Publication date: 31st of October 2019
I have always followed and loved Dawn O’Porter on Instagram, her stories are just hilarious and she has this natural way about her that makes me think we could be friends (in a totally non-weird, non-stalker way!) If you’re reading this Dawn please don’t be afraid!
When I saw that Dawn had a new book coming out and that the female protagonists were all of a similar age group to me, I knew I would have to get my hands on it. When the lovely folk at Harper Collins asked me whether I would like to be involved in the blog tour for So Lucky I jumped at the chance.￼￼￼
I’ve never read any of Dawn’s books before but I believe her previous books centered around teenage protagonists or young women in their twenties and I don’t very much get on with these. In the case of So Lucky the three females are all in their late 30’s early 40s, two of them have children (albeit much younger than mine) but I have navigated those very choppy waters of early motherhood and found I could identify parts of myself in the two women (Ruby and Beth) and could very much sympathise with their struggles.
So lucky tells the story of the aforementioned three women. We have Ruby who is a single mother of a three-year-old girl named Bonnie. We have Beth who is a new mother to a four month old baby named Tommy and who is also a wedding planner. Then we have Lauren, social media influencer and very much a ‘someone’ on Instagram. Lauren is set to marry Gavin Riley, an multi-millionaire businessman and former ‘dragon’ from Dragon’s Den. Beth is planning their wedding and Ruby has been employed to ‘touch up’ the wedding photos on the actual day so that Lauren can post them to her adoring Instagram followers and make good on her #AD posts for her sponsors.
Each of these women have their own issues and worries and each of them portray a completely different life outwardly than what is going on behind closed doors or what is going on in their anxiety ridden heads.
Ruby has a condition that she battles with constantly and really lets it define who she is. She has pushed away her husband and she feels like she is failing massively as a parent. She struggles to bond with her daughter Bonnie and finds herself run ragged between motherhood and work.
Beth is also juggling work and early motherhood having gone back to work more or less straight away after having baby Tommy. Her work on the high profile wedding of Lauren and Gavin is providing financial rewards for her and her family and she has her husband Michael at home to look after Tommy. However, Michael is a perfect doting Dad but finds it hard to show Beth the closeness and physical affection she craves. They haven’t had sex for a long time and Beth is beginning to crave it. She has massive doubts about her post-birth body and worries about how she looks to her husband. What could possibly be turning him off her so much?
Lauren is the ultimate Instagram clichè in lots of respects. She poses for heavily stylised photos and hashtags the hell out of them like all good ‘influencers’ do. Her chapters are particularly interesting because they are descriptions of the image she has posted along with the heavily hash tagged caption, followed by the various comments left by her followers. Some positive and adoring, some nasty and negative. That’s the world of Instagram! We don’t really get to ‘meet’ Lauren properly until maybe the second half of the book. We see her through her idealised perfect Instagram life which, when we finally see behind those little squares is anything but perfect.
What I enjoyed about this book was the fact that these women weren’t just thrown together for the sake of the story. In fact they aren’t all together until the final scenes in the book. They touch on each other’s lives from the periphery and we are given the opportunity to find out about them and discover who they are as people separately before they come together to form bonds.
Friendship, however unlikely is one of the main over arching themes. Women supporting women and rising up together to help each other succeed. Of course the main theme is the idea that life as observed from the outside can be a hell of a lot different than it is behind closed doors. The three women in this book go on a journey to discover this, culminating in them feeling stronger and more liberated for it.
I do have to be entirely honest and say I struggled slightly with the first few chapters of the book and was unsure it would be for me. That isn’t the book’s fault at all, it’s my own reading tastes. You guys know I usually go for the dark and gritty historical stuff and contemporary fiction isn’t usually my bag. However Dawn is such a huge character on Instagram and I really wanted to try out her writing. It really didn’t take me long to settle into the story and then it whipped along at a pace. So Lucky is dripping with Dawn’s inimitable sense of humour! She doesn’t shy away from difficult topics, but rather opens them out in all their striking and bold reality. She tackles sex with her trademark humour and is completely candid and open.
I can’t end this review without mentioning Risky, Beth’s assistant with the wedding organiser business. She is a larger than life, positive, ‘out there’ breath of fresh air. Such a great character, brimming with life and verve! She is almost a ‘side kick’ character but is oh so much more! I love her!
If you want a contemporary, refreshing read about female empowerment and the harsh realities of life, motherhood and relationships then this book is for you. I think this would make an excellent book club choice.
I’m also thrilled to see that So Lucky is now on The Sunday Times Bestseller list! Congratulations Dawn!
Thank you so much to the publisher for my review copy.
See you soon.
Amanda – Bookish Chat xxx