Anybody who has read Andrea Bramhall’s previous books already knows she has a wide ranging and somewhat unusual imagination. From light traditional adventure romances to fairly dark thrillers and murder mystery, her works so far have crossed many lines. Always with a lesbian angle, they have each mixed up several genres and been hard to categorise.
This latest is another example of a trans-genre tale, and even more odd-ball than the others. It’s a lesbian romance, it’s a comedy, and at the same time there is a very British down to earth pathos mixed in.
Genna Colllins has a dead end life, job and relationship. A loving mum and an absentee father. Even her BFF has withdrawn because she doesn’t approve of Genna’s girlfriend. Winning the biggest Euromillions jackpot is about to change all that, in a whole range of ways.
Underlying all of this Genna has been in love with her non-related aunt for years, which introduces Abi and her adorable Down’s daughter Rosie, literally the light of Genna’s life. Unbeknownst to Genna, her love is secretly returned. and so the romantic opportunity is set.
The style is unusual, with both main characters getting first person POV, and talking directly too the reader in very much a “Reader, I married him” style. Bramhall manages this very well, but it does take some getting used to.
The plot is a very British comedy; how to spring on your council flat family you have won £156million, including a fatherly lawyer with hidden camera and NDA’s to prevent publicity. There are comic scenes throughout including a ridiculous trip to the ‘fat farm’ and through it all a wicked sense of humour and timing.
The pathos is real as well. The family dynamics are harsh, the history realistic and the hurt palpable. There were laugh out loud moments, and occasions where the past pain bring poignant realism to what is otherwise virtually farcical.
Overall an entertaining and unusual read. I enjoyed it, but it’s not my favourite by Ms Bramhall. I personally thought the ending was rushed, or perhaps forced is a better description, another chapter or two and a little less panic would have left a better feeling. But as usual Andrea Bramhall brings something different to the table and with her excellent writing style and vivid imagination that is always a good thing.
(publisher review copy received)
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