What Happens Now? by Sophia Money – Coutts
Publishing Date: 22nd August 2019
Source: Received from the publisher, thank you!
Number of pages: 384
Genre: General Fiction (Adult)
‘No question about it, there are two little purple lines. I’m pregnant.’
After eight years together, Lil Bailey thought she’d already found ‘the one’ – that is, until he dumped her for a blonde twenty-something colleague. So she does what any self-respecting singleton would do: swipes right, puts on her best bra and finds herself on a first date with a handsome mountaineer called Max. What’s the worst that can happen?
Well it’s pretty bad actually. First Max ghosts her and then, after weeing on a stick (but mostly her hands), a few weeks later Lil discovers she’s pregnant. She’s single, thirty-one and living in a thimble-sized flat in London, it’s hardly the happily-ever-after she was looking for.
Lil’s ready to do the baby-thing on her own – it can’t be that hard, right? But she should probably tell Max, if she can track him down. Surely he’s not that Max, the highly eligible, headline-grabbing son of Lord and Lady Rushbrooke, currently trekking up a mountain in South Asia? Oh, maybe he wasn’t ignoring Lil after all…
Lil Bailey is currently nursing a broken heart after she’s been recently dumped by her boyfriend of eight years, the man she thought was The One. She delves into the online dating world, and manages to line up a date with Max, who is a mountaineer. Max is surprisingly good looking and the date goes smoothly, on all fronts. However, then Max disappears completely from Lil’s life and even though she knows he has read her WhatsApp messages, he simply ghosts her. And then Lil finds herself pregnant… Still not hearing from Max, and still very single, she tries to come to terms with the fact that she’s going to spend her future as a mother. Nevertheless, she tries to track Max down and when she finally manages, she’s for a confrontation with a harsh reality. They come from completely different world, heck, Max is probably Prince William’s best friend, and will he eventually accept his new role as a parent? Or is Lil going to do this all alone?
There was something in Lil, something that made her immediately likeable and believable. Maybe these were the daily challenges, or the way that she was so normal, living a normal life, and I found myself cheering her all the way through all the ups and downs she had to face. It was hilarious to see her pulling herself together and getting out there to tackle the online dating world, though I must admit that she had to be incredibly lucky to encounter Max right on the first date. Though to be totally honest I was really scared when reading their super steamy sex scene that Max is a kind of… oh well, perverse. Yes, I know. Apologies, Max. My heart went to Lil after she discovered she’s pregnant, and the author has given her such realistic voice, considering all the pros and cons and telling about her feelings and emotions and what was happening in her head and her heart. But what made her even more likeable and I wanted to give her a standing ovation for, was the fact that she has accepted the upcoming motherhood without any doubt. I mean, yes, she had doubts, she was facing the prospect of being alone, but she quickly accepted her pregnancy even though she was scared – who wouldn’t be – and was incredibly frank about how it is to be pregnant and how she feels.
To be perfectly honest, I’ve never questioned Max intentions. Simply, my gut feeling was telling me that he really can’t get in touch with Lil. Yes, I felt sorry for her for the fact that she’s been effectively ghosted, but I lived in hope that he’ll get in touch as soon as he could. And no matter what, he sounded like a pretty perfect man, no? He felt genuine and honest and him being an explorer and mountaineer was great to read about.
The thing that I didn’t like was the way Lil and her friends were calling her baby “E.T.” I know it was nicely meant and I know E.T. was great but it simply didn’t sit well with me.
The background characters are also very well drawn, so different and interesting, with their own stories. Lil’s mum and step – father were probably the friendliest and the most encouraging people in the world and I loved them immediately. Actually, she was really lucky, our Lil, to be surrounded by such supporting people because her best friend Jess was really of the best kind of best friends – always there and always knowing what to say to make the world right again.
Being a teacher myself, now admittedly in kindergarden, but teacher will always stay teacher at heart, I loved how Lil has tackled her job, teaching offspring of the bold and beautiful – the way the author has written those parts was absolutely brilliant and hilarious. Her relationship with her pupils was such an easy one, you could see she really liked her boys and she had their best interests at heart, even when she’s been losing some of them or was forced to explain how people become pregnant. Awesome!
Sophia Money – Couts has now a new fan and I’m going to read her debut novel, “The Plus One”, as soon as possible. I loved the writing style in this book and her way with words, and how well she can interweave seriousness with hilarity. Her writing is raw, honest, riveting and also saucy and is easy to read. “What Happens Now?” was empowering, light – hearted and uplifting read all the way. The book covered so many issues, such as modern dating, single parenthood, friends, families, facing up to consequences in such a lovely, sharp and humorous way. There was also a slightly more serious tone to it as well, which added tons of depth to the story. It was relatable and very honest, outrageous and poignant and ticked all the boxes for me. Highly recommended!