The Happy Glampers by Daisy Tate
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publishing Date: 11th June 2020
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!
Number of pages: 400
Genre: General Fiction (Adult)
Is friendship meant to last forever? Charlotte Mayfield hopes so. Especially as she’s throwing some luxury glamping into the mix.
After fifteen years of trying to be the perfect wife, maybe Charlotte’s best friends from uni – Freya, Emily and Izzy – can still glimpse the woman she’d once set out to be.
Freya is up for it. Could a powwow with her yesteryear besties helps her knock some sense into her useless husband?
Emily’s hiding her own crisis from her parents, colleagues and now, her mates. Can a weekend under canvas get her to open up?
Izzy’s back from a decade abroad with an unexpected addition, her nine-year-old daughter Flora. She’s also keeping another big secret, one that’s brought her home for good.
Will a year of yurts mend two decades of hurts – or are some things, like shower blocks, burnt sausages and no wi-fi, best left in the past…
This novel was previously published on e-book in four parts.
Freya, Izzy, Charlotte and Emily are four friends who have been together at University. They went their separate ways but now, after some time, they all get together to celebrate Charlotte’s 40th birthday. Each of them has secrets and problems but they’re determined to put on their party faces, not to burden each other with their troubles. However, friendship is stronger than some secrets, right?
What was really great in this book was the friendship between the women – it was real, realistic and honest, with all the ups and downs, and I loved how they supported each other. It is this kind of friendship that can pick up whenever it stopped, and some things can only be discussed with people that really know you. The characters’ stories were really well drawn and nicely interwoven and I have never felt confused, I also could immediately tell who is who and to whom they belong, and what problems and challenges each of the families faces.
The story doesn’t end after the birthday glamping trip, oh no, it’s only the beginning, and we get to know the characters and their backgrounds more and deeper. There are several more get – togethers and the friends were all the time learning about each other’s lives and the secrets were slowly progressing to the surface. I liked how very realistic the characters’ lives were, their problems could be yours or mine, and I think the author has really excelled in capturing their feelings, emotions and reactions. They made mistakes and they often couldn’t make up their minds but it’s just like in real life, nothing is either black or white, life has many shades of grey as well. Daisy Tate is a great observer and she can write about everyday life in an engaging and captivating way.
The characters were really relatable and I think that I can’t say that I had my favourite one. Sure, my heart went to one more than to the other, as some of the stories were truly sad and heart – breaking but on the whole I liked all the girls all the same, even if sometimes some of them made me feel desperate or made me want to roll my eyes at them.
However, it was this kind of book that I really didn’t know where it’s going to take us – it told us a story of a few random characters, in a period of time, but why this period of time I don’t know. I’ll be honest, I thought it is going to be a funny, uplifting and light – hearted tale about glamping but it turned out to be much deeper and more serious in tone. I don’t mean it’s bad but it is not what I was expecting. I also had a problem with the way it was written. The first part about Charlotte’s birthday took so much time, it was almost half of the book, and then the story started to feel very chopped, giving us glimpses into the characters’ lives, in different moments, in different periods of time, time was moving forward without a plan and it felt as if we were only given fragments of this what was happening, chosen moments and then we were moving again, not sure how much we have moved forward this time, if it was a day, a week, a month, with new characters popping in and out of the pages. I think that, in this case, the book worked better when read in the four – parts series that it was initially published.
Altogether, “The Happy Glampers” was a captivating, emotional story about all shades of a real, raw friendship that can help you heal and save you when everything in your life goes belly – up. Thought – provoking and uplifting, it is for sure worth reading.