Sunday, 8 January 2012
The Stag and Hen Weekend by Mike Gayle
Author: Mike Gayle
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
The Stag and Hen Weekend is the story of Phil and Helen, a couple in their thirties about to commit their lives to one another . . . that is of course if they can just manage to get through their respective stag and hen weekends (his: Amsterdam; hers: a country house and day spa in the Peak District) without falling apart. Told in the unique form of two separate stories that have common characters as well as themes and conclusion, The Stag and Hen Weekend can be read from front to back or from back to front putting the reader in the driver's seat as to which story they wish to read first. Feisty, fun and thought provoking.
This is the first book I have read by Mike Gayle and also it is the first romance book I have read by a male author. I was looking forward to reading this book for two reasons firstly to see if a romance book by a male author compares to female authors and also to see how well the book comes together in this unique structure with it being two books in one as I have only ever read a handful of books which are set out in this way and I have to say I have never liked the books set out this way as there is usually a lot of repetition.
This was a fresh new storyline for me as I have not read a book featuring both a hen and stag weekend. I enjoyed the storyline and the humorous touches that are added her and there throughout the book. Because of the layout of the book both of our main characters are very well developed because we get to see both of the characters thoughts and feelings first hand.
I have to say if I didn’t already know this book was written by a male author I wouldn’t know any different in my opinion Mike Gayle’s style of writing is similar to the likes of Paige Toon who is another favourite author of mine. Gayle manages to create the element of suspense as I couldn’t predict what the outcome was going to be right up to the last chapter.
You can read the book either way around but I decided to start with the Stag week end and I am glad I did and I would recommend you to start this way around. I didn't find with this book that there was any repetition once you switch over to the next book which I was glad about!
I will definitely be looking out for more books by Mike Gayle.