Thursday, 9 February 2017
My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
Katie likes everyone to believe she's leading the perfect life - a dream job in London, a fancy apartment, wining and dining at the trendiest places - but really nothing could be further from the truth - her job is entry-level admin, she lives in a tiny room in a house shared with dreadful house mates, and her insider knowledge of where to eat comes from newspapers and magazines. One day, her life will match her dreams, until then she endures the commute, manages without space for a wardrobe, and stalks her mega-talented, oh-so-successful boss Demeter, who really does seem to be living the dream.
Could Katie's not-so-perfect life get worse? Unfortunately, yes. The gorgeous man she's just met turns out to be having an affair with Demeter, and on top of that, Katie loses her job. There's nothing for it but to head home to Somerset and help with her dad's latest project, turning the family farm into a swish glamping location, pretending all the while that she's merely on sabbatical ...
As you'd expect from Sophie Kinsella, this is a light, fun read - one to curl up with and forget the world, like comfort food in a book. I'm happy enough to read a gritty thriller, or a heavy literary classic , but there' still space on my shelf for a well-crafted romcom, and Kinsella is one of my favourite authors in this field.
The characters are vaguely familiar - a young, impressionable woman, trying to live the dream but frequently disappointed; a tall, handsome man with a twinkle in his eye that says he'd like to know her better, but (of course, there's a 'but') he might not be as free as Katie thinks; and the formidable 'other woman', in this case Katie's boss, Demeter - but familiarity is part of the comfort of a light romcom read. It's funny and a little wicked, as Katie tries to get her revenge by coaxing Demeter into joining in bizarre spiritual rituals, because "Gwyneth" does, and we can all laugh, because we'd never be persuaded to do that, right?
There is, if you like, a message here too - that, no matter what you read or how you feel, everyone else is NOT leading that perfect life, that social media and aspirational blogs only show a slanted view of life, capturing the good times, and ignoring the bad - so don't believe everything you read on the web ...
Maryom's review - 4 stars
Publisher - Bantam Press
Genre - adult, romcom