London is the Best City in America

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 March, 2007, 12:00am

London is the Best City in America

by Laura Dave

Penguin, HK$106

You might not pick Reese Witherspoon as the obvious choice for Emmy Everett's role in the screen version of London is the Best City in America. But clear throughout Laura Dave's debut novel is that this is a story perfect for adaptation. Told intelligently and with heart, the book centres on relationships and the choices one must make. Emmy's decision to leave her fiance while he's sleeping in their motel room is the perfect book and movie hook. After closing the door on him, she realises she doesn't know what to say in her Dear John note. So she crawls back into bed with him. Her second attempt at leaving, the same morning, is more successful. 'This time she did it forever.' Despite recognising when it's time to let go, Emmy has difficulty moving on. She whiles away three years at a fishing-tackle shop and justifies it by making a never-ending documentary about the long-suffering wives of fishermen. Then her assistance is needed: Emmy's brother, on the cusp of marriage, reveals that he has fallen in love with another woman. London is an accomplished start for Dave and a fail-safe vehicle for Witherspoon.