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Something I'm Not Hardcover – 15 Feb 2008


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd (15 Feb. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0715637096
  • ISBN-13: 978-0715637098
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.4 x 21.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,134,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hello, and thanks for visiting my Author page. It's a great privilege to be here and to say hello to you, my readers. I'm an avid tweeter, so do get in touch at @lucyberesford. Meanwhile, here's a bit about me:

Lucy Beresford grew up by the sea in Sussex and studied English at Durham University. After ten years in Investment Banking, her training to be a psychotherapist also re-ignited her love of narrative and story-telling.

Something I'm Not, her controversial first novel, asks whether all women want to be mothers. Lucy's second best-seller, Happy Relationships: at home, work and play, detoxifies tricky relationships. She has had several short stories published and recorded for Audio. She is also published in Brazil and China.

She writes in a garret with views of Big Ben on one side and Battersea Power Station on the other. On a more practical level, she finds she cannot function without lip-gloss...

Product Description

Review

A complex odyssey that is ambitious in scope, carefully structured and highly accessible. It trumpets the courage needed to make - and stand by - difficult, life-defining decisions, as well as the hereditary effects of unresolved trauma and the importance of friends to our mental well-being … Negotiate[s] all this without resorting to psychobabble or sentimentality, and still boast[s] authenticity and poignancy. --The Sunday Telegraph

Sparkling … Amber is a strong and sympathetic heroine and her friends are well-rounded individuals and recognisable contemporary types … Beresford's deft plotting and warm and witty writing makes this an assured debut. --The Daily Mail

If you've had enough of reading about yummy mummy, this tale of one woman's missing maternal urges provides a welcome antidote to the glut of babbling baby books … there are no dribbling anti-child clichés in this heartfelt take on how friends can be the new family. A refreshing and thought provoking peak at people who'd rather have a cat flap than a kid. --Handbag.com

About the Author

Lucy Beresford is a psychotherapist, broadcaster, and writer. She has written for the 'Literary Review', 'Sunday Telegraph', 'The Spectator', 'The Times', 'Daily Mail', and 'Psychologies' magazine. She has appeared regularly on TV and radio discussing mental health and general psychology issues.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Elastigirl on 11 Mar. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book based on the other rave reviews. However, I was left feeling very disappointed and dissatisfied. If you're childfree and looking for a fiction book that champions your own decision, this is unlikely to be the book you're looking for.

*** Potential spoilers***

There were too many unresolved issues at the end of the book:

A huge breach of trust between Amber and her husband was never brought-up/resolved. After a while, Amber never even thought about it.

Her decision to help her friends in the way she did was never properly explored, it just appeared out of the blue and so seemed tagged on at the end.

I couldn't understand why she was willing to help said friends after what had happened between her and the husband - he didn't seem the kind of man she'd want to help in this way.

Nothing more is said about her career!

The main character, Amber, is difficult to like. Also, I was unconvinced that her psych husband would be willing to put up with someone who had such low self-esteem.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Calandra09 on 14 April 2008
Format: Hardcover
I agree with the other positive reviews - `Something I'm Not' is a highly satisfying read that addresses with intelligence, wit, and deep-felt emotion, some of the most challenging issues faced by women (and their male partners and friends) in today's world. The reader follows Amber's journey closely, getting below the surface of her supposedly perfect life to discover all of the doubts, flaws, and self-loathing that lurk underneath. Amber's central dilemma is compelling: what if the choices she made (affecting both herself and others) that once seemed so certain turn out to be wrong? Amber's journey to answer this question (especially as related to her decision not to have children) provides a delightful architecture for this book, and a surprise ending full of possibilities. What particularly stayed with me after reading this book was the quirky and very true-to-life cast of ancillary characters. From the Sondheim-loving gay vicar to the pair of kittens that cause Amber no end of paranoia, many of the characters jump off the page directly into the mind of the reader. The writing style and voice - witty, smart, and meticulously consistent - pull everything together. A strong debut novel from a talented writer.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By S. Vance on 19 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
As a 'thirty something' I swing between the desire to be super mum and to experience and live a child free life. I don't believe either is right or wrong, I believe its a choice. The consequences of having a child are all around me and I'm a god parent many times over but role model child free couples are few and far between and I thought that this book might hold a valuable insight. I thought Amber (the main character) would be an inspirational free spirit celebrating all the benefits of a happy marriage and the freedom that not having a child might bring. I expected uplifting and inspirational. If you are still with me, then my advice is probably don't read this book. This is not what Lucy Beresford was writing about, I know, I meet her and asked her!, but it's still a great book. Because Amber wasn't the women I wanted (and needed) her to be I was cross with her for most of the book, neurotic and self centred she drove me crazy with her inability to just know and be the person that she was and to just live the life she had chosen. The other characters in the book are well rounded and warm and I liked and was interested in them. I've read many reviews of this book and I agree that yes there were unresolved issues and story lines left hanging, yes the main character was infuriating and blamed everything on a bad relationship with a parent - but doesn't that all sound familiar - doesn't it ever so slightly sound like life?! If you want some answers this book won't help you with, but for me Amber made me stop and think.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BJV on 17 May 2008
Format: Hardcover
I found 'Something I'm Not' difficult to read to begin with. I soon realised that this was because it stirred up lots of different emotions I wasn't expecting.
Lucy Beresford has skillfully woven the issues we all face into a story with characters that are so easily recognisable. As the book progressed I was pulled in until I was totally immersed in all their laughs, tears and heart breaking decisions. Amber's life choices, and the decisions her friends make, proved to be thought provoking and intriguing but also more importantly great fun to 'watch'.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Miss Sausage on 1 May 2009
Format: Paperback
As a 30 something woman with no desire to have children I had high hopes for this book - and yes in parts it was incisively observed and very well written. However - these good parts were more than wiped out by the overriding theme of the novel. The book implies that the reason this woman does not want children is purely driven by her mothers treatment of her as a child - I found the concept both predictable and patronising. I hoped for a more rounded approach and was highly disappointed. Particularly as the other character who was anti-children falls pregnant by accident and suddenly morphs into your typical gushing natural Madonna.
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