Singleholic promises to be the read of the summer when it comes to chick-lit, billed as the “black Bridget Jones” and compared to Sex and the City.
In this debut book from Katherine Bing, we follow Sarah, a 30 year old History teacher living alone in a London flat, as she obsesses over finding a man. She wonders if she should go for suave and cool banker Chibu, sexy but childish rich boy Sam, or perhaps Arthur, the charming barrister.
The book’s vibrant setting Brixton is brought to life in striking detail, from the old lady sitting outside Iceland selling her artwork framed in foil, to the painting of an orgy which hangs in pride of place in the atmospheric SW9 Bar.
There are some hilarious incidents, from a disastrous blind date involving the discovery that the fit internet hottie is actually nearly twice Sarah’s age, to a conversation which exposes Sarah as never going to the gym, to one possible suitor who, as it happens, belongs to the same gym as her.
Neurotic control freak Sarah is likeable and funny, with thoughts that many women will relate to. She is of mixed heritage, and race is something that is discussed openly in the book.
Bing is no doubt trying to expose stereotypes in her writing, but some may argue that in doing so, these very stereotypes are being reinforced.
Whatever your view, there is no doubt that Singleholic is an increasingly rare example of chick-lit that is a real page turner; genuinely touching and well written. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s made into a film in the future.