Book Review: Who’s That Girl? by Mhairi McFarlane

Who's That Girl

 

“When Edie is caught in a compromising position at her colleagues’ wedding, all the blame falls on her – turns out that personal popularity in the office is not that different from your schooldays. Shamed online and ostracised by everyone she knows, Edie’s forced to take an extended sabbatical – ghostwriting an autobiography for hot new acting talent, Elliot Owen. Easy, right?

Wrong. Banished back to her home town of Nottingham, Edie is not only dealing with a man who probably hasn’t heard the word ‘no’ in a decade, but also suffering an excruciating regression to her teenage years as she moves back in with her widowed father and judgy, layabout sister.

When the world is asking who you are, it’s hard not to question yourself. Who’s that girl? Edie is ready to find out.”

I am a huge Mhairi (pronounced Vah-Ree, in case you were wondering) McFarlane fan – having really enjoyed all of her previous books ‘You Had Me At Hello‘, ‘Here’s Looking At You‘ and ‘It’s Not Me, It’s You‘ – so was very excited when my pre-order of her latest book dropped into my Kindle.

As usual the main character, in this case Edie, is really likeable – and you’re rooting for her from the off.  Early on she is caught in a compromising position at a wedding – and she’s the one who is totally blamed.  The other party gets forgiven PDQ.  (I empathise completely with Edie after a similar situation happened to me many moons ago!  The bloke I had a ‘fling-ette’ with was ‘on a break’ at the time – but subsequently the estranged parties got back together and this girlfriend became his wife – clearly forgiving him – but 16 years on she still won’t even speak to me. I am regularly grateful there wasn’t any social media at the turn of the millennium!!!)

Anyway – enough of my colourful life and back to Edie’s!

She is sent to Nottingham (rather than Coventry!) after the wedding debacle, to work on a project – but Nottingham is also her hometown.  She moves back in with her widowed father and sister – and their relationships are explored, as is her relationship with the very interesting elderly next door neighbour. Having had a couple of nights out in Nottingham over the years, I could imagine some of the settings which was also fun.

The actor she is ghost writing for initially seems a bit of a knob – but I ended up really liking him and all of his family.  In fact – I pretty much liked everyone by the end! It twists and turns and isn’t predictable – but that adds to the story.  Whilst the premise is definitely rom-com – it’s so much more than that – with some pretty deep topics explored (and wept about by me!).

I enjoy the fact that with all of Mhairi’s books the characters are fleshed out and you get to know them all – from Edie and her family, to her best friends from school, to ‘the actor’ and his family and the gay BFF who is definitely not a BFF (he was one of the few I didn’t like by the end!)

It’s also very clever the way Mhairi weaves in the use of technology and social media into the book.  It’s totally how everyone works nowadays – and so when I read a book and people aren’t using such things it seems a bit odd.  I feel that Mhairi writes ‘ real’ stuff – in a social media heavy / slightly sweary / true to life way. (That’s a compliment by the way!)

And as ever – I was definitely left wanting more – and desperate to find out how their lives pan out after the book – and WHO WAS AT THE DOOR???  We need a sequel – pretty please……………

 

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