Review of Dawn O’Porters latest book
From the Sunday Times Bestselling author of So Lucky, comes a bold, brilliant, and hilarious book to curl up with for New Year
What AION say:
The first book of O’Porters that I ever read was The Cows and I loved it. I thought I had found myself a new author to binge read and there upon ordered Paper Aeroplanes, which I also really enjoyed. Before you all let me know, I am aware of the bullying stories that hound her. I don’t know if they are true or not or if someone in their forties can still be accountable for their behaviour in school (sorry Mr Cartwright if you’re reading this, honestly, I thought I was just being hilarious), even if they did write a book about it and allegedly spin themselves into the role of heroine.
I follow O’Porter on my socials and after she lost her very good friend Caroline Flack last year I did feel for her, genuinely, having had a friend do the very same. I think that is why when she posted that she had kept a lockdown diary I was curious to read it and pre-ordered a hardback copy whilst buying into the whole #bekind, #girlpower, #womensupportingwomen hashtags. I knew it wasn’t going to be a book about Caroline as that is not her story to tell, but I did wonder how Dawn was bearing up with such raw grief and a global pandemic which isolated her from her much needed friends.
The book has some really lovely sentences, tear-inducing reach for a tissue moving, the kind of sentences that stay with you for a day or two after you have read them, but sorry folks that’s the highlight, and we knew she could write so there’s no great surprise there.
The surprise for me was that it got published in the first place. Oh my days #dullard. I think I would have preferred to read my own diary if I kept one, at least I’d know the characters. The book contains her actual shopping lists, I kid you not, a list, like I’d write. Wow!
I can’t help think that O’Porter will regret publishing this one day, on the other side of this pandemic when we are not alone and in our own heads, without friends to point out that we’ve gone a bit bat-shit crazy . I think she has massively overshared and that some of it will cause her to cringe in time to come. Speaking from experience, the loss from a suicide is a bit like the fog of having a new born, its just a massive head spin that can result in drastic haircuts, sleepless nights and the publishing of a very personal, if boring, diary.
Maybe if my children were younger I might find some of it identifiable and therefore amusing. I did not. I found the book an uphill struggle that I only persisted with out of loyalty to the #bekind movement and I decided to reward myself with a Ferrero Rocher at the end (I mean the whole top layer of the box obviously, lockdown portions).
Sorry folks – it’s an uh-uh from me.
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