Published by Jonathan Ball Publishers
Abby Rogers has been on health kicks before – they involve eating one Blueberry muffin for breakfast instead of two.
But since starting her own business after too many episodes of The Apprentice, the 28-year-old’s waistline has taken even more of a back seat than her long-neglected love life. When she’s encouraged to join her sporty best friend’s running club – by none other than its gorgeous new captain – she finds a mysterious compulsion to exercise.
Sadly, her first session doesn’t go to plan. Between the leggings that resemble strawberry-flavoured condoms and the fact that her lungs feel as though they’ve been set on fire, she vows never to return. Then her colleague Heidi turns up at work and makes a devastating announcement, one that will change her life – and Abby’s – forever.
“This isn’t your sort of book. Are you sure you will read this?” Kelly asked me as I selected the book from the box that included political thrillers and contemporary fiction, in other words, more “my kind of book”. I looked at the cover, I read the blurb, I considered the book mood I was in and replied, “I’m sure”. And for my literary happiness, I am so glad that I did.
The main plot of the story is Abby’s running in an attempt to get fit enough to run a marathon. This alone meant for a highly-entertaining read as Abby’s humour strongly comes out in her efforts to “get fit” as that of just trying to survive the run (something that I can strongly relate to). Although this is the central emphasis throughout the book, there are other characters and events in Abby’s life that keep the reader turning the page, unashamed of the grin on their face as they are led into the mind of Abby and how she sees the world and the people in it.
The reader falls in love with Abby, her honesty, her imperfections, her warmth, her battling to cope with all the juggling balls in the air and, thus, her realism. She’s the type that you sit there, book in hand, glass of wine in the other (or water if her “fit trip” has got to you) and you suddenly realise “this could be me!”, which I have always felt was a great test to the testament of a book character.
Humour is a tricky thing to get right, especially with us girls and what we consider to be fictional humour that is used in the “real world”, so an ovation to Costello for accomplishing this. As well as inducing a request for the asthma pump, this is a story about romance (what good chick lit would be without) and friendship, and the woes there of. It’s about writing your goals on that serviette and actually being able to tick off a few of them.
I loved this book. On a personal note because I, too, have had to acquire the taste for running at much harder a pace than that of chocolate. But it is so much more than that. It is a side-splitting novel that every girl should read when your mood cries out for chick lit!
Review by Tarryn
MEET JANE COSTELLO
Jane was a newspaper journalist for many years before she became an author, working on titles including the Liverpool Echo – where she started as a graduate trainee – and the Daily Mail.
Until 2007, she was the Editor of the Liverpool Daily Post, a job she held for more than four years. Jane wrote her first novel, Bridesmaids, while on maternity leave and, as well as becoming an instant bestseller, was nominated for the Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance.
She followed that up with The Nearly-Weds, which was named by the Romantic Novelists’ Association as Romantic Comedy of the Year 2010.
Jane’s books are now sold around the world and translated into fifteen different languages. She recently returned to the city of her birth, Liverpool, where she lives with her two young sons.
She is currently writing her fifth book *insert Tarryn's squeal*
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