The oddly ungrammatical title of Louise Wareham Leonard’s second novel is supposed to evoke the fractured interpersonal relationships of the main characters, and the difficulty the narrator, Holly, has in connecting with others, both in love and family matters.
It could serve just as well to illustrate the lack of connectedness or rapport I felt for any of the characters while reading this sparse and, at times, beautiful, novel. It’s a cliché that rich people are boring, (the relentless pursuit of money seldom leaves time for interesting pastimes, apparently), and Miss me a lot of does little to dispel this idea, if indeed it needs dispelling.
Holly is the daughter of some super rich guy who talks on his cell phone pretty much constantly, except when cheating on his wife, sleeping with secretaries and playing golf. She is a talented dancer who has (naturally) received the best education money can buy, but is too lazy to commit to dancing at a high level. She would rather spend her time mooning over her enigmatic neighbour, lolling around on the beach, or sighing over her lack of success in love.
Mr. Enigmatic is G, a suave Italian businessman, (who, it is implied, has the same relationship to olive oil importing that Tony Soprano has to waste disposal management), and all round nice guy, with, it would seem, an eye for the younger ladies.
The sexual tension between G and Holly increases over the years, although their apparent longing for each other is of course hampered, what with G being married, and Holly about 30-odd years younger than him. Gross.
In the meantime, Holly moves to New York, and strings along a succession of guys who fall in love with her looks, only to leave when they realise (I imagine) that she has absolutely no personality whatsoever.
Despite the lack of empathy I had for any of the characters (who knows, maybe that’s the whole point, but I would at least like to be made to feel a lack of empathy, rather than just lack empathy for them) the book is at times a lovely read. The language is sensuous and evocative, with languorous descriptions of setting and mood offsetting the sparse characterisations.
LOUISE WAREHAM LEONARD