Mr Wilder and Me

By Jonathan Coe

This was such an unexpectedly lovely read. I say that only because I knew nothing of the person behind the well-known name of famous director Billy Wilder before I picked up this book.

The entire plot is a combination of fact blended with fiction, one that follows a young Greek woman called Calista as she navigates her first job working as a personal translator for Mr Wilder.

I was hooked into the story in so many different areas, by Calista’s relationships mostly – with her colleagues, her employers, their families, her friends, her will-they won’t-they love interests and then also later in life with her husband and twin daughters. I really like her and I feel like I miss her now that I’ve finished the book. Truly brilliant character writing.

I also learned a lot about older movies and felt such a pang in my heart when classics started to lose their magic. Stupid modern plots and shock-factors started to take over, and I hadn’t realised before how important scripts used to be. In fact, I spent the next few days watching my favourite classics and added The Shop Around the Corner to my collection after it was mentioned in here, and watched with a new appreciation.

If you’re a movie lover or enjoy coming-of-age tales, this is a really lovely story to add to your read list.

Favourite quote:

I asked him to get a bidet for our bathroom and he wired back, ‘Unable to obtain bidet – suggest you do handstand in the shower.’ Honestly, how can you not be in love with a man who sends you a telegram like that?

Mr Wilder and Me will be released on the 5th of November, thank you to Penguin General for the arc.

Release Date: 5th Nov 2020

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