Friday 9 October 2015

Reviewed: The Trouble With Words by Suzie Tullett

The Trouble With Words was published by Safkhet Publishing on October 1, 2015.

Thanks to Hanna at Safkhet for sending me a copy of this book to review.

The Trouble with Words is a fast-paced and easy read, perfectly enjoyable and a good way to spend a couple of hours. Though this book touches on some serious themes, and delivers some realistic emotions, it’s not really a heavy read. The combination of sadness and humour mixed together well and I enjoyed both aspects, though thanks to a fun group of characters I preferred the laugh-out-loud moments more than the more emotional parts which at times felt a little too close to home for me. This was the first book I’d read by Suzie but I will be looking out for more.

A lot of this story is based on promises, and that’s what the two main characters, Annabel and Dan, had in common. I liked the unconventional way they knew each other, rather than them being a couple or obvious love interests. Annabel had made a promise to her sadly bereaved husband Tom – that she would stay faithful forever. She doesn’t plan on breaking that promise, nor does she seem that interested in pursuing other relationships either, but she does decide she wants a baby whilst she still has the chance. Looking for a sperm donor, she stumbles upon Dan, who doesn’t seem to have much of a care in the world until a discussion with his mum sees him promise to find a wife while she’s still alive. Neither Dan nor Annabel are looking that successful with keeping their promises and that’s what I found interesting about this novel – seeing how it would all work out. Because there were times when I couldn’t imagine either happening so I wondered where Suzie would take the story. I really enjoyed how things played out.

Admittedly, this story took me a while to get into. Early on, I found I couldn’t connect to the characters, not just Annabel and Dan but Annabel’s best friend Katy too. I didn’t struggle reading it but because I didn’t like the characters quickly, I wasn’t really invested in where things were going. But thankfully it didn’t take me much longer before the characters all seemed to grow on me. Getting to know Dan and his mum helped, because Dan’s mum especially was a real character and I loved her personality. I loved how she always challenged Dan and looked interfering when deep down, she was a big softie at heart just wanting the best for her son. They had a close bond and that brought across well some of the funny and some of the tender moments in the story. Though I wasn’t mad keen on Katy or Annabel’s sister, Rebecca, when all three of them were together, especially later on in the book, they made me laugh, sometimes simply because of how ridiculous they were. Humour was a strong point in Suzie’s writing.

Though I liked getting to know Annabel and Dan individually, I also found it interesting seeing if and how they would connect together. Neither of them suggest they want a relationship but then they both at times have doubts on what they really want, including the promises they’d made. I liked the contrast between the characters but also how they could relate to each other. Annabel was mostly quite considerate and understanding with Dan although at times I think that was forgotten as she got a bit carried away. I found both her and Dan to be likeable but I think I would have being able to connect with Annabel more had we been able to learn more about aspects of her relationship with Tom. She was still grieving and eager to remain loyal to him, which felt realistic and believable, but I wanted to be able to understand why she loved him so much and what it was about him. The kind of things they’d gone through. I felt like with Dan, through his relationship with his mum, I could understand his emotions more and get to know him better.

I enjoyed the pacing of The Trouble with Words and whizzed through the book in a couple of hours. Writing this review, I’m still giggling at some of the one-liners and humorous moments. Despite the book being quite short, Suzie added some depth to a quick story and kept it engaging throughout – I didn’t feel like there was too much more I wanted to know or things that were missing. Overall, this was a light, quick-witted read with a heart-warming ending and a nice positive message – I’m glad I’ve read it.

Both moving and witty - a heart-warmer of a story


  1. Thanks for your wonderful review, Sophie, I'm so pleased you enjoyed the read. I feel even more pleased that you're still giggling, something that made me smile in return x

    1. You're welcome, Suzie. It did make me laugh, and still does, on several occasions! x


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