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  • Funny yet poignant novel

    Three and a half stars. I haven't read the previous book but this seemed easy to pick up. Lizzie Partridge was a TV chef on a morning TV show, when she was replaced by a one-trick pony chef who was sleeping with the producer she may have had a spectacular final show ... At the time she was too busy with her new romance to seriously look for more work and since then she has bumbled along quite happily, then her relationship with Tom broke down and so we see Lizzie at the start of the book, alone and jobless. Her mother relies on her brother and doesn't need Lizzie, her daughter Ellie has her career and her son to keep her occupied. Lizzie has never felt more alone. Sixty-four years old, overweight, jobless and surplus to everyone's requirements. Lizzie decides the easiest thing to do is run away, she thinks that her friends and family will discover she's missing and the next thing it will be the front page of the tabloids - British celebrity TV chef goes missing, a bit like when Agatha Christie disappeared. Not having thought things through before running away, Lizzie doesn't have her passport so instead of a week in Spain she gets on a train to Aberystwyth and spends the week talking to soil conventioneers and furries. I could totally see this as a Sunday night TV series, maybe featuring Dawn French (I know she's not that old), on Sky One or ITV. It wasn't laugh out loud funny but it was humorous, Lizzie has a dry wit and a habit of creating newspaper headlines from the things people do and say around her. I could empathise with the politics of parents and siblings and children and organising Christmas in October and trying to please everyone all the time and ending up with everyone hating it. New love, new career prospects, babysitting her grandson, trying to connect with her mother, watching her BFF in panto, this was a fun read, with some serious moments and some poignant ones too - when Lizzie's father used to say he went to war and lived to tell the tale but as Lizzie recalls he never told any tales of that time - that really struck a chord with me. Overall I enjoyed it but I thought the ending was a bit abrupt. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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