The Cupid Effect by Dorothy Koomson: funny and affirmative romantic comedy – book review –
Published in a new sturdy hardback, this delicious romantic comedy about love, life and good intentions was just the first of a string of bestselling novels which have been translated into more than thirty languages, with sales that exceed two million copies in the UK alone.
Her third novel, My Best Friend’s Girl, was selected for the Richard & Judy Summer Reads Book Club in 2006 while a TV adaptation based on The Ice Cream Girls was shown on ITV in 2013. Koomson was also featured on the 2021 Powerlist as one of the most influential Black people in Britain and appeared in GQ Style as a Black British trailblazer.
The Cupid Effect – hailed on publication as ‘a page-turning, bang-up-to-date romantic comedy’ – stars Ceri D’Altroy, a woman who has an extraordinary talent for matchmaking... with occasionally outrageous consequences.
Ceri’s hero-worship of Oprah Winfrey is beginning to have serious repercussions. So far, her questionable decisions have involved sex, shoes or giving unsolicited advice but now Ceri is bored with London life and after writing yet another ‘black is the new black’ fashion feature, she has decided to take Oprah’s advice and follow her heart’s desire.
Abandoning her London life and job, starting afresh in Leeds and going back to college might not be everyone’s dream but all Ceri's has ever wanted to do is teach. However, even though her professional life seems to be sorted, Ceri’s personal life is still a no-go area.
The new Ceri has vowed not to meddle in other people’s love lives, no matter how good she is at it, but after six long, long, months without so much as a kiss, she has given up hope of ever finding anyone who will put up with her various idiosyncrasies.
So her pent-up energies and frustrations seem to have been diverted once more into solving other people’s romantic problems and since arriving in Leeds, she has reunited a happily uncoupled couple, encouraged her new flatmate to do something about his unrequited love, and outed the closet relationship of two of her new colleagues.
Surely, there’s no way she could make things worse?
This funny and affirmative romantic comedy about the rewards and comic pitfalls of matchmaking makes for joyful reading twenty years after it first hit the shelves. With a cast of likeable characters, plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, and an enchanting leading lady, this is a book that still has the power to warm every reader’s heart.
(Headline Review, hardback, £20)