REVIEW: MY (NOT SO) PERFECT LIFE, BY SOPHIE KINSELLA

 

Everywhere Katie Brenner looks, someone else is living the life she longs for, particularly her boss, Demeter Farlowe. Demeter is brilliant and creative, lives with her perfect family in a posh townhouse, and wears the coolest clothes. Katie’s life, meanwhile, is a daily struggle—from her dismal rental to her oddball flatmates to the tense office politics she’s trying to negotiate. No wonder Katie takes refuge in not-quite-true Instagram posts, especially as she’s desperate to make her dad proud.

Then, just as she’s finding her feet—not to mention a possible new romance—the worst happens. Demeter fires Katie. Shattered but determined to stay positive, Katie retreats to her family’s farm in Somerset to help them set up a vacation business. London has never seemed so far away—until Demeter unexpectedly turns up as a guest. Secrets are spilled and relationships rejiggered, and as the stakes for Katie’s future get higher, she must question her own assumptions about what makes for a truly meaningful life.

 

My Thoughts: There is something about the characters in My (Not So) Perfect Life that captured me from the start. They felt so real, and I enjoyed their flaws and frailties. Katie, aka Cat, is determined to have the life she has always wanted, living in London. Furthermore, she wants the perfect life she imagines that her boss Demeter is living. Demeter has flaws, of course; she is abrupt and a bit tactless. Additionally, she always seems to forget people’s names, a character flaw that heightens the resentment Cat is starting to feel.

After she is fired, Cat returns to the country and becomes Katie again. But she has learned about branding and graphics and puts her skills to work in the Glamping resort that her father and stepmother are creating on the farm. Katie begins to feel that special something you get when your talents are being utilized.

Then Demeter comes to spend a holiday at the farm, not knowing who Katie is, with her “old” name and the changes she has made in her appearance. Hiding in plain sight, Katie has the opportunity to see her former boss with a new perspective, and without their former roles.

Something was happening back at the company that had turned Demeter into who she had become…and now something is about to happen in front of Katie. Can she get to the bottom of the strange events? Will Katie help the woman she saw as a bully? Will she realize that there is more to Demeter than the gilded existence she had imagined her living? Could they have more in common than either believed possible?

A story about looking beyond the facades and realizing that everybody has difficulties and nobody is perfect, this one kept me intrigued throughout. 5 stars.

***

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