I don’t know how I missed that there was a new Sophie Kinsella book out (what the hell Penguin?) but luckily I’ve signed up for Amazon prime, so I had it in my grasp the day after stumbling over an instagram picture of the novel.
From the blurb:
Katie Brenner has the perfect life: a flat in London, a glamorous job, and a super-cool Instagram feed.
Ok, so the real truth is that she rents a tiny room with no space for a wardrobe, has a hideous commute to a lowly admin job, and the life she shares on Instagram isn’t really hers.
But one day her dreams are bound to come true, aren’t they?
Until her not-so perfect life comes crashing down when her mega-successful boss Demeter gives her the sack. All Katie’s hopes are shattered. She has to move home to Somerset, where she helps her dad with his new glamping business.
Then Demeter and her family book in for a holiday, and Katie sees her chance. But should she get revenge on the woman who ruined her dreams? Or try to get her job back? Does Demeter – the woman with everything – have such an idyllic life herself? Maybe they have more in common than it seems.
And what’s wrong with not-so-perfect, anyway?
Katie has always wanted to live in London, and when she finally gets there it seems like the perfect opportunity to reinvent herself, to live the perfect life she’s always dreamed about.
Katie now goes by Cat (except she keeps forgetting that’s her name now), has a brilliant flat share with very cool flatmates (except she has to keep all her belongings in a hammock above her bed and flatmate Alan has filled the apartment with boxes of chicken stock), she posts lots of instagram pictures of (other peoples’) amazing meals at cafes, and sights from around London. Most importantly, Katie..I mean Cat… gets to work with industry legend Demeter Farlowe (as a lowly assistant who’s name Demeter can’t even remember).
Cat loves her new life, even if she is consumed with envy that everyone else seems to get by without so much of a struggle, and guilt at abandoning her father, but on the whole, she is happy.
Then, Demeter fires Cat. Distraught, she returns to her family’s farm in Somerset to help her dad with his new glamping venture. She tells her family that she is on sabbatical, and divides her time between setting up the new business, and applying for jobs back in London. It all seems to be going okay, until Demeter and her family arrive at the farm for a holiday.
Katie gets the chance for revenge against the woman who ruined her life, but as she spends more time with her former boss, she starts to realise that maybe no one’s life is perfect after all…
I love all Sophie Kinsella’s novels (excepting the ones written as Madeline Wicklow); they are fun, hilarious, and uplifting. They are also generally quite out there… My Not So Perfect life seems more grounded in reality. And I love that. I can sympathise wholeheartedly with Katie’s appalling commute to work, her envy of her boss’s amazing lifestyle, her feeling of disconnection amongst the office cliques.
There is of course a sudden turnaround where everything works out for Cat towards the end of the book, this is a chick-lit novel after all, but it is the most realistic Sophie Kinsella novel, and it makes it so much more relatable.
If you are looking for a book that will cheer you up, and make you laugh out loud, then give this a read. It is highly entertaining.