Book Title: A Random Act of Kindness
Author: Sophie Jenkins
Publisher: Avon
No. of Pages: 400
Genre: General Fiction
Do I recommend it? Not really.

Rating: 3 out of 5.


Fern Banks is extremely passionate about finding a perfect piece of garment for her customers. But when that passion makes her lose the “steady-income-regular-job”, she decides to give her business idea a go. With a curated stock of vintage clothing, she starts selling them from a stall at Camden Market in London. Because of her “random acts of kindness”, she makes a few odd friends and gradually her life becomes entangled with all of them. In the process of reinventing herself by donning a different garb on every occasion, Fern starts to lose grip on the practical parts of life. Her business starts to make no sense and it’s the same with her long-distance relationship with Mick. This book tells quite an ordinary story wrapped in beautiful writing.


The book sits on the idea of how appearance is far more important than what’s within. Everyone and everything was pretty superficial and the emphasis on clothes and how freaking particular you need to be about your appearance was making me nauseous. Everything mostly revolved around looks. However, this was all a part of the self-discovery journey for the main character, Fern Banks. The book also deals with the conflicts of a mother-daughter relationship and the struggle of having a successful independent life.


There are quite a few diverse characters but none of them were quite extraordinary. I didn’t like the character of Fern Banks at all. Her romantic interest, David Westwood, was equally boring and non-existent in the book. I also think his character was completely unnecessary as it did not make a single change in the main character’s life until at the very end. Among the other characters, I found the oldies very interesting (Kim, Dinah and Moss). Two of them are Jewish-German refugees, and the third one is most probably queer.


To be honest, I’m very disappointed with the absence of a concrete plot in the story. The entire book as per me was very poorly structured. In the first half of the book, I found nothing interesting happening. I found no impetus to keep me moving forward in the book. In the last 20 percent of the book, there’s too much happening suddenly. All this information and emotion that was dumped in the end could’ve been used to spread out equally throughout the book. The whole thing was quite predictable and ordinary.


This was the only reason I read the book till the end even though the thought of giving up plagued my mind. The writing no doubt has huge potential and it was a delight to read on most of the pages. I especially loved the chapters that are from Kim’s point of view. To be honest, I am tempted to pick up the other book by Sophie Jenkins but the disappointing plot and structure of this book will keep me from it.

If you have read and liked books such as Confessions of a Shopaholic and Bridget Jones’ Diary, then you can give it a try.

Quick Question: Who’s your favorite female fictional character? Can be from both books and movies. Can be more than one.

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