Holly's Inbox
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Holly's Inbox

3.9 26
by Holly Denham

Dear Holly,

Are you sure you know what you're getting into…?


System alert: Inbox full of scandal, romance, and office hilarity!

Meet Holly Denham. It's her first day as a receptionist at a London investment bank and inexperienced Holly is struggling. Take a peek at her email and you'll see why: Holly's inbox is a


Dear Holly,

Are you sure you know what you're getting into…?


System alert: Inbox full of scandal, romance, and office hilarity!

Meet Holly Denham. It's her first day as a receptionist at a London investment bank and inexperienced Holly is struggling. Take a peek at her email and you'll see why: Holly's inbox is a daily source of drama. An affair with a sexy VP heats things up at the office, but when Holly's first flame (who, she thinks, left her in the lurch) gets a job at the same company, complications abound.

How's a working girl supposed to have a love life with a demanding job, crazy friends, a dysfunctional family, and gossipy colleagues? Not to mention that Holly's been keeping a secret from everyone - and the past is about to catch up with her.

Written entirely in emails, this compulsively readable UK smash hit will keep you laughing and turning the pages all the way to its surprising and deeply satisfying ending.

Repeatedly compared to Bridget Jones' Diary, hollysinbox.com became a website phenomenon, with thousands of daily visitors from all over the world. This novel tells Holly's story in full, and also includes exclusive extra material not available on the site.


"I didn't get any sleep last night because I just HAD to finish it!"

"The new Bridget Jones' Diary..."

"Are you ready for the Bridget Jones' Diary of the digital age?"

"Be warned… once you start reading, it's addictive."
Shiny Fashion

"Bound to be a huge success."
Guardian Unlimited

"Compulsive reading."
Heat Magazine, 4 Stars

"A hilarious delve into someone else's daily life."
Closer Magazine, 4 Stars

Editorial Reviews

Chicklit Romance
The amount of insight that we gain into the character of Holly is truly remarkable. It makes me wonder how much my emails reveal about me.
The author, a placement agency owner writing under a pen name, explores a new format with compelling

results. A second novel is planned, and Holly's adventures continue online.

A Novel Menagerie
Every tid bit of the book is JUICY and fun!
— Sheri Freed
The Romantic Times
[Ms. Denham] creates a warm, comedic heroine who slowly grows a backbone. There's a marvelous twist at the end...
— Laurie Spielberg
A Bookworm's World
[A]dd Holly's Inbox to your must read chick lit list! ...a charming, amusing, entertaining read. One of the best chick lit books of the year for me.
— Luanne Olliver
Long and Short of It Reviews
Loves lost then found had me cheering for Holly and her friends in this delightful look into her life. I hope you will agree with me that it is definitely worth a look into Holly's Inbox.
— Hibiscus
The Book Binge
What I liked most about this book was the way that this story flowed flawlessly from one email to another as the story kept unfolding.
— Rowena
Cheryl's Book Nook
What a hoot. I started this book on a Sunday morning and by evening I had finished it. I couldn't put it down.
— Cheryl Koch
So Little Time So Many Books
I could identify with Holly and her friends (in fact, I have some friends that are just like Trisha, Jason and Aisha!) I want to read more--I hope there is a sequel!
— Andrea Mason
I Loves to Read
I found it amazingly hard to put this book down... Fun, light reading that sucks you in until the last page.
— Anita Morgan
Bookfoolery and Babble
Holly's Inbox is unbelievably, compulsively readable. It's very much like peeking into someone else's mailbox... It's a well-rounded story, often funny, sometimes poignant.
— Horner Nancy
I Just Finished
This book was so unique... If you're a fan of chick lit then this is a must read for you.
Books and Needlepoint
Who would have thought that you could learn so much about someone from reading their email? This book was hilarious - and very believable.
— Kristi Herbrand
Holly's Inbox is a funny, lighthearted story about a young woman navigating through life.
— Joan Burton
Cuckleburr Times
Fantastic, heart warming and a truly novel stylistic approach. You'll love it.
— Kay Elizabeth
Passionate Reviews
Big business beware. Holly's inbox is a rollicking tale of multi-tasking at its finest... Loves lost then found had me cheering for Holly and her friends in this delightful look into her life.
Coconut Library Blog
For the first few hundred pages I was reading it because it was fun and entertaining. For the last couple hundred I was reading because I couldn't put it down and wanted to know what happened next!
Enchanting Reviews
An amazingly fun tale filled with enough surprises to keep you breezing through the pages long after you thought you'd put the book down, anyone looking for a really entertaining, laugh out loud book can't go wrong with HOLLY'S INBOX.
— Lisa Chalmers
All About Romance
[T]he pages just seemed to zoom by... the emails are quite humorous and the author does a good job of giving the various characters distinctive voices.
— Lynn Spencer
Book Reviews by Bobbie
Holly's Inbox is addictive and entertaining; a fresh, fun take on inter-office politics and romance in the workplace.
— Bobbie Crawford-McCoy
Socrates' Book Review
Reading through Holly's emails is a very clever way to get to know and fall in love with a character.
— Yvonne
"Holly's Inbox is delightful, funny, it's been lauded as the next Bridget Jones, it's made up of email conversations that will keep your nose in the book and laughing at Holly's predicaments, it's hilarious, it's completely addictive and I totally recommend it!"
— Jennifer Alexander
Diary of an Eccentric
I highly recommend Holly's Inbox for chick lit lovers and others looking for a unique, quick, and light read.
— Anna Horner
The Bookkitten
[Q]uick, cheeky, humorous, and just plain dishy. I loved it!
This book embraces the internet not just as a vehicle for how the information's delivered... it's also as an example of how forward thinking publishers are finding ways to convert and integrate some of the best online content into more traditional publishing.
The New York Post
Riveting. Holly is the e-Bridget Jones.
— Mary Huhn
The Romance Studio
This is one of those page turners that's hard to put down as we get involved, wishing we could shoot an email back.
— Dee Dailey
Romance Reader at Heart
Amusing, and with an ending that left me laughing, HOLLY'S INBOX is an unusual delight.
— Kay James
From the Publisher
"Amusing, and with an ending that left me laughing, HOLLY'S INBOX is an unusual delight. " - Romance Reader at Heart
Publishers Weekly

Holly Denham, the lead of this epistolary novel (and yes, the name of the author), is an overwhelmed receptionist at a major British bank. The reader's access to Holly's frantic life is via her e-mail inbox-the entirety of the novel, in fact, is e-mail messages sent by, among others, her gay best friend (a chick lit necessity), her brassy co-workers (another requirement), her meddling mother (check, again) and, of course, her would-be paramour (ditto). The plot runs along very traditional lines, and in the end overreaches for a happy ending, but this overlong novel's saving graces are its fast pacing and very funny writing. Some of the best exchanges are between Holly and her grandmother, who sends e-mails that just read "TESTING" and signs her up for annoyingly spammy Web services. Despite the limitations inherent in an e-epistolary novel, the book is populated by vibrant, endearing characters, and Denham manages to juggle a dozen story lines at once. The ending's contrived, but feel-good, which, in these gloomy times, might be enough to do the trick. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.80(d)

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Holly's Inbox


Week 1

Subject: To Holly—New Job
From: Mum and Dad
To: Holly
Exciting news about the job. Are you enjoying it?

Your sister has a parcel (books or something) that needs bringing out with you, when you come to see us. Alice says it's very important and 'Ferret,' a friend of hers, is passing by Maida Vale next week to drop it off.
Love, Mum
PS Send us your flight details!

From: Holly
To: Mum and Dad
Job—I don't know yet, only been here an hour, very busy. Ferret—what? How does anyone get to make a friend called Ferret?

Parcel—no problem, as long as it's not too heavy.

Subject: Welcome
From: Roger Lipton
To: Holly
Dear Holly,
Glad to have you on board.
I hear everything went well with your induction on Friday and you are now familiarising yourself with our systems and policies. It's a shame the reception area is so separated from the rest of us here, but you know where we are if you need anything. I hope you'll be very happy here.

Roger Lipton, Director of Human Resources, H&W, High Holborn WC2

From: Holly
To: Roger Lipton
Dear Mr Lipton,
Thank you for your email. I'm sure I'll be very happy; everyone has been so welcoming.

Kindest regards,
Receptionist, H&W, High Holborn WC2 6NP

Subject: Reception experience
From: Patricia Gillot
To: Holly
I told them to get me a receptionist I could work with, like the one I had before with lots of experience. Not having a go at you on your first day, but I feel like giving up, I really do. Where've you worked again?

Patricia Gillot, Senior Receptionist, H&W, Holborn WC2 6NP

From: Holly
To: Patricia Gillot
Hi Patricia,
In 5* Hotels—on reception.

From: Patricia Gillot
To: Holly

From: Holly
To: Patricia Gillot
It was really busy there.

From: Patricia Gillot
To: Holly
That's nice for you, darlin. Just keep grinning at people for today, and I'll do the rest. Hopefully by the end of the month you might know your arse from your elbow.

PS Stop trying to talk to me; this is a corporate bank. If you wanted to natter; you should've taken a job in a salon. Email me when you have a problem.

Subject: A good luck message
From: Alice and Matt
To: Holly
Glad things are going so well again. It sounds wonderful there, and you've got yourself a new start. Just what you wanted.

Alice & Matt

From: Holly
To: Alice and Matt
I hate the job and everyone's awful.

From: Alice and Matt
To: Holly
Oh dear, by the way, thanks for agreeing to bring out our parcel. It's really nice of you.

From: Holly
To: Alice and Matt
No problem. What's in it?

From: Alice and Matt
To: Holly
Oh, nothing, just a box of essentials.

From: Holly
To: Alice and Matt
What—books and things?

From: Alice and Matt
To: Holly
Yes, all that. I've given Ferret your number.

From: Holly
To: Alice and Matt
Oh good


Subject: A little advice from your Mum
From: Mum and Dad
To: Holly
Sorry to bother you again, dear. Glad to hear you bumped into Jennie from school. You were always very fond of her. Sounds like she's doing so well there. I've given it some thought, and the only way you're going to get as far as she has done is by using any contacts you come across. My advice is: take her out for lunch as fast as possible. You never know what doors she could open for you.

What are you doing there at the moment again, PA work?
Mum xxx

From: Holly
To: Mum and Dad
Jennie has been nice on the couple of occasions I've seen her, but I'm fine doing what I'm doing, which is RECEPTION work.
From: Mum and Dad
To: Holly
That's what I said, darling, it's the same thing.
Just make sure you eat properly, especially if you're going to be greeting all those people. You could pick up an infection from one of them.

Subject: A few pointers
From: Patricia Gillot
To: Holly
Stop standing up when people come to the desk!
I'm off for a fag. I'll be on the other side of the glass doors, and I'll be keeping an eye on you. Got any problems—don't shout whatever you do. Just think you're working in a library, and you'll be halfway there.

From: Holly
To: Patricia Gillot
OK, Patricia. What time are toilet breaks?

From: Patricia Gillot
To: Holly
Any time you can't hold on, darlin—also, it's just Trish. No one calls me Patricia.

Subject: School Friend!!!
From: Jennie Pithwait
To: Holly
Hi Holly,
You went off the map for a few years. Where've you been?? So glad you're working here; sorry about the misunderstanding yesterday. I should have told you what Mr Huerst looked like; lucky he was so forgiving, even when you told him he needed an appointment.

Jennie Pithwait, Associate, Corporate Finance, H&W, High Holborn WC2

From: Holly
To: Jennie Pithwait
Hi Jennie,
I felt like a real idiot. I even chased after him with his security pass.

From: Jennie Pithwait
To: Holly
He was fine. I said it was your first day.
What's it like sitting with Trisha?

From: Holly
To: Jennie Pithwait
Awful, rude, I can't stand her.

From: Jennie Pithwait
To: Holly
Tough old girl, probably doesn't get laid much. Great with clients, but that's about it.

From: Holly
To: Jennie Pithwait xxxx
Thanks Jennie.

Subject: Pretty P'Holly
From: Jason GrangerRM
To: Holly
How's the job going? Is it OK to email you?

Jason Granger, Reception Team Leader, LHS Hotels, London, W1V 6TT

From: Holly
To: Jason GrangerRM
Emailing is good, the job stinks, and I'm about to take a contract out on my mum.
How are you?

From: Jason GrangerRM
To: Holly
I'm good. Talking of stinky, guess what smelly celeb we've got staying here?

From: Holly
To: Jason GrangerRM

From: Jason GrangerRM
To: Holly
(Housekeeping told me she's got a few personal hygiene problems.)
Who cares though—she's famous!!!

From: Holly
To: Jason GrangerRM
That makes it OK then, does it?

From: Jason GrangerRM
To: Holly
Of course! You don't like her though (she's a bit of a marriage breaker)—can't tell you who it is. If you were still working here, I could, but I can't. It's a trust thing. Enjoy your nasty bank.

From: Holly
To: Jason GrangerRM

Meet the Author

Holly Denham is the pen name for Bill Surie the owner of a placement service for receptionists and secretaries in London. He started the Holly's Inbox website as a place to serialize his first novel. The website became an overnight sensation and his second novel is now in the works.

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Holly's Inbox 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
retromom More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It is light and hilarious! It doesn't take long to figure out that Holly is in over her head at her new job as a receptionist at a huge corporate bank. She is like a fish out of water! Reading her emails to her friends and family and fellow employees made me feel like a bit of a spy but it was so fun! Holly's sarcastic sense of humor is very similar to mine. I caught myself laughing hysterically out loud many times. The shocking part of the whole book is finding out that Holly Denham is actually a pen name for Bill Surie. He is not only the author of the book but the owner of a placement service for receptionists and secretaries in London. I wonder if any of these emails are based on true emails that he has come across in his work? Although this format is a bit different than most books, I found it easy to read and follow along. I highly recommend this book! I liked it so much that I am starting to read the sequel immediately! Trust me..you will enjoy Holly! She is an interesting character!
PAreader More than 1 year ago
This book may be the ultimate beach read. The entire story is told through the characters' email. Its a strangely addictive format. Several times I found myself up way past my bedtime. That said, expect brain candy. The plot is pretty much want you would expect from any standard "chick lit" book - hi jinks at work, misadventures in love, the power of friendship. I found even the big twists in the plot were predictable. If you are in the mood for light reading, its a fun read.
Reader_Grl More than 1 year ago
LOVED this book! What a riot! Am going to order the 2nd one RIGHT NOW! Can hardly wait to see what's next.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Funny! Good Book!
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Sweetflower More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for a quick read or a book to cheer you up, grab Holly's Inbox. 5 stars for creativity and originality. I hope to see more from this new author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
soccermomMD More than 1 year ago
I flew through this book and laughed like crazy. The characters are quite a group, and the writer makes you need to keep reading. A fun, fun book. I have passed it on to a friend. If you like Bridget Jones Diary, you will love this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It reminded my of a mix between meg cabot, sophia kinsella, and bridget jones. It is over 650 pages, but it is a very quick read. I can't wait for the next book. I miss Holly!!
gl More than 1 year ago
Synopsis: "Ever wanted a peek at someone else's emails?" That's one of the teasers for Holly Inbox, a 672 page novel, composed entirely of emails by, for or about Holly Dedham. Don't be put off by the book's length - the characters are engrossing and the book flies by! Young, vivacious, and relatively inexperienced, Holly has a new job as a receptionist at a busy corporate bank in London. We read about her ups and downs as she faces bullying co-workers, social mishaps, well meaning but socially aggressive parents, her flaky entrepreneur brother Charlie, an ex-boyfriend who joins the bank, and a gorgeous and flirtatious banker. Fortunately, Holly has her old friends Jason and Aisha to keep her grounded and amused plus her work friends Trish and Jennie to advise her. Review: Holly's Inbox has all the likability, humor, plot twists and romance that exemplify good chicklit. The book reminded me of Marian Keyes's Watermelon and Sophie Kinsella's Undomestic Goddess. Although I had to adjust to the "all email" format, this was easy enough once I became familiar with each of the characters. From Holly's grandmother to her frenemy from boarding school to her crazy single woman friend Aisha to her accident prone brother Charlie, her cheery gay friend Granger and her office mate Trish, each of the characters are carefully crafted and fun companions. Holly herself may seem a bit flaky, especially when she's getting her bearings, but you'll find yourself rooting for her soon enough. The ups and downs of an office romance were fun, but like in real life, it's banter and the friendships that made the book come alive so vividly. At close to 700 pages, Holly's Inbox is bulky but you won't want to put it down. I took it with me everywhere - even on the crowded NYC subway during rush hour. A fun summer read! Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (June 1, 2009), 672 pages. Review copy courtesy of the author.
lindacLA More than 1 year ago
I took this 668 page book to the beach and finished it in a day. The e-mail format is really easy and quick to read. It's a funny book and the characters are interesting. I'd like to see a sequel to it. I like British chick-lit and this is as good as Sophie Kinsella!
lilgracie More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful book. It's an easy read, so don't let the 600 pages scare you. It was so interesting, I finished it in 2 days. It's about romance, the workplace and friendship all in one.
sassyankee More than 1 year ago
Never thought I would like a book written in all e-mails, but this one works. Characters are fully developed and original, plot moves quickly, and it a fun read from start to finish. Perfect book for a summer afternoon or a plane flight.
RickyST More than 1 year ago
The style of this book is what makes it a hit. The plot and characters are not that original - but the way the author writes makes it great! It's an easy read and kept me engaged. For anyone who's not used to reading 100's of emails a day, it make time minimal time to get adjusted to the style. But once you do, you'll really enjoy this book.
Cocopuffy More than 1 year ago
This book was really cute. It does what it sets out to do. It is an updated Bridget Jones. It is a very quick read. The big problem is that it has a loose end at the end, which would be fine for the main character, but not for a secondiary character. If I hadn't liked the book, this cliffhanger would not be enough to bring me back, and I would consider it more of an annoyance than anything.
Pinkpenguin90 More than 1 year ago
I can not put into words how happy this book made me feel, I sat reading it on the bus and everyone was watching me because I couldn't stop laughing. It is not only very very funny, but is also gripping, romantic and touching... read it - or just read everyone else's reviews in Google, they all say the same x
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
IHeart2Read More than 1 year ago
When I discovered this book at Barnes & Noble, I immediately added it to my TBR List. I was quite surprised to learn my library owned a copy and was first on the wait list. I couldn't wait to begin reading Holly's e-mails. I was looking forward to reading this as I read so many glowing reviews. I have to admit, around page 200 or so, I lost interest in Holly and her friends. I really wanted to know Holly's back-story with Toby. It took awhile for Holly to disclose to Trisha, her co-worker. I do have to say, the secondary characters were quite interesting and added to the story. Around page 415 (the reader was able to peek inside Trisha's inbox), I found myself glued to the story and couldn't put it down. Yes, it's a long book (665 pages of e-mails), but worth reading on a lazy afternoon. Even though I thought it was sluggish in the middle, I do hope there's a sequel in the works. I would like an update on Holly and her friends. 3.5 Stars
Twink More than 1 year ago
Okay, get out your pen out and add Holly's Inbox to your must read chick lit list! Holly Denham begins work as a receptionist at the banking firm of Huerst and Wright. It's a busy place, requiring two receptionists. Policy also forbids conversation unless it is business related. The next best thing? E-mail! The entire book is a series of emails from Holly's Inbox! We meet Holly's two best friends who both work at her last job - reception at a large hotel. Jason is incredibly funny, Aisha is a bit of a runaround. We get to live Holly's life vicariously through the corresponcence of these three. And really, doesn't everyone have a bit of peeping tom in them? We meet her meddling mother, her siblings (one who wants her to deliver some frozen rats to Spain) and her gran, who has just discovered the world wide web. She helps Holly out by signing her up for cheap flights and dating services. But Holly doesn't seem to need the dating services. She begins to date one of the traders from the bank. But then..... And that's where I'm going to stop. I don't want to spoil the story. And I could go on and on, as I couldn't put the book down. Devoured in two days! Reading it was like eating a bag of candy, one more piece, one more page until sadly the whole thing was done. Mind you, at almost 700 pages, it was satisfying! This is an charming, amusing, entertaining read. One of the best chick lit books of the year for me. Holly's Inbox covers the first five months at her new job. I can only hope that it continues! If you'd like to check out Holly's Inbox online you can - at http://www.hollysinbox.com/. Really - it's her email account.