Book Review: So Lucky by Dawn O’Porter

So Lucky

I LOVED The Cows, Dawn O’Porter’s last book – and when I saw my friend had been sent an advance review copy of Dawn’s new book – So Lucky – I literally BEGGED to borrow it!  And I have to say there is now a queue of others who want to – as everyone in our book club adored The Cows.  In fact we’re all slightly obsessed with Dawn O’Porter and think she would be a very welcome attendee at our next book club meeting (where essentially we just sit in the pub drinking, discussing books we’ve enjoyed and going off on massive tangents. #Emilysweirdlipsdream)

So the minute I received it (pushed through my letterbox awaiting my return from holiday – how’s that for service – and the perfect post holiday pick me up!) I cracked on with reading it.

Here’s the blurb:

“I’M A MOTHER
I feel like I’m failing every day
I HAVE A CAREER
I have to shout to make myself heard
I’VE GOT THE BEST FRIENDS
Sometimes I feel so alone
I LOVE MY BODY
I don’t know who I am beyond it

Sometimes it looks like everyone is living their best life.
Everyone, except you.
But no life is perfect, everyone is fighting a private battle of their own – it’s just a struggle to say it out loud.
Fearless, frank and for every woman who’s ever doubted herself, So Lucky is the straight-talking new novel from the Sunday Times bestseller.
Actually, you’re pretty f****** lucky to be you.”

 

And boy was I not disappointed – it’s brilliant!

It reminds me a lot of The Cows – and that’s not a bad thing at all.  It tells the story of 3 women – Ruby, Beth and Lauren – and initially you don’t know how they’re all going to interact – but you just know that the stories are going to intertwine in a really clever way – and that’s exactly what happens.

Whilst the story is based on the 3 lead characters – it deals massively with their interactions with other people – as wives / lovers / mothers / colleagues / daughters / daughters in law / friends – and is brilliantly portrayed. Particularly the parental relationships are very raw / sad / emotional / beautiful – but all very different.

None of the characters is perfect – each has their own issues and things they’re dealing with, which isn’t what they project out to the world – which is kind of the point of the whole book.

Now I do need to issue a disclaimer at this point!  One of the characters suffers from horrible piles for a very specific reason.  I need to point out that my horrible piles, which I have blogged about before, are definitely not caused by the same thing……

The use of social media posts for one of the characters is very clever – and the comments by her followers underneath (and their Insta handles) are fabulous.

There are unusual topics covered in it – but that added to the quirkiness of it – and Dawn is never going to write a ‘vanilla’ book (I make that sound like I’m her mate, rather than just a stalker of her Instagram stories…….)

I really enjoyed how the book ended – it wasn’t predictable at all for any of the characters, which I thought was great. It’s witty, funny, clever and all wrapped up in some #girlpower – a fabulous combo.

It’s out on 31 October 2019 – which, let’s face it, could be an incredibly difficult day (don’t mention the B word) – so I would suggest pre-ordering this so you have something to distract you for a few hours, you won’t regret it – in fact you’ll be #SoLucky.

(I appreciate that I am an utter knob with that last line………)

 

 

 

Book Review: The Cows by Dawn O’Porter

The Cows

I was very lucky to be given a sneak preview copy of this – Dawn O’Porter’s first foray into writing for adults after a huge success with YA fiction.   It’s sat on my Kindle for months as I’ve kept being given ‘real’ books to borrow, and I feel pressured in to reading them first as they sit on my bedside table in a huge TBR pile just looking at me.  I started this last night in the bath for 2 hours due to hideous medical condition and finished it today having had to languish horizontal for hours. I think the only upside from an abscess and cellulitis in the stomach is being able to read without feeling guilty (and the fact that it’s killed my appetite #weightloss)

“Fearlessly frank and funny, the debut adult novel from Dawn O’Porter needs to be talked about.
COW [n.]
/kaʊ/

A piece of meat; born to breed; past its sell-by-date; one of the herd.

Women don’t have to fall into a stereotype.

Tara, Cam and Stella are strangers living their own lives as best they can – though when society’s screaming you should live life one way, it can be hard to like what you see in the mirror.

When an extraordinary event ties invisible bonds of friendship between them, one woman’s catastrophe becomes another’s inspiration, and a life lesson to all.

Sometimes it’s ok not to follow the herd.

The Cows is a powerful novel about three women – judging each other, but also themselves. In all the noise of modern life, they need to find their own voice.”

 

‘THE COWS’ IS FABULOUS!!

I don’t want to tell you too much – as it twists and turns through the lives, loves and livers of Tara, Cam and Stella – and there are some fundamental things in the story that if you know beforehand will definitely distract from the enjoyment of reading it.  A couple of times I was literally gobsmacked (which doesn’t happen often for me!).  I would definitely recommend reading this as soon as you can after it’s published so that you’re not at risk of spoilers.  I’ve just Googled reviews and some people practically tell you the entire story – DO NOT READ THEM – much better to come at it not knowing what to expect (Why do people do that in reviews? Seems a bit selfish to me?)  I can also see this being made into a film / TV series, it just cries out for it.

If you are a bit of a prude – then this may not be the book for you.  Be prepared for real life ‘adult humour, strong language and scenes of a sexual nature’ (obviously read in the style of a TV announcer) It definitely put me in the mind of the TV series Catastrophe in  that it puts ‘normal’ things into a fictional setting that you don’t often see – masturbation, periods, abortions – nothing is off limits.

The main characters are all very different – but all beautifully written, and you really feel you get to know Tara, Cam and Stella well.  The clever way their stories interweave is done brilliantly – as is the use of modern interactive tools like blogging / Tinder / Youtube etc.  Just all feels really relevant.

So there you go – a definite recommendation from me – although #dontfollowtheherd…….