I picked up this book for two reasons: first, the title intrigued me; second, it was free.
Sometimes I think mild voyeurism is part of human nature. Why else would shows like Survivior, Real Housewives, and Big Brother be so popular? And why else would the potential of peeking into someone's (albeit a fictional someone's) private electronic world be so intriguing. So, I dove head first into the life of Coco Pinchard via a series of one-sided emails.
Robert Bryndza did not disappoint. In The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard, Bryndza lured the reader in at one of the most stressful times of a person's year - the Christmas holidays. Everyone can relate to Coco's emailing her best friends Chris and Marika, venting about her in-laws, her family, and their trials and tribulations.
The story takes place mainly in England, with short stints in Brataslava, Slovakia, and Los Angeles. Coco Pinchard is an author who, shortly after a stressful holiday, has her life turned upside down. From ill-timed remarks and a philandering husband to gardening an allotment and staging a musical, Coco's emails to her two best friends (Chris and Marika) and her son (Rosencrantz) help keep her from completely drowning in the insanity of her life.
An interesting twist to the writing is that Bryndza gives only Coco's perspective. It is Coco's emails and responses that appear in the book. However, the reader can glean a lot from this one side of many conversations. Watching Coco deal with trauma, family, mis-steps, and successes reminds us that we all go though ups and downs and, with any luck, we find out we are much stronger than we thought.
In The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard, the reader joins Coco for a roller coaster ride through nine months of her life. At the end, Coco seems more like a friend than another character.
-Rebecca Dobrinski (originally published at Zen Dixie, October 2012)