Finding Colin Firth by Mia March
Reviewed by Gerti
I had never heard of author Mia March before picking up this book, "Finding Colin Firth", for the title. But her raison d'etre becomes clear when you see that her previous work was called "The Meryl Streep Movie Club." This is an author who wisely or wickedly want to get published, and to do that, she links her story to an actor with a legion of fans in order to get that fan base to purchase the book.
Why do you think she doesn't really love Colin Firth, you might ask? The evidence is there in one of the early chapters, as one of the primary characters, Veronica Russo, quotes Colin Firth as peaking love words, as Fitzwilliam Darcy, to Elizabeth Bennet in "Pride and Prejudice." The problem is, these works are not spoken in the film adaptation of the book starring Colin Firth. Rather, they are spoken by Matthew MacFayden in a more recent version of Pride and Prejudice, and only a true Firth nerd would know that. I knew that. So on page 23, author March had already lost all credibility with me. I was so mad, I couldn't read "Finding Colin Firth" again for weeks.
Finally, I forced myself to pick it up again and finish it. So about the story and characters, yes, it is a pleasant read because of the charming tale of Veronica Russo, her magical pies, and her long-lost daughter, Bea. Bea Crane is in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, trying to track down her birth mother and learn her story. Firths is in Maine filming a movie. Other characters in the book, including writer Gemma Hendricks, are introduced to the glory of Firth by watching all his movies (and there are a lot of them!) which I suspect is what this author did when her editor (or agent) suggested she write a book with Firth's name in the title.
But in the plot, Gemma is writing a story about a home of unwed mother in town, and both Veronica and Bea are connected to that place, since Veronica gave birth to Bea in the parking lot 22 years before. There are other characters--Bea has a pseudo-romance with a charming producer from the film crew, and tutors another crew member's sister on "To Kill a Mockingbird" (of course, since this author seems determined to make her fortune on iconic things). Veronica teaches a pie-making class in town and there is a love interest/conflict for her there, too; one of her students is a high school friend of the guy who got her pregnant in the first place, and then denied the baby.
The narration shifts from one of the 3 main female characters to the other (sometimes irritating), as they deal with issues surrounding pregnancy, having kids, and mother/daughter relationships. But the male characters are like whipped cream on pies; the women decide whether they want them in their lives or not. I would have enjoyed this book more if I felt the author wasn't just using Colin Firth and my love for him (and Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice") in order to sell books. march's ignorance about him made me angry and sad, and tainted the book for me, even though her writing is clever and honest.