Triggers: abuse; dosmestic violence; verbal abuse
So, I heard a lot about this author, mostly through GoodReads. She's considered one of those authors you read if you like Dorothy Koomson, which I do, and has/is becoming a big name in the Women's Fiction(or Chick-Lit) genre. So, when I managed to find one of her books, I was excited.
This book follows three different women--Jane (a younger, single mother), Madeline (a woman who has three children, one with her former husband/sig. other, and two with her current husband), and Celeste (a woman who is going through a difficult/abusive relationship with her spouse).
I did like a lot about this book. It kept me interested and it kept reading, trying to figure out each little mystery or tale that was going on. So, that was going on. It was well written. I did, for the most part, like a lot of the characters.
I would say that I did have a few problems with this book. One, there was the use of the racial slur g**sy. It was used to describe the entire one of the character's was wearing (Bonnie, Madeline's ex-husband's new wife) and it was used to imply that she looked tacky and was gaudy. Yeah, did not like that.
Bonnie kind of came across as the stereotypical White Feminist, and at first, I was thinking that was why Madeline didn't like her. Bonnie constantly talked about yoga and just kind of had the presence of someone who claimed to be Feminist but wasn't looking at forms of Feminism, if that makes sense. However, you found later that Madeline just kind of hates Bonnie due to her personality. And while there is a mention of whiteness and privilege, it's not done in a way to say "Hey, this isn't right; here's why.". It was more so to talk about Bonnie briefly and then used to describe Madeline's eldest daughter who believed that she was the "only voice for these young girls". (The young girls beings girls of color. So...yeah). That also didn't sit right with me.
I also kind of felt like the stuff with a certain character was queer-baiting. Basically, it's the whole "one of the characters falls in love with someone or is attracted to someone but it's not to because they're gay. But surprise! They're straight". While I DO find the couple in question cute together, I think that could've been handled better. That character could've just have been bisexual or pansexual. Or there could have been some explanation for him dating a man/having a boyfriend and wanting to be with the one of the female characters without having to do the "he's gay; wait, no he isn't" tactic.
Those were the things that kind of messed with me a lot with and were the main problems I had with it. Other than that, while I wouldn't necessarily say it was a "fun" book to read due to some of the issues, I will say that it was enjoyable. The characters were interesting and did seem real to me. I do like the way it was told and how it was written. The chapters were relatively short but there were a lot of them. So, that was something I did like.
I don't know what else to really say about this book honestly. It kept me interested and wanting to keep reading. I really did like it, and I do want to read more from this author when I can.