I have been ‘So Lucky’ to read Dawn O’Porter’s recent fiction books – so was intrigued to read her new non fiction book – based upon her experiences during the coronavirus crisis. Or – the start of the coronavirus crisis as it seems to be never ending. Now, I am also a member of Dawn’s Patreon page (yep, bit of a fangirl!) and I knew this book was based upon the daily blogs she’d done on there – so I was nervous that the book would be a bit boring reading stuff I’d already read – but I needn’t have been concerned! There’s plenty of new content too – and re-reading previous blog posts felt like reminiscing with friends about the fun we had at the start of lockdown!!
Anyway – here’s the blurb:
“Dear 2020 – can we just start over?
Love Dawn x
LIFE IN PIECES is a book for anyone who’s been thrown into a life they didn’t plan, or who just wants to stick it to 2020. When it looks like everything’s falling apart, we’ll piece it back together.
From reflections on grief and identity, bad hair and parenting, sleep and spirituality, to the things we can control and the things we cannot, Dawn has been doing a lot of thinking about life in lockdown. Mostly from a cupboard. Discover the daily diaries that track the journey – for a hilarious, heartbreaking and highly entertaining glimpse into the new normal.”
The book is pretty much chronological from just before lockdown – when Dawn came to the UK for her good friend Caroline Flack’s funeral – and then through the experience of lockdown for Dawn and her family in LA.
So yes, it’s based in LA where Dawn lives with her handsome movie star husband – but so much of it is totally relatable to any parent going through this madness. The relentlessness. The hell on earth that is homeschooling. The drinking from early in the afternoon. Not the weed gummies for me – but I can see the attraction if they were legal here! The endless meals to be prepared.
There are also some ‘essays’ in amongst the diary entries which give more background to Dawn’s life and experiences to date. I am by nature a nosey cow, so found these really interesting.
Clearly Dawn has found lockdown tough – exacerbated by the horrific grief of suddenly losing a friend just before being stuck at home in the midst of a global pandemic. But the love for her husband Chris, her boys and her pets shines right through. (This was made all the more poignant because after finishing the book but before it will be published, Dawn’s first responsibility – her Siamese cat Lilu – sadly died at the grand old age of 16. This book is a fitting tribute to her though (although she may well have p*ssed on a copy if she’d been near one.))
As I’ve mentioned before – I am a bit of a fan of Dawn O’Porter’s (although TBH so are quite a lot of women of my age – our book club has regularly discussed how we’d like her to join us on a night out!) and maybe the book wouldn’t be as interesting if you didn’t know of and like Dawn. There are plenty of laugh out loud moments – and it’s also really moving in places, particularly when Dawn talks about losing Caroline and her Mum when she was a young girl.
In years to come it could be considered a historical account of these bloody strange times!
A massive thank you to Harper Collins, NetGally – and Dawn – for the book.