If time machines were sold on Amazon I would buy one, grab a copy of this book, Perfect on Paper by Gillian Harvey, and thrust it into the arms of my thirty something younger self. I would then instruct myself to read it and make notes.
Back then I was juggling a demanding career, two small children, a marriage and a home. I set aside 0 time for myself, had no idea who I was turning into and even though I was ticking several ‘adult’ boxes I felt like the character Claire in this book – summed up in one word – meh!
Like Claire I felt invisible, middle aged and was also at my family and my employer’s beck and call. This book was so relatable to what I experienced I did wonder whether the author has the magical ability of looking inside the minds of her readers before she writes a book. I am hoping Gillian reads this review and confirms her telepathic abilities to me.
Here’s the bio:
Clare’s life might look ‘perfect on paper’, but she’s ready to shake things up and put herself first for once… A fun and uplifting novel from Gillian Harvey, author of Everything is Fine.
It’s time to shake things up a little…
Clare Bailey’s life is perfect. Successful career, loving husband, two kids and a gorgeous townhouse. At least, that’s how it looks like from the outside.
In fact, she’s never felt more invisible. Her boss barely remembers her name, her husband is distracted by his new TV job and her daughter has never found her more embarrassing!
But when she’s given a chance to turn her life upside-down she wonders whether she should risk everything she loves for a life that’s more than just ‘perfect on paper’…?
Here’s my review:
When I review books on blog tours I set up a notes section on my phone and tap in my thoughts as I go along. Occasionally I copy and paste a good quote for my blog post. With this book I couldn’t tap my thoughts out fast enough. I also copied and pasted about half the book – lol! All highlighted with – mention this.
Gillian Harvey has created a wonderful character with Claire Bailey. I loved her from the start and I could identify with her feeling like she’s ‘holding up her firm when she’s at work and holding up the family when she’s at home.’ I also could relate to her feeling, surplus to requirements and invisible too. I let out a huge ‘YES’ when she said, ‘it just wouldn’t hurt to hear somebody say thanks or pay me a bit of attention once in a while.’ Her character arc over the course of the book was brilliant and her transformation had me cheering from my armchair. I loved how her passion for poetry and taking a different bus started her awakening.
This is an empowering story of someone who is taking back control of their life. I reckon this book could change a few of its readers’ lives.
There’s a serious side to this book which I thought Gillian Harvey tackled really well. It is to do with Claire and her sister, Steph. I don’t want to give the game away but I also identified with this too. So relatable.
I loved this story because it was empowering and uplifting. It is also packed full of excellent life advice and comes with a good helping of Gillian Harvey’s humour.
Read this and remember you are always a different bus journey away from a totally new life.
Think I might write to Amazon about that time machine idea.