I Think I Love You

I Think I Love You by Allison Pearson Vintage HK$91

Seven years ago the journalist Allison Pearson hit the big time with her first novel, I Don't Know How She Does It. The follow-up alludes to pop star David Cassidy, although I suspect Pearson is also thinking of Hugh Grant: quoting Cassidy is Hugh's way of letting his erotic hair down during his big speech to Andie McDowell in Four Weddings and a Funeral.

The big screen is clearly where Pearson wants her enjoyable, funny if slight novel to end up. In 1974, Petra is 13, best friends with Sharon and in love with teen idol Cassidy. When a Cassidy fanzine, edited by Bill Finn, offers the chance to meet him in the flesh, Petra and Sharon go wild with joy.

Fast forward a quarter of a century to 1998. Petra is 40, separated and depressed. Then she discovers that she won the competition to meet Cassidy, so she decides belatedly to take Bill Finn up on his offer. The similarities to Norwegian Wood are slightly spooky: nostalgia, sex, pop music, period drama and coming of age. If Pearson falls short of Murakami's high standards, she at least puts on an entertaining, heart-warming and amusing show.