I sometimes wonder if I’m too old to be reading Lindsey Kelk’s I Heart books. They’re all about a chaotic 20-something called Angela Clark who flees to New York after discovering her boyfriend in flagrante with his mistress at her best friend’s wedding.
But former children’s book editor Kelk has a hilarious turn of phrase and a writing style that whizzes along at top speed. I read her first book, I Heart New York, before I’d ever visited the city and her enthusiasm for the Big Apple made me want to jump on a transatlantic flight plane straight away. The irrepressible Angela is an endearing character too, a sort of junior Bridget Jones, only without Mark Darcy and the big knickers, who puts the drizzle, warm beer and bad memories of London behind her and starts an exciting new life.
Now the fifth in the series, I Heart London, is out (Kelk cleverly brings new readers up to speed with the story so you don’t need to have read the earlier ones to enjoy it). It opens in New York but quickly sees the newly-engaged Angela summoned back to the UK by her very bossy mum, who’s desperate to meet her rock musician fiancé.
Kelk herself lives in New York these days and clearly loves it, apart from missing sherbert fountains, London and drinking gin and elderflower cocktails with her pals. But she regularly flits between the US and the UK and in her new book she makes Angela’s return to London authentic and real. From her first sight of the Thames from the plane (“the opening titles of EastEnders”) to her excitement at being able to buy Percy Pigs sweets at M&S, she’s clearly writing from the heart.
Publishing house Harper recently signed up three more books from Kelk, so I’ll be interested to see what she comes up with next. But if you’re looking for a great summer read that’s light as the summer breeze (I know, what summer?), then try I Heart London…
PS. For more information on I Heart London and some great ideas about places to visit in London take a look at the I Heart London website, from bars and clubs to clothes and accessories.
I Heart London by Lindsey Kelk (Harper, £7.99)