One Night at the Jacaranda by Carol Cooper

New cover of One Night at the JacarandaAfter a trying day battling with IT problems, I downloaded this book for my Kindle in the hope of finding a bit of escapism and cheer. I picked the right book, and once I started it, I couldn’t put it down, enjoying the easy humour as well as the “will-they, won’t-they” pacy plot.

The story recounts the fortunes of a group of men and women who attend a night of speed-dating at the Jacaranda bar. When we first meet them, they all seem to be leading lives of quiet desperation, hoping,but not necessarily believing,that speed-dating will solve their problems. All is not what it seems, and as the tale unfolds, we learn more about the characters, including some surprises (but no plot-spoilers here).

A Bit of Everything Here

This book contains all the elements of a good holiday or beach read – humour, love, sex, relationships – but there’s more to it than that. There are also interesting themes about first impressions and ambitions, and interesting incidental detail about different occupations. There’s lots of poignant and touching stuff about parenting, divorce and family life too.

The ending is largely happy, but there are some harsh realities too. By no means a blanket advertisement for speed-dating agencies, it will still be heartening for anyone despairing of finding a partner and may give them the courage to give that approach a try.

Great First Novel

This is a fast-moving story, skilfully woven together to keep the pages turning. Given the episodic nature of the story, jumping from one character to another, it flows extremely well, demonstrating the author’s great sense of timing. The prose is well written, the dialogue natural, convincing and lifelike.

An assured first novel, the author’s background in journalism presumably having honed her writing skills, I highly recommend it, and I’m hoping there will be more like this to come from this author.

Carol Cooper’s author website is at

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