‘I’ve googled it, how to die,’ Jenny says to Maureen. ‘It was full of climbing this mountain, swimming that sea, becoming a marathon runner and raising millions for charity.’
‘Sounds like bloody hard work. You can make it more fun than that surely?’
Jenny discovers her days are numbered at the same time she discovers her husband is having an affair…
Frankly, her life was tough enough already. Two tricky teenagers, her mother’s constant complaints, friends who aren’t up to the job and a career which has been spiralling downwards since she won ‘Sunseeker Tour Rep of the Season’ twenty years ago.
And now this: a cheating husband and a death sentence.
Enough is enough. Jenny vows to keep both catastrophes a secret. She takes her life – and death – into her own hands and decides to live as she did when she was happiest… in 1996. She plans a spectacular 1990’s themed party in place of a wake that she herself will attend. But will she be able to keep her secrets for long enough to have the party of a lifetime?
Happy Publication Day to Tracy Bloom!!!
I’ve been very lucky to receive an ARC copy of this book by Netgalley and had a chance to read it before this lovely novel came out officially today.
I believe covering topic of someone dying and finding out that their partner is cheating on them is something very hard to lighten up. I found this book at the beginning a bit heavy to digest, probably as I just felt so bad for Jenny, my feelings towards her and her life sentence were so strong, I was really really upset for her. However as soon as Jenny has decided to not wait for her life to end but enjoy every last minute she has to the fullest, I really started to enjoy it.
Jenny had an amazing and wild start to her life, to her marriage but years of being a mum and a wife have taken their toll on her. She lost the drive, excitement and just fell into routine of everyday life, surrounded by boring schedules, not very interesting friends, busy husband and distant teenage kids. When she receives the news that her life has just been given an expiry date, she stops and decides she wants to feel happy again and happiest she has felt was 1996 when she celebrated her birthday on Greek island Corfu, dancing like noone is watching and just being high on life. She wants that again, even if only for one day and decides instead of planning her funeral, she will plan her farewell party. And what a party it is!!!
Anyone who grew up or partied in ‘Spice Girls times’ would probably understand why this made me love this book even more. I adored Spice Girls and you can tell that Jenny loved them a lot too. Which girl didn’t want to be one of them at some point in 90’s, right?
There were some very memorable characters in this book and every single one of them gave a bit more depth to the story, to the way Jenny was in past or present, the way her life turned out. Every character had some role in shaping her personality over the years and it was nice to see how Jenny slowly realized that all that really truly matters in our life are people and experiences with we have with them. When it comes to day when future doesn’t hold anything good for us anymore and we start reflecting on our past, it’s nice to see, we laughed and cried, danced and been crazy with and around people that mattered. It’s those memories we cherish.
The biggest impact on the story had one character who would have to be my favourite of them all, Jenny’s friend Maureen, pensioner with years of life behind, buckets of experience and valuable advice to give. She has shaped Jenny’s decisions and helped her find the best way to deal with situation she found herself in. I loved her and I think we all should have someone like Maureen in our lives, to guide us, support us no matter what and just be there when we need her.
This book holds strong message, has powerful impact on your emotions, on way you look at your life, your values. It just gives you something to take and apply in your own life, it changes you. I’m so pleased I had chance to read this book and will definitely read some more books by Tracy Bloom as I really enjoyed her writing style and the way she presents her story. It’s very engaging and you just can’t stop reading it.
About Tracy Bloom
Tracy started writing when her cruel, heartless husband ripped her away from her dream job shopping for rollercoasters for the UK’s leading theme parks, to live in America with a brand new baby and no mates. In a cunning plan to avoid domestic duties and people who didn’t understand her Derbyshire accent, she wrote her romantic comedy, NO-ONE EVER HAS SEX ON A TUESDAY. This debut novel went on to be successfully published internationally and became a #1 Best Seller.
Her newly published novel The Last Laugh is now available to buy here.