Sunday, 11 June 2017

Other People's Business by H J Moat

Other People's Business: Much Ado About Nothing - Shakespeare's Romantic Comedy Retold by H J Moat
Self-published in April 2017.

Where to buy this book:
Buy the ebook from

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the author

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Some cupid kills with arrows, some with traps... 
Bee and Ben haven't always hated each other, but they certainly hate each other now. They hate each other so much that it threatens to derail the wedding of their best friends, Imogen and Will. But then something unthinkable happens and turns everything on its head. Within the wedding party, some hearts swell and others are broken, but will anyone work out that relationships are rarely quite what they seem?
This modern retelling of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing explores the idea of whether we're ever really in control of our own romantic destiny and if true love really can conquer all.

After reading Othello and its modern retelling, New Boy, recently I was delighted to be contacted by author Hollie Moat offering me a review copy of her novel, Other People's Business, which is a retelling of William Shakespeare's romantic comedy Much Ado About Nothing. Again I listened to my audiobook of the original work before immersing myself in the new retelling.

Other People's Business is written in alternating chapters from the viewpoints of Bee and Ben. I liked the chatty prose style and that this device allows us to witness events through each character's eyes and to learn their innermost thoughts at the same time. I was immediately drawn to Bee who I think is someone I would get on with in real life. It took longer for Ben to be defined, but he does have some great lines and both are very funny when they are sparring. Of course imagining David Tennant as Ben (he played the role in my audiobook) added to his appeal! Moat sticks closely to Much Ado About Nothing's main plotline, but her story is firmly rooted in the present day and I actually preferred her interpretation of moments such as Imogen's (Hero) death which makes more sense as Moat tells it.

Romance fiction isn't my preferred genre, but I did enjoy reading Other People's Business because it manages to be witty and humorous as well as romantic. Sharply observed characters such as pompous businessman Laurence and devoted Dad Len are a joy to encounter and even soppy Imogen was entertainingly exasperating. Throw in a sumptuous wedding and enough booze to render everyone comatose and you have all the ingredients for a great summer read!

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Hollie Moat / Women's fiction / Books from England

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