Sunday, 2 July 2017

REVIEW; Wilde Like Me, by Louise Pentland

Rating: 

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, Motherhood

Recommend: Yes

SOME teeny SPOILERS!!! 

Summary:

Robin Wilde is a single mother doing her best. She has a wonderful friend in her 6 year old daughter, Lyla, but often the loneliness and absence of a companion weasels into her mind and destroys her confidence. After being on her own for years, Robin decides it is time for a change. Arming herself with red lipstick and a dating app, Robin is back in action, ready to find herself a team-mate. As her career takes off and life changes, nothing could prepare her for the wonderful journey she is about to embark on. 

My Thoughts:

Oh myyy! Leading up to midnight on the release date I was like: 


But I was in Crete visiting family so it didn't release until 2am for me.. So I headed to bed anticipating the morning. And just wow


I am a huge Louise fan and find her expression and story telling original and witty, so I immediately fell in love with her writing, exemplifying her idiosyncrasies. 

All along Louise has stressed that this is not a story of her life, and is fiction, but that she wanted to write a book she could relate to. This novel proves you need to write about what you know. There is a distinct difference in books where authors have attempted to convey an emotion/feeling they've never experienced compared to this, where the emotions are so evocative and pronounced, the characters and story gets under your skin. 

I can't remember the last book I read where I was SO affected by the emotions and thoughts of a character. 

Robin Wilde: What a woman. She is doing a wonderful job of raising her young daughter, with her useless ex who doesn't even know how to take care of Lyla when she has a cough! Naturally, she compares herself to the other glamorous mothers at school who appear to have their shit together, while Robin has barely managed to get dressed for the school run. Robin witnesses every "perfect" family unit swan around her in apparent happiness, as she struggles to fit IKEA furniture into her car while her child yells she needs to pee! (lol). What is so poignant is the relentless efforts of this woman to be a good mother, and how evident to the rest of us that she is doing a fabulous job with Lyla, but yet she doesn't see or feel it. Robin is such a kind-hearted soul (taking care of Marnie) and you can't help but want to give her a hug and assure her she's doing good. 

Robin goes on such journey of character development and it is amazing to watch as she blossoms (and wobbles) and how her wonderful support group of fellow mothers and friends are there for her to remind her what she means to them and how much she is valued. As Robin's confidence and belief grows, it allows for hilarious moments/altercations as she stands up to the bullies in her life! 

All the insecurities felt by women on a daily basis are addressed and it's a wonderful novel to express empowering messages and motivation. I actually cried at the end and thankfully I had sunglasses on so no one could see my leaking mascara. 

The humour and wit of Louise is palpable throughout. I laughed so many times and read aloud some one-liners or paragraphs to my mom as I read along - something I haven't done so yet this year. 

Again, as Louise has taken inspiration from what she knows, Lyla's voice is very realistic. So often authors have a young child as a character but their voice/speech is incorrect for their age. Usually I keep away from stories that have a child character but I loved Lyla so much. She was responsible for so many chuckles. 

One thing that really struck a chord with me was Robin's relationship with Theo. I am SO grateful Louise included this sub-plot and is quite similar to my experiences - meeting someone, letting them call the shots, allow yourself be unhappy with them but do it anyway for the little bit of happiness they do provide. Reading how Robin adapts as she learns more about Theo, to their final encounter, in some way it provided me some closure in my own life. 

We are so often told in society/media that to be worth something we should have another half. Robin herself wanted this other half. And a strong message that I took from this was that we don't need someone. Robin wanted someone so badly on her team she allowed someone to treat her with no respect to try and fit in with the other mothers and what society expected. But yet she was raising her daughter wonderfully. She may not have had her shit together but where it mattered, she was ace-ing it. As her Aunt Kath told her, look at everything you do have rather the one thing you are missing. 

Ultimately, don't settle. Love yourself enough to know your worth. 


Overall:

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to everyone. So empowering and hilarious, but with low moments that make you well up. It really is like a huge hug in a book - and after reading the "Dear Reader" section at the end, I will certainly revisit this book (and probably a lot as I grow up) as a reminder to acknowledge my own worth and accomplishments. 

Reading this, Robin Wilde is definitely a friend for life.