Twenty-One Locks – Laura Barton

“Jeannie is twenty years old and she’s Lancashire’s worst perfume girl. She works in her small town’s department store, where all the other girls have perfect make-up (if a little too orange, and a mite too thick) and hair in buoyant ponytails. Jeannie, with wet hair and pale skin, doesn’t fit the bill. And she doesn’t really care – she arrived as a temp two years ago and has never got round to leaving.

Being bored by work gives her plenty of time to think about her impending nuptials to Jimmy, her teenage sweetheart who’s now a mechanic. He’s a local lad and like everyone in the town, he lives for Saturday nights: beer, brawls and bare flesh.

Jeannie is happier at home on the sofa, or better still, day-dreaming about leaving the town behind. Just as her feet are at their most cold, she stumbles upon Danny at the train station. He’s a well-read, well-travelled, sophisticated ladies’ man and represents everything her life is not. Or at least that’s how it seems. And before long, it all becomes complicated.”

I bought this book from the 24 hours of deals on The Book Depository, I liked the sound of it and with it being such a bargain I couldn’t resist.

To be quite honest I’m not sure how I feel about this book, it had a certain charm to it but I never fully got caught up in the storyline.

The descriptions of everything were very thorough and made it easy to visualise it all BUT there were times when I felt that there was too much describing, almost to the point of rambling.  Sometimes it even went completely off topic and this just confused me, however, the writing style was different to what I’m used to and had an almost magical quality to it which I did find refreshing.

Jeannie was a quiet character, she often seemed dazed by the life surrounding her and I found her to be quite strange.  Speaking of strange, Danny was also a bit odd – he intrigued me at the beginning but once the story switched to his point of view I decided that I wasn’t sure about him at all!

The ending confused me even more and I finished the book no closer to a conclusion than when I started!  I understand that this was probably intentional but I like a book to end clearly (or on an obvious cliffhanger) so I can feel happy to put the book down and unfortunately that didn’t happen for me.

This was an okay read, I liked the idea for the story and I’m sure there are people who would really enjoy it.  I didn’t hate it, but I’m afraid I didn’t love it either.

You can also purchase this book from Amazon UK or Amazon US.