Kismet by Luke Tredget | Blog Tour Extract

 

Published by Faber & Faber

Available in ebook and hardback (17 May 2018)

400 pages



My thanks to Sophie of Faber & Faber for the tour invite and for the extract.

 

|   About the Book   |

 

With the romance of David Nicholls and the off-kilter charisma of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag, Kismet is a love story about imperfect people in a world obsessed with perfect matches.

Anna is 29 years old, and grappling with the central question of her life: is it time to settle for a secure and predictable existence, or should she risk everything for a life of passion and adventure? Her attempt to answer this centres on Kismet, a phone-based matchmaking app that has now replaced traditional dating. But Anna isn’t looking for love, or not exactly. She is already in a relationship with Pete, who is attractive, funny and kind, but she worries about their lacklustre Kismet score of 70, especially when she discovers that he plans to ask her to marry him on her 30th birthday. She secretly re-joins Kismet, and soon encounters Geoff, a dashing, forty-something journalist with whom she has a compatibility of 81%. She approaches her birthday in a frenzy of indecision, and as the moment of Pete’s proposal nears, she finds herself faced with a decision that will bring everything into question – her job, her friends, her entire life.

Kismet perfectly captures the reality of dating in a world of curated online profiles and endless Tinder swiping.

 

EXTRACT

 

Anna slumps down in her chair and sighs, relief coursing through her like a tonic. She texts Zahra not to worry about the Mexico question, and then, without willing it, opens Kismet. As expected, she sees the solitary dot at the centre of the map, but this time something is different: it is blue rather than red. She zooms in and sees there are in fact two small circles – a blue dot is almost entirely eclipsing her red one, leaving only a thin crescent visible. She taps the blue dot and the number 72 appears. Anna gasps and her eyes shoot around the cafe, landing on the broad back of the long-haired man by the window, customer number six. She zooms in on the map, until her screen is filled entirely with the floor plan of the coffee shop, and sees that yes, it must be him.

Anna sits up in her chair and puts down her phone and takes conscious control of her breathing. It is going to hap¬pen; he is bound to see any minute, if he hasn’t already. There is turmoil in her stomach, and a powerful urge to flee. But this is a 72, and a handsome one at that, and she resolves to see it through. She moves things around on her table and fusses with her fringe and wraps her chewing gum in an old receipt that she hides in her bag. It occurs to her that she has time to check her appearance in the toilet mirror, but she decides there is no need: she is wearing her favourite charcoal woollen jumper, black jeans and her hair tied up – she knows she looks alright. The only regrettable items are her scuffed and tired boots, which will remain under the table. She places her hands on either side of her laptop and wills herself to be calm, to be cool. After a few moments there is a shuffling in her peripheral vision, and when she looks across he has turned in his seat, his eyes waiting for hers. She smiles, he stands. She looks back at her laptop, and the key stats and life stories of billionaires and politicians and scientists swim in front of her.

‘Hello,’ he says, standing beside her table.

‘Hi.’

‘I’m Thomas.’

‘Anna.’

 

 

|   Author Bio   |

 

Luke Tredget works in international development for the Red Cross. His journalism has been published in the Guardian and he completed the Birkbeck Creative Writing MA in 2015. He lives in London.

 

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