6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Nothing New here!,
This review is from: New Beginnings (Hardcover)
When I first read that the story was about a fictional TV presenter, I was actually disappointed. I couldn't understand why she couldn't have chosen something a bit different to do, and perhaps did something totally different, but no, Britton has gone with what she knows best, as Coleen Nolan has done in her past 2 books. I guess they do have the experience to write about it realistically but if we all wrote just about the things we've done then we'd soon run out of things to write about! However, instead of a daytime show Fern firstly writes about the appallingly named Tart Talk (whoever approved that was seriously wrong) then onto another news shows. As well as exploring Christie's career, we see her working out what super-agent Julia Keen is up to (although to the reader its quite clear from the start) and sorting out her new relationship with neighbour Richard.
Christie is a likeable enough character, although she seems a little too keen to please everyone all of the time if you ask me. She's widowed after the sudden death of her husband Nick, and struggling to make ends meet with the children, the delapidated old house she bought and also trying to juggle her career too. I think a lot of women will be able to relate to Christie (whether you're a widow or not), managing the house on her own, relying on the support of her great family (I loved the character of her sister Mel) and also keeping her children at the same time. Britton chooses to tackle some quite serious issues to do with Christie's children within the book and I liked that she did this - it certainly helped to give a rounded look at her life, and certainly made me feel sympathetic towards her.
The writing style of the book was good, although nothing overly special. The book's writing definitely makes you feel sympathetic to Christie, although as I said I did feel like she was too eager to please people all the time, especially her agent Julia Keen who it was clear was a pretty bad character right from the off even though Christie really couldn't see it. For some reason, I kept feeling like I'd read this story before all the time, I can't put my finger on what book it could be but it definitely gave me a sense of deja vu as I was reading which was a shame. Perhaps it was a little too close to Coleen Nolan's book for its own good, and if you've read both, you'd certainly agree that they are indeed very similar. Fern likes dropping the designer labels throughout the book, a craze that seems to be very popular at the moment, although it did feel a tad showy and unnecessary within the scope of the story.
Overall, this was a good book but I can't help but think that without Fern Britton's name on the cover, this wouldn't be getting the publicity that is gets. It's good, but I have read far better from authors without the benefit of a big name behind them. I wish Britton had chosen to cover a different subject other than her own career really, it would have been nice to see what she can really do away from the experience of everything she knows about television. She does use some terms in there that I didn't understand and I think they could have benefitted from being explained further. It is a good read, it kept me wanting to turn the pages even though I knew how it was all going to end up (and I was right!) but as I said, without Fern's name on the front, I doubt this would have got as far as it got thanks to that influence.