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Book 183: Aphrodite's Workshop for Reluctant Lovers by Marika Cobbold

Book 183: Aphrodite's Workshop for Reluctant Lovers.
Author: Marika Cobbold, 2009.
Genre: Romance. Chick-lit with Mythic Elements.
Other Details: Paperback. 311 pages.

Rebecca Finch is a successful romantic novelist who has fallen out with love. When she heads off to Paris and doesn't care that she has absent-mindedly left her boyfriend, things look bad. But when her god-daughter asks her if marriage is a good idea and she can't think of a single reason to reply yes, she realises the problem is serious.

Meanwhile, on Mount Olympus, Aphrodite is fretting because divorce rates are rocketing and Eros seems to be shooting arrows carelessly without a thought for the compatibility of his victims. With her earth-bound acolyte, Rebecca, showing disillusionment, Aphrodite resolves to take drastic action...
- synopsis from UK publisher's website.

I am not someone who reads much romantic fiction or chic-lit but I am always drawn to novels that feature gods and goddesses. While I wasn't wowed by this novel it did have its moments and as Marika indicates on her website serious issues are explored "behind the fun". In many ways I'd rather read this kind of light fiction with hidden depths than some depressing drama about relationships that pounds the message home.

Plus, here there were the gods and goddess of ancient Greece reflecting on the mortal condition. Many of the best moments in the novel were provided by Eros, the only character who seemed to realise they were in a comedy. He was rather like Puck in A Midsummer's Night Dream, with his arrows causing the same kind of confusion as Oberon's potion. Aphrodite's attempt to pass herself off as a mortal also was very amusing

Both protagonists had mental health issues and I felt that these were dealt with in a down-to-earth and non-judgemental manner. However, one manifestation of Rebecca's breakdown was the appearance of Coco, the bi-polar clown. I have a fear of clowns and so was a little freaked out whenever Coco popped up.

Marika Cobbold's Page on 'Aphrodite's Workshop' - author provides longer summary and her thoughts on the serious concerns on the state of love and marriage behind the fun.
Tags: chicklit, myth and legend, romance
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