When Life Gives You Lemons by Fiona Gibson
Publishing Date: 5th March 2020
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!
Number of pages: 400
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction
Sometimes life can be bittersweet . . .
Between tending to the whims of her seven-year-old and the demands of her boss, Viv barely gets a moment to herself. It’s not quite the life she wanted, but she hasn’t run screaming for the hills yet.
But then Viv’s husband Andy makes his mid-life crisis her problem. He’s having an affair with his (infuriatingly age-appropriate) colleague, a woman who – unlike Viv – doesn’t put on weight when she so much as glances at a cream cake.
Viv suddenly finds herself single, with zero desire to mingle. Should she be mourning the end of life as she knows it, or could this be the perfect chance to put herself first?
When life gives you lemons, lemonade just won’t cut it. Bring on the gin!
“When Life Gives You Lemons” introduces us to Viv, 52 years old, with two children, husband and stabile life. However, this life is about to change radically, when she discovers that her husbands has an affair. What follows is a story of a mature woman, coping (or not) with divorce and juggling life as a single – mother.
The book is advertised to be a hilarious romantic comedy. Publishers, please stop doing this – promising things and than not keeping your promises. It was neither hilarious nor romantic nor comedy. I don’t mean to criticise the book, because it was a nice, contemporary novel, so close to life – but perhaps it should be advertised this way.
Fiona Gibson’s characters are always real and human, and it was the same in this book. It’s a very character – driven story and Viv is the main heroine – could be your best friend, she felt so vivid and relatable, jumping off the pages. We mostly get her point of view, through her monologues and actions and thoughts on everything that is happening around her. It was actually truly uplifting and inspiring to see her growing into confidence, establishing her identity, starting to enjoy life again. She’s a character that many readers will be able to relate to and with. What I truly appreciated is the fact that nothing in her journey felt forced or overdone – no, everything seemed just like in real life, her making wrong decisions, having problems, misinterpreting situations, jumping to conclusions.
The supporting characters are a bunch of colourful, vivid people and they take care of our good mood, adding humour but also making the story this little bit more thought – provoking. They provide a range of diversion, giving Viv extra jobs and making her life fuller and complicated, hence keeping her sane (or not!).
My biggest problem was that I wasn’t sure what the book is trying to tell us. Yes, it touches upon some more difficult issues and shows character’s wonderful journey to self – confidence and discovering what it is that makes her happy, but somehow it didn’t convince me and I wasn’t sure where it’s leading at all. The pace was rather slow and there were not life – changing twists or turns, however it had its moments that made me giggle, for example Viv’s omelette – action. The author’s writing style is so easy to follow and it’s a real joy to pick the book up after a long day to relax for a while. Also, you know what’s coming, but in a good way, and this feeling of security is very comforting.
It was a rather slow – burner, this story, however it kept getting better. The author has written a contemporary fiction, balancing seriousness and problems with humour and light – heartedness. Well, you have to find fun in life, otherwise you’re going to get crazy. It is not a fluffy, meh kind of read, and the author deals with falling apart of the family in a sensitive and understanding way. Still, it is an easy and light read with a great message: when life gives you lemons, just add gin and tonic. Take the best out of life. Enjoy it. It is well written and it flow in such a natural, easy way, progressing towards the inevitable happy end. Recommended!
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