Chick Lit, Contemporary Lit| 400 pages | 03.05.2020 | Avon
This was my first Fiona Gibson novel and I found it engaging, poignant, at times funny, at others a bit sad, and on the rare occasion even frustrating. All in all, this means, I enjoyed myself.
We meet Viv, a middle-aged mother, wife, and coworker. She finds herself in a bit of a rut career-wise, but thank goodness, she has everything in place with her little family. Or so she thinks …. until she catches her husband (clearly going through a mid-life crisis, not unlike hers) cheating with a colleague. Viv is now faced with having to re-evaluate everything. She does so with a level of scrutiny and honesty that is commendable. I am neither middle-aged nor a mother but I found myself living Viv’s life along with her, thinking through the same dilemmas she did, laughing when she was, and getting sad in parallel to her tears. Fiona Gibson brings to life a set of characters that seem kind of out there and relatable at the same time making for a very entertaining read. Viv’s journey itself felt very real; nothing was exaggerated for the sake of fiction and some of her decisions made no sense – just like in real life. She receives advice from friends, which she takes or ignores. She misinterprets situations and acts accordingly. Sh falls and picks herself back up. She trusts someone will catch her; eventually. She takes a good look at herself and how she contributed to the situation. She grows. And to top this off, so do the side characters. They are equally complex even though we don’t get to know that much about them.
Gibson found a wonderful balance between the comedic, the witty, and the laugh-out-loud and the serious, the profound, and the need-for-change. Yes, this is chick-lit; but who says that can’t be lifer-altering or influential? When Life Gives you Lemons ranges from fluff read to demanding your thoughts and attentions. I, for one, relished that and I will keep Gibson in mind for the future when I am looking for just that kind of mix.
I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for my advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.