Zoe Foster is a seriously funny lady. I am no doubt very biased, as I have a teensy (read: enormous) girl crush on her. But this former beauty editor turned relationship columnist, writer at mamamia.com and author of lip smackingly delicious fiction is oh so much more than simply a pretty face.
Foster’s The Younger Man tells the tale of 30-something protagonist Abby Vaughn, who falls for the dangerously hip and really quite lovely Marcus. The catch? Marcus is but a baby, at 22. What ensues is a delightfully entertaining dance between Abby and Marcus, who are caught at the awkward ‘not-quite-in-a-relationship’ phase when Abby decides to take a long-awaited sabbatical to Italy. Foster has created characters that are brimming with charm and likeability, yet also have foibles that ensure they are immensely relatable. Foster’s personal brand of humour and wordplay comes across nicely in the novel, and the influence of her Cosmopolitan relationship advice column is undeniable. Particularly astute fans will notice that Foster has Abby and her besties employ the techniques that Foster herself teaches in her relationship advice book, Textbook Romance (co-authored by Foster’s now fiancee, Hamish Blake).
The Younger Man, it pains me to say, won’t be winning any great literary prizes. But that’s ok – it’s not meant to. What the novel is meant to do, is provide escapism that isn’t entirely removed from our own lives, to allow the reader to go along for the ride with Abby and enjoy Foster’s fun, light and intensely likeable style. And oh how likeable it is.