SO LUCKY – by DAWN O’PORTER – BOOK REVIEW

so lucky my oic

 

Another book I’ve had on my shelves for a while and finally managed to get round to.  So glad I did.  I wasn’t expecting the read I got, for no reason I can think of, but instantly liked the characters and found it a great read.

 

SYNOPSIS

IS ANYONE’S LIFE . . .

Beth shows that women really can have it all.
Ruby lives life by her own rules.
And then there’s Lauren, living the dream.

AS PERFECT AS IT LOOKS?

Beth hasn’t had sex in a year.
Ruby feels like she’s failing.
Lauren’s happiness is fake news.

And it just takes one shocking event to make the truth come tumbling out…

 

MY THOUGHTS

I’d heard some good things about So Lucky and what with the super eye catching front cover it was sure to end up in my basket at some point!  I haven’t read the authors other book, The Cows, nor did I know much about the lady herself.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect and I think in some way this is what had it sitting on the shelf for as long as it did.  I wasn’t sure if, at 48 years old, I would relate to the story or characters, wondering if it was going to be full of much younger people………

Of course, I needn’t have worried.  I raced through this and found it really enjoyable.  Honest, fun a little sad at times, but a very likeable read.

The novel follows 3 women, all struggling to find how to live and be themselves, within their own lives.  Relationships, motherhood and living the perfect life are all addressed in a totally plausible, frank and laugh out loud way.

I found the author’s writing style very readable.  The characters and story lines are totally believable and so down to earth making this book very easy to get drawn into straight away.  It’s full of humour and originality and even though some of the characters have a very sad side to their stories the every day, humorous, situations are plentiful and really make this a fun read.

I enjoyed the way each character’s story is told separately, allowing the reader to get a real feel for their personality, but slowly seeing how they are all going to come together at the end.

A fun, quick read that I wish I’d got to sooner.

So Lucky is out in paperback tomorrow! July 9th 2020.

 

Fake Like Me by Barbara Bourland

book clipartBook Reviewbook clipart

 

fake like me

Book Blurb

Everything that gets created destroys something else.

When a fire rips through her studio and burns the seven enormous paintings for her next exhibition, a young, no-name painter is left with an impossible task: recreate her art in just three months – or ruin her fledgling career. Thirty-four, single and homeless, she desperately secures a place at an exclusive upstate retreat.

Brimming with creative history and set on a sparkling black lake, Pine City and its founders – a notorious collective of successful artists – is what she’s idolized all her life. She’s dreamt of the parties, the celebrities, the privilege. What she finds is a ghost of its former self.

The recent suicide of founding member Carey Logan haunts everyone, lurking beneath the surface like a shipwreck. And one thought begins to shadow her every move – what really happened to her hero?

With a flair for sensational detail and acidic wit, Barbara Bourland delivers a darkly satirical thriller about art, money and identity with a twist so sharp it cuts.

 

My Thoughts

After a number of years trying to make a name for herself in the art world, our protagonist meets one Carey Logan, another female artist and member of Pine City.  A talked about group of experimental artists. She is enthralled.

Sometime later, after a fire rips through our unnamed protagonists apartment/studio, whilst preparing for an upcoming showing of her work, she finds herself in desperate need of a work space and ends up on the Pine City estate.

It is at this point the book then takes us into the most marvellously atmospheric world of painting, creative obsession and the mystery behind the members of this well known group.

I found this a great read and a very absorbing novel.  Seen only through the eyes of our main character it really allows the reader to get under her skin and be transported to her world.  It is both interesting and informative but also deeply atmospheric and a believable thriller type novel.

I enjoyed all the characters, even though it is only our main character that is ‘fleshed out’ and whom we learn anything about until the end of the story. The lack of information about the members of Pine City adds to their mysterious nature.

For me the best part of this novel is it’s descriptive writing of setting and the creative obsession and day to day life of this artist at this time.  I found it very interesting hearing of how she actually goes about making her art work, not just from a creative ideas point of view, but also the more practical side of things, like making up frames and the enormous amount of materials needed to obtain an effect or colour she is after for a painting.  The planning, time, and maths needed to do this are often mentioned.

The setting is wonderful and the heat and cloying atmosphere of the estate really came through.  The lake and often empty accommodation matched with the solitude of her work habits add wonderfully to this and creates a world one can really get lost in.  I also enjoyed the way this then lived ‘next door’ to the opulent world of her old friend Max with her parties, privileged up bringing and art collection.

A really interesting book and a good thriller that drew me wonderfully into its world.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my advanced copy.