Headline, £6.99, ISBN 0-7472-6729-4
Contemporary Romance, 2002 (Reissue)
I was told that James Patterson writes in the suspense and mystery genre. This book must be his dip into the romance genre. Welcome, Mr Patterson, and please, make him go back to mystery and suspense before Nicholas Sparks steals his soul.
Mr Patterson’s Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas is miles better than anything of Mr Sparks’s, but he too falls for the Curse of the Sparks: the characters in this book are flat and as deep as cardboard. The hero is so perfect, so macho, so Hemingway-ish (oh, he is so sad, he walks out on the heroine who understands because oh, he is so hurt boo-hoo-hoo) that he is like an adolescent girl’s fantasy lover. You know, the one that with deep eyes and dimples, ooh. The heroines are all understanding virtuous lilies who understand that the man is hurt, he has to find his space and all.
This book opens with our heroine Katie discovering the diary of the dead wife of that man Matt who just walks out on her one day. She immediately turns on the waterworks, eek, eek, eeeurgh, snort.
Oh, Hemingway. Oh, Marlboro Man. Keep the home fires burning, women of the world, because our man must come home one day! When he does, we will finally be happy together forever and ever! Matt+Katie 4eva!
Katie understands, and she is weeping because Matt leaves her the diary of dead wife Suzanne’s feelings about Matt and their baby Nicholas. And Suzanne tells Katie in gushing prose that will make even die-hard Oprah groupies flee for the bomb shelter, oh what a wonderful man Matt is! He’s a poet! Shoulders as broad as the Rhode Island, eyes as beautiful as Cassiopeia, lips as sweet as candied plums, thighs as powerful as an electric train thundering towards its destination, and that Boeing 747, so reliable in durability, accuracy, and unerring precision… ok, I’m joking about the thighs and the heat-seeking Boeing thing. We sensitive new age women don’t read about sex, oh please.
In the end, Katie runs to find Matt. Matt, Matt, we understand! Suzanne loves you, Katie loves you, we love you too! We understand how you must leave the diary with Katie so that she will know how much a man you are to have endured such hurt! Poor, poor man. Let this sweet, homely lily woman kiss it and make it better.
Oh, perfect man, weeping and understanding women, all so good and perfect and sweet that I gained fifty pounds just reading this book.