Length: 338 pages
Note: The cover image leads to a universal Amazon Book link
What they say:It’s time to stop waiting for prince charming and rescue yourself
No matter how strong and independent Tess Morgan appeared on the outside, she was always let down by her inner five-year-old – who persistently believed that one day her Prince would come.
Real life is tough. For Tess, her job with struggling local radio station Atlantic 1FM is very tough. Between dealing with the demands of her megalomaniac presenter Ollie Andrews, her neurotic boss Helene Harper and the crazy workload associated with her role as producer on the This Morning programme, sometimes she just wants someone who will make all the problems go away.
Helene, meanwhile, is having difficulties of her own. Coming up to her fortieth milestone birthday, her career has taken a wrong turning down an unpleasant cul-de-sac and she’s becoming impatient for the day when her married lover will make an honest woman of her.
Things go from bad to worse when Atlantic 1FM is suddenly bought over by mogul Jack McCabe, who immediately launches a competition for a new star at the station. Soon nerves are frayed and friendships strained as everyone battles to keep their jobs.
Tess gets back in touch with the ex she still thinks of as The One Who Got Away. Helene tries to pull strings with her influential lover.
But what will it take for both women to stop playing Cinderella and find a way to launch their own rescue?
The Review: I had seen both this book and the author, Joan Brady at the Wexford Literary festival and it had gone on my tbr straight away and so I was beyond thrilled to be offered it for review. But instead of starting with the beginning of the book, I’ll move to a little bit before that and turn to the dedication:
‘For Vera, who inspired me to write in the first place with these words of wisdom: “All you have to do to get good marks in English is to make things up.”‘
which, straight off the bat, I found to be so charming, and so, smiling, I settled down to read, happy to get going.
Tess Morgan is struggling at her job at a radio station. This setting was excellent, as we got a real feel for day to day events and issues and the problems that will kill a good, or indeeed sometimes average shows. These shows are more the problem for Tess, along with a highly strung presenter, Ollie Andrews, who she is charged with managing. This was coupled with the daily chore of dealing with her boss, Helene, who is constantly on her back, a falling listenership and talk of a takeover. The book is very much character driven and there were some characters I loved and others I didn’t warm to as much, but I loved that we got to know Helene too, that it wasn’t just Tess’ opinion of her.
The whole book had a lovely homely feel to it, very Irish, and I read it in two nights, very much engrossed and unable to put it down, in fact I was loathe to put it down and would easily have read in one night had I been able to. I predicted some of the occurrences and was thrilled when they happened exactly as I hoped they would. This was especially true for some of the comedy moments, which I really enjoyed.
At times there were a few niggles, some repetition in terms of wording, but that could have been me being a little pernickety. My other issue turned out to be quite a big one for me, that perhaps it felt a little like I’d read it in the wrong time, I felt that I’d have connected with all of that better a few years ago during the recession as opposed to ‘post recession’ (I know we’re not fully post recession but for some reason I just couldn’t reconcile this with the present day).
Even though the subject matter is one that could potentially and rightly cause debate, how talented, intelligent women don’t fulfill their destiny because they’re waiting for their prince to rescue them, I found this to be a very enjoyable, light, easy-going read, one for people who like some homely, charming comedy.
Thanks so much to the author Joan Brady, Poolbeg and to Tracy Brennan from Trace Literary Agency for the book in return for an honest review.
About the author
Joan Brady is is an award-winning Irish journalist and broadcast producer. She started her career as a features writer and newspaper columnist for Independent Newspapers and later worked as a researcher, producer and scriptwriter for RTE, Ireland’s national television and radio station.
The Cinderella Reflex is her first novel and is published by Poolbeg press
Her second novel, Reinventing Susannah, also published by Poolbeg, is coming soon!
Joan is represented by US-based Tracy Brennan from Trace Literary Agency
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