Published by Allen & Unwin on April 26th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Family, Fiction, Friendship, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Life can be tricky when you're a girl in between relationships, careers and cities ... and sometimes you have to face some uncomfortable truths. The sparkling debut from comic TV and radio presenter, Anna Daniels.
Lucy Crighton was a successful TV producer in Melbourne with a lot of potential. She never expected to be living in her childhood bedroom again in her thirties with a robot vacuum as her alarm clock. Using the excuse of moving back in with her parents to finish writing a book and assess her next move, Lucy is stuck. As she tries to find some direction and a job which pays, Lucy navigates advice from her slightly eccentric parents, distractions in the form of her handsome new neighbour and the crazy antics of her best friend Rosie. Lucy may be the girl in between but with the help of her loved ones she might just find just where she belongs.
Girl in Between is the Bridget Jones Diary for the millennial set. Lucy is a woman entering her thirties with her life in pieces. She got her heart broken and as a result of poor decisions following the relationship breakdown she’s now without a job and feeling a little lost. Living with her parents was only meant to be temporary as she found her footing but now months later (and her finances still in tatters) Lucy shows no signs of moving out. Her best friend is only interested in working part-time but living life to the full – a concept Lucy’s father doesn’t understand in the slightest.
After meeting Oscar, the son of her parents new neighbour, Lucy’s life gets more complicated. Not wanting to make a move on an unavailable man, Lucy tries to move on from any idea of Oscar as well as getting over the ex who sent her moving back to Rockhampton, Lucy has to work out what she wants from life. A story which crosses continents and includes many life lessons from Cher, Girl in Between is a heartwarming and clever take on one woman’s coming of age (early mid-life crisis?) in the modern world.
I loved the character of Lucy. She’s not a loser but rather she’s just a little lost in life. She went out on a limb for love and ended up falling into pieces. And whilst she may have no money, no house and no romantic relationship to speak of she does have three things which help her get to where she needs to go: The love of a lovely puppy, parents who (whilst they don’t understand her) love and support her through everything and a best friend who sometimes knows just what Lucy needs even when she doesn’t know herself. I think one of the great things about Lucy is even when she is at her lowest, she never gives up on life. She takes jobs she’s not passionate about because sometimes that’s what being an adult is all about. And throughout everything she keeps her sense of humour.
The supporting characters are so much fun. They deliver the hard line when necessary but for the most part they add some hilarious comic relief to Lucy’s story. The romantic storyline was deliciously complicated in the way all the best love stories are and I enjoyed not quite knowing how things were going to end for Lucy in that respect.
This book captures reality in a wonderfully funny way. There are parts of Lucy’s story which will resonate with all readers. Her parents represent Aussie Baby Boomers in a fresh yet relatable way. Her mother’s belief in Cher holding all the answers and her father’s adjustment to life as a retiree was entertaining and real. Lucy’s journey as she finds what makes her happy was a enjoyable one to follow with there being plenty of humour and heartfelt moments.
Girl in Between is a wonderful addition to the Aussie contemporary scene. A novel about modern life with all the complexities love and families bring, Lucy’s story is sure to entertain and bring a smile to your face.
Many thanks to Allen and Unwin for the review copy.