Finding Colin Firth

Title: Finding Colin Firth

Author: Mia March. This is her second novel after last year’s The Meryl Streep Movie Club.

Genre: Chick Lit

Readers: Production coordinator Joanna, writer Nan and stay-at-home moms Sarah L. and Megan V.

Summary: From the author of The Meryl Streep Movie Club, a “heart-warming,  spirit-lifting read just in time for beach season” (Kirkus Reviews), comes a new novel about three women, connected in secret and surprising ways, who are  in for a life-changing summer when rumor has it that actor Colin Firth  is coming to their Maine town to film a movie.

After losing her job and leaving her beloved husband, journalist Gemma Hendricks is sure that scoring an interview with Colin Firth will save her career and marriage. Yet a heart-tugging local story about women, family ties, love, and loss captures her heart— and changes everything. The story concerns Bea Crane, a floundering twenty-two-year-old who learns in a deathbed confession letter that she was adopted at birth. Bea is in Boothbay Harbor to surreptitiously observe her biological mother, Veronica Russo—something of a legend in town—who Bea might not be ready to meet after all. Veronica, a thirty-eight-year-old diner waitress famous for her “healing” pies, has come home to Maine to face her past. But when she’s hired as an extra on the bustling movie set, she wonders if she is hiding from the truth . . . and perhaps the opportunity of a real-life Mr. Darcy.

Joanna

This book had me at the title: Finding Colin Firth. Story of my life! I kid, I kid (kind of). It’s a well-known fact that Firth has the power to make hearts go aflutter the world over; any woman who has seen the 1995 BBC production of Pride & Prejudice can attest to this. But there’s more to love about this book than just the title and assumed premise. Set in a picturesque coastal town in Maine, the book weaves together the stories of three women who are united in their love of Colin Firth, as well as in other, more significant ways: a young woman learns she was adopted at birth and sets off to find her biological mother; a 30-something woman moves back to her hometown to face her past after years of running away from it; a NYC reporter struggles to find the balance between motherhood and holding onto her career and identity. The three main characters are all likable, and their struggles with very real, complex life questions are relatable. The book raises some interesting questions about the choices in a woman’s life – particularly as they pertain to motherhood – which I think a lot of readers can identify with (this reader certainly did).

Finding Colin Firth is a fun, feel-good book that happens to have a lot of heart. It’s a must-read for all fans of the actor himself. And for those who aren’t particularly fussed about the man one way or another (I simply don’t understand those people), getting to know these characters as they embark on their own personal journeys and the important life lessons they learn along the way are alone worth reading about.

Grade: A-

Nan

Despite the title, Colin Firth has very little to do with this book, but don’t let that deter you!  Finding Colin Firth is a great summertime read.  It takes place in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, which is everything a seaside town should be in summer.  It’s the second of Mia March’s books set in Boothbay Harbor and some of the characters in this book appeared in her previous book, but you won’t have any problems following along if this is the first of her novels that you’ve read.

The story is told from three points of view: Bea is in town searching for her birth mother, Veronica is working as an extra on a Colin Firth movie and wondering about the baby girl she gave up for adoption, and Gemma is hoping to write an article that will save her journalism career while also dealing with some big news of her own.  I enjoyed the alternating points of view and found the characters likable (and irritating) enough to be realistic.  The story line moved along pretty well, but there were a few plot points that were resolved a little too hastily for my taste or not resolved at all; perhaps these will be wrapped up in a subsequent novel.  If Mia March does write another book set in Boothbay Harbor, I would definitely read it to see what has happened to these characters.

Grade: B+

 

Sarah L.

Reading Finding Colin Firth reminds me of watching a chick flick. It was really pretty light, even though the characters were struggling with some very weighty issues. The characters were really likable and I definitely want to visit Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

I enjoyed all the Colin Firth references, as I am a fan, though not nearly to the degree of a few of the characters in the book. I have to admit, the minute I started reading about “elixir pies” I wondered if I had inadvertently stumbled onto a pseudo-sci-fi/fantasy/chick-lit book rather than just regular old chick lit. As it turns out, that was the one detail of the book that I found hard to swallow (yes, I did) and to my relief, there was a brief explanation at some point that clarifies that the pies aren’t actually magic in any way. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an entertaining, quick read. I will be reading Mia March’s other book, The Meryl Streep Movie Club, which tells the story of three characters that also appear in Finding Colin Firth.

Grade: A-

Read Also: The Runaway Princess by Hester Browne; Definitely Not Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos; Austenland and Midnight in Austenland both by Shannon Hale; and, of course, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

 

Megan V.

Finding Colin Firth by Mia March is told from the perspective of three different women: Gemma, Bea, and Veronica, who are all connected by more than their love of all things Colin Firth. March does an excellent job of seamlessly connecting the three different narratives. The three women are able to find their true identities while sorting out personal baggage, in a small tourist town in Maine. I was immediately drawn to the characters, and was anxious for them to find happiness. This book reads much like a chick flick watches, replete with some formulaic plot lines and corny dialogue. I thought the use of pies as a source of hope, love, happiness, and comfort was interesting. The idea of a shoofly pie, making one feel closer to a loved one doesn’t seem too far off the mark. Finding Colin Firth reminded me of The Comfort of Lies, with some of the same subject matter, and writing format.

This book would be perfect for a quick weekend getaway, or poolside read. I enjoyed Finding Colin Firth, and am interested in reading Mia March’s book The Meryl Streep Movie Club.

Grade: A-

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