My Sweet Revenge by Jane Fallon
Publisher: Penguin UK – Michael Joseph
Publishing Date: 12th January 2017
Source: Received from the publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!
Number of pages: 416
Genre: Women’s Fiction
I want to make my husband fall back in love with me.
Let me explain. This isn’t an exercise in 1950s wifeydom. I haven’t been reading articles in old women’s magazines. ‘Twenty ways to keep your man’. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
I want him to fall back in love with me so that when I tell him to get the hell out of my life he’ll care. He won’t just think, ‘Oh good’.
I want it to hurt.
Paula has had Robert’s back since they got together as drama students. She gave up her dreams so he could make it. Now he’s one of the nation’s most popular actors. And Paula’s just discovered he’s having an affair.
She’s going to remind Robert just what he’s sacrificing. And then she’s going to break his heart like he broke hers. It will be her greatest acting role ever.
Revenge is sweet. Isn’t it?
Oh guys, “My Sweet Revenge” was one of my most anticipated releases in January… heck, this year! Since reading Jane Fallon’s “Strictly Between Us” I’ve just fallen in love with this author, her writing and her sharp – observed, funny stories. This book is really a brilliant, sharp read, that keeps you asking what would you do in Paula’s situation. I personally don’t think I’d be able to plot such a plan and this is probably why I enjoyed this book so much. It was something new, something fresh and different.
So yes, OK, we could discuss the main character’s motivations and blaming her for wanting to lose weight to win back her husband back, or to blame her for wanting to lose weight at all, as she should be happy exactly as she was, bla, bla, bla, but I’m not going to blame Paula at all. Probably it’s not politically correct to try to lose weight, succeed and feel better in the new body nowadays but I found myself cheering Paula on, clapping and being glad that she succeeded and to be honest, she was like inspiration for me. If she could do it, then I can do this as well! Her resolve was inspiring and genuine, her attempts to lose weight, especially at the beginning, not only comical but also so realistic, and her desperation and doubts soon turned out into a full commitment, and I totally admired it in her. I think some may say that Paula deserved what happened to her, with totally forgetting about herself and turning into an unhappy woman who needed to search the net to find something to speak to with her husband, but I am not the one who thinks so – I think that it is normal that people, even those who love each other incredibly and crazy, and it was not Paula and Robert’s case – would eventually drift a little apart and live in their own worlds – but not taking it to such extremes as Paula and Robert, of course. Robert, on the other hand, oh boy, Robert, he was such a self – centred and narcissistic bore but it made me hollow laugh to see how happy he was with himself when, in fact, he was a ageing “star” of a soap – opera.
I absolutely appreciated the fact that Paula was honest with us, she didn’t beat around the bush and I immediately felt at ease with her. Her narrative and the way she perceived the events made me grin, shake my head and roll my eyes at Robert’s antics and lies. She tells us her and Robert’s history and it is quickly clear how much she has sacrificed for her husband, and why did she change so much and is not the glamorous woman on his side as would probably be expected – instead she’s working at the bakery. But this is the next thing that I loved in Paula – the whole glamour, the flashes, red carpets or the skinny minnies that were working with Robert didn’t intimidate her, she was happy with her life and didn’t need the false praises to feel better. No, she was realistic and down to earth. Intelligent and perceptive.
All the characters I loved or slowly started loving to hate. They were brilliantly drawn, they were entertaining and they all felt so realistic. Their interactions were funny and sharp and Jane Fallon has this wonderful talent to show their true faces while they themselves are trying to hide them. Even the background characters, such like Paula and Robert’s daughter Georgia, or Robert’s sister Alice, the self – obsessed one who reckoned she’s an actress, even though she was anything but, brought so much life and were like a breath of fresh air. And how well the author portrayed Saskia! She was shallow, self – obsessed, focused on her looks only, hilariously serious about herself but also with some surprises up her sleeve which made her unpredictable and so much more interesting! Or let’s take Josh, who, as the show producer, eventually took matters in his hands – the idea of re – writing the script and making Saskia and Robert screen characters unlikeable was brilliant!
I absolutely loved how the story, that already was quick – paced, has suddenly gained even more speed with the unexpected part 2! It was such a surprise for me to turn the page and see that it has a new narrator, and it added not only tons of new details but also complicated the story and we got twice as much mean manipulations, which was brilliant! By mean manipulations I don’t mean anything life – endangering although Jane Fallon touches lightly upon the moral and ethics limits but in my opinion she also comes out on top. There was nothing so controversial that made me gasp, she only makes the characters’ lives complicated but nothing very bad is happening and I wouldn’t say that it turned into nastiness nor anything similar.
I was really hooked from the first page and didn’t want this book to end. “My Sweet Revenge” is a bittersweet story with strong and solid characters, with laugh out loud moments and many twists and turns, and you really can’t be sure what to expect and – and it was the best! – who to trust and which information is true, the author has really messed with her readers! Revenge is for a sure a dish best served cold – but this book is not only about revenge. It is about finding happiness, finding yourself, about changing and not being afraid to live life like you want it, about gaining self – confidence, and I thoroughly enjoyed this addictive, witty novel – it had all what I’m looking for in a great book. It was clever, witty and there were the so much appreciated by me last minute revelations. Highly, highly recommended!