Perfect on Paper by Gillian Harvey [Book review]
Published in Paperback Original, eBook and audio on 13th May 2021 by Orion Fiction, priced £8.99
I am very excited to be a part of the Random Things Tour for this lovely book, Perfect on Paper by Gillian Harvey. A big thank you to all involved for letting me be a part of it! I was provided with a free ARC of this book but this has no way influenced my review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
It's time to shake things up a little...
Clare Bailey's life is perfect. Successful career, loving husband, two kids and a gorgeous townhouse. At least, that's how it looks like from the outside.
In fact, she's never felt more invisible. Her boss barely remembers her name, her husband is distracted by his new TV job and her daughter has never found her more embarrassing!
But when she's given a chance to turn her life upside-down she wonders whether she should risk everything she loves for a life that's more than just 'perfect on paper'...?
Well this was just a lovely, light hearted, made me feel happy book! I read it so quickly as it was very easy to get lost in Claire's story and before I knew it I had inhaled half of the book in one sitting!
Claire is a likeable character that I am sure many people can relate to. I certainly did, although I don't feel quite as invisible at work and at home as Claire did here, I do certainly have the feeling of being stuck in a rut and getting caught in the hum drum of every day life. Like Claire I am pushing 40 and sometimes have to remind myself that life is for living and we should be taking every opportunity to make the most of our time here.
In this story Claire did just that, a one chance rash decision changed her entire outlook and made her realise that she had so much to offer. Her split second choice started her on a journey of self discovery and built her confidence with a lot of hilarity along the way.
My only concern was that I felt she should have been more honest with her family, it seemed a little extreme that she would keep such a secret from them but then I suppose that is the point of the story, she thought they wouldn't care.
The side characters were great within the novel and all had their own parts to play and own stories happening, from her self centred husband, her typical teenage children, her inept boss and his lycra clad protege, her sister and confidante, and Dan and his boys. I was really happy with the choices made in that part of the story and feel if it had gone another way it would have detracted from Claire's main storyline.
While there was comedy, misadventure, silliness and light hearted capers, the story also had a strong message of female empowerment as well as the message that we are all capable of becoming so absorbed in our own lives and worries that the ones we care about can become almost invisible and their problems slip through the cracks.
Let us all make sure we take life in our hands, say yes to opportunity and make the most of our time. As long as we ensure we are listening to our loved ones and truly seeing them. I feel empowered to do just that after reading this book!
I hope this has intrigued you and made you want to add the book to your TBR! It was published on 13th May 2021.
About the author
Gillian Harvey is a freelance journalist and author who has written for the Guardian, The Telegraph, the Independent and the New York Observer as well as lifestyle magazines including, Woman's Weekly and People's Friend. Gillian lives in Limousin, France with her husband and five children. Everything is Fine, published by Orion in May 2020 (UK) and January 2021 (US) was her debut novel.
To learn more about Gillian visit her website www.gillianharvey.com or on Twitter: @GillPlusFive