Confession time. When news of Louise Pentlands book deal came out into public knowledge it was with trepidation that the book was pre-ordered and then suspicion when it came to reading the book itself. But those fears were unfounded; Pentland has actually written a good novel. One cannot help but feel however, that an awful lot of her own life story is found within the storyline of this book. It is written in the first person and if you are a fan of Pentland on YouTube, you can just hear her voice coming through loud and clear. But it seems apparent that there is no ghost writer at work behind the scenes.
Robin Wilde is a single mother of an effervescent five year old Lyla who is trying to figure out her place in life and what she wants to achieve with it. She has been badly treated by the significant other in her life and has been alone for five years. She is a make-up artist assistant working for a very successful make-up artist and finds great fulfilment on what she does. In fact, she would be pretty much all that and a bag of chips if only she had some self-confidence. She endures the dating scene that seems to encompass dating apps on the phone, lots of dick pics, broken promises, being stood up on important dates and all the general messiness that can be found when you are searching for a life partner.
This story follows the life of Robin as she learns what a true relationship entails and what to look for in a man whilst she balances life with a young child and builds a career. There are plenty of funny moments and lots of “hey! I do that too” moments that make Robin incredibly easy to unite with and like. She talks of the pressures of fitting in, mummy-guilt, the restrictions of being a single mother and the loneliness that so many mothers feel. It’s touching in places and easily relatable. Pentland has avoided the clichés of so many novels that make the heroine too glamorous or fabulous, instead making a main character who you think could be your best friend in real life.
So in the end one has to ask, is this novel going to change the course of the world and the way society behaves from here on forth? Is it going to stand the test of time and be studied by students in secondary or universities in the future? No. It’s a fluffy bit of light reading that is purely for enjoyment. But there is inherently nothing wrong with that. Sometimes it’s just what the doctor ordered.