Imagine This: You are now a mum of two. With your sometimes adorable, most times cold husband gainfully employed in your unkempt (referred as that by your neighbours) garden, planting, uprooting and mowing moodily early in the mornings. Your job as the publicist of a crisp company might not be bringing the big bucks in, but it’s sure putting food on the table, stacking your cabinets with rejected crisps and preventing you guys from taking a much-needed family holiday (thanks to the non-holiday permissible wages).
If only your hormonal teenage children would value what you offer and not stalk off right into their rooms when you ask them about their day. If only your husband would value you enough not to flinch when you touch him intimately in bed.
New neighbours come in. Your daughter’s curiosity sinks in——she wants to meet her real dad. The dad who run off right when you got pregnant and was so cowardly he let his mother write a letter to ditch you on his behalf.
You have suspicions your husband has a thing for the woman who’s just moved in with her family. An email from your ex drops in to shatter your world. But of course, your husband might be secretly nursing a crush on the new neighbour next door. And that is justification enough for you to reply your ex’s email after months of wondering what might have been. Then more emails come in.
Charlotte’s life summed up for your delight.
I was reading this book in a very public place on campus where students settle among trees, lawns and ringed benches to mostly embark on their romantic objectives for the semester. A guy walked up to my bench to start a conversation about a writing programme he was chairing ‘since he saw I was interested in books’. He said to me, “As Good As It Gets, what a funny title.” I glared daggers at him after he was done with his message. I certainly will not be going for his writing programme knowing he clearly hasn’t heard of chick-lit. (Oh, and before you judge he said it in a snobbish, deprecating way. As though he could teach me how to make better, boring titles.)
I liked this book.
The storyline isn’t fresh. But of course, penned with Fiona Gibson’s wit, intact comparisons and humour, it’s not hard for fans of Fiona to warm up to this. Girl is facing glitches in her married life. Girl is undergoing the stress of being a model mum. Girl is trying so hard to keep her family financially stable. Girl wonders if her husband might be having inappropriate thoughts about the saucy neighbour next door. Girl keeps wondering if her life would have been more perfect if her ex had stuck with her.── ★
Charlotte is a character to fall in love with. She’s what most mums out there call relatable. With her tendency to focus too much on details, her amazement at how her sex-life has petered out, her constant resolution to get out running and lose some weight, her appropriate comparisons of situations of parenting, middle-life, her lack of a sex life, to others you could nod your head to and just agree.── ★★
You would so love Ollie, Charlotte’s adorable son who loves to chat science and make light of every situation. You would love Sabrina, the saucy new neighbour who loves to give away sex tips for the middle-aged lacking a sex life. You would love Gloria, the mother-in-law always a phone away suggesting ridiculous job offers for her son.
Some ridiculous and gasping situations at work, home, and her daughter’s modelling agency, a few OMG moments, and a curiosity to find out what happens at the end, keep the reader absorbed in the tale.── ★★★
I enjoyed this book. But yet last year I wrote a glowing review of Fiona Gibson’s Take Mom Out because it was absolutely amazing (every centimetre of it!). This book falls short of the glory of her previous work. If it was pacey enough, it would have been marvellous like how Take Mom Out (which was highly pacey) had been.── ★★★★
So my rating: 3.5 stars.
Fiona Gibson’s latest could be purchased on amazon.
I recommend this book to any woman out there wondering what might have been if the love of their lives had remained or not, any woman wondering how she’d cope when her children stop doing stuff with her and turn grumpy or not, any woman who loves their chick-lit centred on relatable characters in relatable life situations. And just anybody who needs something not lacking in warmth, humour and depth.
My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads.