinks optimism is an eye disease and hates all men. The perfect pair? Yes, according to a 'Desperate and Dateless' reality TV competition. A computer has matched them - physically and emotionally - with huge financial rewards if they can survive their five-star honeymoon on the paradise island of Réunion. Kit and Shelly meet the day they are to be married...and it's hate at first sight. Love may be blind, but marriage is a real eye opener.
You have to suspend your sense of reality to read this chick lit book. Apart from the outlandish plot with more twists and turns than a corkscrew, the author seems to have transposed Mauritius (with its insistent beach hawkers, plethora of aquatic activities, and islets) to Reunion, presumably because the latter served her story better. Effectively there's a freak volcanic eruption (from Piton des Neiges, not Piton de la Fournaise!*) and a lot of anti-French revolutionary activity, neither of which would have been possible on Mauritius.
Most of the book takes place on Réunion, and it's a shame that one of the most racially mixed and harmonious places on earth is turned into a blacks vs whites battleground, complete with corrupt machine-gun toting policemen, just for the purpose of Ms Lette's novel. She also invents a downtrodden local indigenous population to suit her storyline. There are numerous other mistakes such as thunder and lightening during a cyclone, and the presence of snakes and mongooses to cite just a few examples. Possibly the best part of the book are all the one-liners, some funny, some corny.
|Eruption of Piton de La Fournaise volcano (source)|
If you do read this book but have never been to Réunion, please don't believe any of it!
* Piton des Neiges is a dormant/extinct volcano which last erupted 20 000 years ago, while Piton de la Fournaise is one of the most active volcanoes in the world.