All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: So Lucky by Dawn O’Porter

on November 13, 2019

So Lucky
Dawn O’Porter
Harper Collins AUS
2019, 400p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {from the publisher/}:


Beth shows that women really can have it all.
Ruby lives life by her own rules.
And then there’s Lauren, living the dream.


Beth hasn’t had sex in a year.
Ruby feels like she’s failing.
Lauren’s happiness is fake news.

And it just takes one shocking event to make the truth come tumbling out…

Actually, you’re pretty f****** lucky to be you.

Wow, okay.

This book was….a bit of a slog.

It revolves around three women who eventually end up being connected. Beth is a wedding planner who went back to work immediately after having her baby Tommy, because she is the primary breadwinner, her husband was able to get three months paternity leave and Beth is handling a society wedding with a huge budget. Although her work life is good, things at home are terrible, with her husband treating her like she basically has the plague. This means that Beth obsesses over sex, because she’s just not getting any.

Ruby has a medical condition that affects every facet of her day to day life. She’s also a struggling single mother, having ended her marriage for reasons we don’t discover until almost the end of the book. Her daughter Bonnie, is three and very challenging and Ruby constantly feels like she’s failing as a mother and may even repeat the terrible mistakes her own mother made in raising her.

Lauren is an instagram model (#wellness #sponsored #mentalhealth #womensupportingwomen) who is getting married. She’s built herself a huge following on instagram with a series of carefully curated and edited posts that showcase her at her very best but also talk about vulnerabilities. Beth is Lauren’s wedding planner and even though it seems Lauren has the perfect life – handsome and incredibly rich fiancee, lucrative ‘job’ promoting things, etc, it seems that scratch the surface and things are definitely not what they seem.

I enjoyed parts of this. Although I didn’t warm to Ruby at first (she seemed very abrupt with her daughter and like she was really not at all interested in being a parent, even if Bonnie was the threenager from hell) as she revealed more and more about herself I actually came to really feel for her and I could grasp the terrible reality of her medical situation. It had created a woman who was desperately insecure, who used defence and blocking to stop people from ever getting too close to her, even her own daughter. She’s terrified of her daughter even, seeing her for what she feels she really is, even though when Bonnie does, it’s with a childlike innocence that actually turns the situation almost into a positive. I really, really enjoyed the evolution of Ruby, how she learned to own that yep, her body had things she hated and that everyone has things they hate about themselves. Poor Ruby has a harder time than most with herself than most and her issue was something that I could feel was something that would really affect a person’s psyche.

I found Beth’s story harder to enjoy, mostly because of the direction it went in. Her obsession with sex and getting laid began to actually get on my nerves. I understand that the way her husband treated her was really awful and demoralising but she puts up with it for way too long and then lashes out in a retaliation in a way that came off as highly unbelievable and really weird. Also the character of Risky, her assistant…was she supposed to be satire? The way in which she talked at work, shouting about her vagina and the whole bathroom thing was just weird and I couldn’t believe that someone wouldn’t immediately be sacked for pretty much everything she did. It just came off as someone thinking that’s how trendy young folk talk these days but instead it was just eyerollingly stupid. I hated every scene she ended up being in after the very first one and just wanted her to go away every time she appeared. Beth became inherently stupider any time Risky was around because she’s supposed to be the boss of this super successful wedding planner business and Risky is completely hopeless it seems and also highly inappropriate like, all of the time.

And that leaves Lauren, who mostly appears as instagram descriptions and captions until right at the end, when her life falls apart in spectacularly weird fashion. I actually didn’t mind Lauren as her backstory was revealed – she actually connects a couple of the other characters together, who both hear her story before realising it’s actually about her.

I think the biggest disappointment this book had for me was that there was just such a lack of exploring issues in depth. Beth and her husband don’t really address the issues, he just avoids them and calls her names. Lauren doesn’t explore the issues surrounding what happens to her. Even Ruby doesn’t do a lot to explore the issues with her ex-husband, although out of everyone, she does have the most personal growth. But this felt like such a surface story, like there was no digging deeper to really help the reader understand the characters and how they ended up in these positions. Beth especially. Her husband completely changed and there’s barely even a sentence to address that from his perspective or even an attempt at Beth to reason it out. They don’t have one adult conversation in the entire book.  He attempts to undermine her wishes, he has a very uncomfortable relationship with his mother (which she knew before she married him) but it seems like he just regresses? He must do, surely, because no one would’ve married the person he was in this book.

This was a quick read, but I can’t really say it was one that I felt like I connected with, or even really liked that much. I think Ruby was the character for me that I felt was the most well written, Lauren just felt like a cliche of every instagram influencer out there and a random tragic backstory added with cardboard cutout parents. Actually, most of the characters felt like cardboard cutouts. I also read Dawn O’Porter’s The Cows and didn’t love it, so I just think that her books are unfortunately, not to my taste.


Book #187 of 2019

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