First, a big shout out and thank you to the Reading Room for my free review copy of Mimi. And now that the disclosure and a very sincere thank you are out of the way, I'll start by saying that when I first picked up Mimi and read the first ten or so pages, I found myself wondering what the hell is this book? Once I had read the first thirty pages, I was absolutely hooked by Lucy Ellman's eccentric prose and her massively self-centred lead character, Harrison Hanafan.
The novel opens on Christmas Eve in New York, when Harrison slips and sprains his ankle. The lovably eccentric Mimi comes to his rescue, but what follows isn't the standard My Fair Lady style romance of a stuffy old man whose life is turned upside down by a lovely eccentric. Instead, we learn more about the selfish and bitter Harrison and the things that have helped to shape him. We discover that he has recently broken up with a woman who was not his soulmate (the equally self-centred Gertrude,) that he works as a plastic surgeon and that he might not be such a terrible guy after all after he rescues a stray cat. (Even if the twit does make one very false assumption about the cat.) As the story progresses, we learn more about Harrison's childhood and watch him grow and blossom through his relationship with Mimi. The novel in itself is a feminist one and its interesting to watch some of Harrison's experiences play out and what events change his perspective on the world. The ending had me laughing out loud in places and seemed to be the perfect way to showcase the transition that the lead character had made through the story.
This one is a perfect read for when you're looking for something quirky, intelligent and just that little bit different.