2nd September 2019 Harper Impulse
Rebecca is 42, has a beautiful child and a wonderful husband, but she just hasn’t been feeling herself recently…
Rebecca thinks a great night out should involve a packet of Marlboro’s, six double vodkas and snogging a colleague. Not gormlessly drinking a zero-alcohol No-hito while instagramming a vegan chicken wing.
Rebecca wants to ride on a Harley Davidson, to stay out all night, then collapse in a heap after swigging from a bottle of Jack Daniels… not sit in a soul destroying meeting surrounded by ‘blue sky thinking’ and men half her age who interrupt all the time.
She’s had enough of commuting to an office that is so cold people have to wear blankets all day. And she can’t help asking herself why her adorable daughter must spend all week in a containment zone for pre-schoolers.
Rebecca wants to feel that there’s MORE coming her way, rather than less.
In short – Rebecca wants out.
But where to?
Firstly huge thanks to the lovely folk at Harper Impulse for sending me a proof copy of this fun read. I challenge any of you 40 something mothers out there not to relate in some part to Rebecca. Juggling a demanding job with parenting, she feels lost in her life, washed up even, forgotten and unnoticed. At work she is pressured to do more and is made to feel wrong for striving for a work life balance. She is accused of not being committed enough, not thinking strategically, essentially not being good enough for wanting to parent her child. Failing as a mother, she misses nursery appointments and is too tired when she is with her daughter to play. And lets not even talk about her relationship with her husband – no time or energy to invest there.
This book is spot on in recognising the challenges women face and the story is told in an entertaining, yet sympathetic way. I related to the main character Rebecca and I think her story will be familiar to many. I vividly remember the challenges of working part time when my children were young, feeling colleagues didn’t understand that I had to leave to collect from nursery, at nursery feeling inadequate for being late, or for not being able to spare any time to come in to nursery when I was supposed to be at work.
And we all crave a more exciting life than the one we are living sometimes don’t we? Rebecca certainly does! Harping back to the carelessness of youth, drinking too much and staying out late. But when Rebecca attempts to revisit these heady days, somehow its not quite so much fun when your 40 something, with a family at home.
Written in the first person voice of Rebecca I liked this book a lot. The author captures the disempowerment many women feel, not succeeding anywhere but being stretched everywhere. The characters were well written and while many fitted typical stereotypes this fitted well with the humorous aspect of this story. A highly entertaining story that may appeal mostly to a niche audience – women of a certain age juggling their career with parenting. I fit this category and can certainly say I will be recommending this book to my friends.
One thing to add, I don’t think the blurb accurately describes this book, it doesn’t capture how relatable this book is, or reflect the fact that Rebecca is simply living her life and trying her best, in a world where she doesn’t quite fit and she is so undervalued.
About the Author
Anniki is co-founder of the hit podcast series The Hotbed Collective with Cherry Healey and Lisa Williams, reviewed in the Guardian, the Telegraph and Stylist’s Emerald Street.
She is also an influential Instagrammer, who is incredibly well-connected with journalists and media personalities.