I OWE YOU ONE
Written by: Sophie Kinsella
Read by: Fiona Hardingham
12 Hours and 23 Minutes
Penguin Random House | Imprint: Random House Audio
Genre: Fiction – Women
Release Date: February 05, 2019
I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A smart lesson wrapped in a gem of a novel.”—Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Spark of Light and Small Great Things
From the author of Surprise Me comes an irresistible story of love and empowerment about a young woman with a complicated family, a handsome man who might be “the one,” and an IOU that changes everything.
Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first.” And since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn’t take care of her father’s legacy, who will?
It’s simply not in Fixie’s nature to say no to people. So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, she not only agrees—she ends up saving it from certain disaster. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, the computer’s owner, Sebastian, an investment manager, scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. Fixie laughs it off—she’d never actually claim an IOU from a stranger. Would she?
But then Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan, comes back into her life, and his lack of a profession pushes all of Fixie’s buttons. As always, she wants nothing for herself—but she’d love Seb to give Ryan a job. No sooner has Seb agreed than the tables are turned once more and a new series of IOUs between Seb and Fixie—from small favors to life-changing moments—ensues. Soon Fixie, Ms. Fixit for everyone else, is torn between her family and the life she really wants. Does she have the courage to take a stand? Will she finally grab the life, and love, she really wants? https://www.penguinrandomhouseaudio.com/book/586296/i-owe-you-one/
Almost everyone has had a lover, family member, friend or even a co-worker who is manipulative and charismatic — Fixie, the main character in this story certainly has; an old crush/flame, Ryan, her brother Jake, and her sister Nicole. Jake tries to emulated Ryan, but, he’s not able to pull it off with success. Jake he uses the family store which both Fixie and her mother manage as a canvas on which he thinks .
Fixie was a competitive skater, and let one put-down by her brother, ruin her routine. And, I think it also pushed her into a role as family door mat. Her mother and Fixie work together together to manage the staff and store; but Fixie’s siblings just leech off it. Even Fixie’s sister, the personification of an incomplete syllogism, uses Fixie as she avoids her marriage.
The one person who doesn’t use Fixie, is the man mentioned in the blurb, Seb. But,their relationship gets started with an I.O.U and then continues with a back
and forth. At some point though, Fixie grows a backbone and gets tiered of having a relationship based in tit-for-tat.
Another aspect of the story, and another thing that shapes the family, is Fixie’s late father, He always said “Family First,” and to fixie this has come to mean giving her sister, her brother and her uncle a lot of leeway, and then cleaning up their messes. And, the store is a shrine to her father, with no major changes allowed. And, this goes unquestioned. There’s a world of difference between honoring someone’s memory, and stagnating in it.
The narrator, Fiona Hardingham did a great job with the genders, accents, characters and ages. I felt like I could see the characters. especially the guys.
I liked this story about how to grow a spine, while still and not basing relationships on trading favors.