Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Losing It by Helen Lederer

review by Maryom

50-something Millie has problems - she's divorced, in debt and over weight. When she's asked to front an ad campaign for a new diet pill she thinks she may have found the answer to two of those, if not all three - surely if she were thinner she could find at man to take her to the cinema at least? Life isn't that simple of course and when the weight doesn't instantly drop away poor Millie finds herself harassed and harangued into all manner of 'helpful' activities from jogging to tantric sex ....

Losing It is the debut novel from comedian and actor Helen Lederer, and, as you'd expect from someone who's served their time in TV comedy and stand up, it's an incredibly funny book, packed full of ludicrous situations just waiting to trip heroine Millie up. However you describe it - chick lit for grown-ups/almost-oldies or Helen's preferred mid-lit - it's a delight to read. Although the emphasis is definitely on the comedy, the author shows enough perception and insight for the characters to ring true. Heroine Millie is someone the reader can easily empathise with; she's a mid-fifties singleton, with worries about her finances, her weight, and her daughter's career and love life, but still naively optimistic - even if we've not quite been there, these are all feelings we can relate to. Millie's attempts to get her life, and weight, back in order lead to the most cringe-making moments imaginable.
Anyone who regularly reads my reviews knows that in between the deep literary works and the nail-biting crime thrillers, I like some 'down-time', something lighter but not mind-deadening, and I think Helen Lederer is going to be a great addition to my favourite chick-lit authors - Sophie Kinsella, Hester Browne and, err, Matt Dunn. I loved Losing It and I hope there'll be further follow-up adventures for Millie soon.

If you want to hear more from Helen Lederer about Millie and Losing It check out our Q+A with her, part of a blog tour celebrating the book's launch.

Maryom's Review - 5 stars
Publisher - Pan Books
Genre -chick lit, humour,

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