Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all well. Today I’m going to post my review of Jane Fallon’s brilliant new novel, ‘My Sweet Revenge’. I was lucky enough to be sent an ARC of this – thanks so much to Sarah from Michael Joseph/Penguin Random House for sending me a copy. So, here’s my review…
‘My Sweet Revenge’ is released today (Thursday 12th January 2017), and is Jane Fallon’s seventh novel. She is the television producer behind shows such as This Life, Teachers and 20 Things To Do Before You’re 30, and her previous books are ‘Getting Rid Of Matthew’, ‘Got You Back’, ‘Foursome’, ‘The Ugly Sister’, ‘Skeletons’ and ‘Strictly Between Us’.
‘My Sweet Revenge’ has received much positive praise, including “A romp-along of infidelity, manipulation and getting even” (Good Housekeeping), “Sassy, sharply observed” (Woman & Home) and “You can always rely on Jane Fallon for a well-crafted, dryly funny, just-one-more-chapter-before-I-turn-out-the-light read – My Sweet Revenge ticks all those boxes” (Red).
I’ve got to say, I was a little bit skeptical about this novel, and really wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy it or not. But oh, I was so wrong! I absolutely adored this book; it was funny, sassy and the perfect chick-lit read. This is my first experience with Jane Fallon, and I’m thoroughly impressed with her writing.
The narrative essentially follows the life of Paula, who discovers her husband Robert is having an affair. She is rightfully devastated by this discovery; but instead of kicking him out, she vows to take revenge on him and get him back for what he has done. The novel follows her as she befriends Saskia (her husband’s lover) and makes plans to sabotage different aspects of her husband’s life – sometimes succeeding, but sometimes failing miserably.
As a character and as a voice, I absolutely loved Paula. She’s hilarious and strong, and doesn’t take any rubbish from anybody else. At times, little things she said and thought made me physically laugh out loud, and I really admired and related to her a lot. But she’s not all sunshine and rainbows, and deep down she’s devastated at her husband’s infidelity. She gave up her acting career so that her husband could pursue his, and instead now works in a bakery and looks after their daughter. She’s overweight and extremely self-conscious; although she does work through this in the novel, which was really refreshing to read about.
It’s pretty easy to hate Robert, and I’ve got to say I had no difficulty with this. He’s a rising actor, currently filming for the fictional show Farmer Giles. It’s his first big break and he’s often being stopped for autographs; and it’s safe to say that the fame is going to his head a little bit. He’s indulging in a reckless affair with his co-worker, and has been drifting apart from his wife for quite some time now. I didn’t like his attitude at all – he essentially thinks he is always right, and he’s quite the liar!
I really enjoyed all the minor characters too. Their daughter, Georgia, is currently taking her A-levels and is about to leave home for university. She’s decided not to follow in her father’s footsteps and go to drama school, and like her mother, she’s an independent, strong woman. One of the things I loved the most was reading about her working in car parks at festivals – something I have done myself, meaning I could relate to ALL the references!! Robert’s sister, Alice, is an extremely annoying character who thinks she is better than everybody else. She still calls herself an actor, even though she hasn’t had a job in years. Then we have Paula’s friend Myra, and Saskia and her husband Josh.
In Part Two of the novel, the narrative splits into both Saskia’s and Paula’s perspectives; this is the first time we are given an insight into Saskia’s voice. And wow, I really despised Saskia! She’s a nasty woman who is playing Paula and lies to her face repeatedly with ease. She’s glamorous and stuck-up, and basically thinks she’s God’s gift. She’s married to Josh, who is the writer of Farmer Giles, and her affair has truly devastated him.
It was really fun to read all about Paula’s attempts for revenge, as she befriends Josh and they devise plans to mess with their spouses. It was really lovely to see their relationship blossom, as they truly become good friends. Sometimes their attempts at revenge work, but sometimes they go disastrously wrong, and the reader cannot help but laugh out loud. I really rooted for Paula – I just loved her and really wanted her to be happy.
The ending was just astounding. There’s a big confrontation and things go disastrously wrong. There are loads of surprising revelations – and the story took a very different turn to what I expected. I honestly didn’t know what was going to happen, and my eyes were glued to the page – I physically couldn’t put it down! The ending was really good and refreshing, and I’m so glad with what did happen, and I’m glad that all characters managed to find peace/happiness in their own ways.
I really cannot put into words how much I enjoyed this. It was such a fun, refreshing read, and was the perfect book to snuggle down in bed with. It was so so funny, and I just adored Paula as a character and as a voice – I see a lot of myself in her! The events that happened were shocking and surprising; but at no time did the events seem overly serious or emotional, as there was a light-hearted feel to the book throughout. This wasn’t an outstanding read and it didn’t change my life or move me in any way, but it was very entertaining and enjoyable, and I recommend it to those of you out there who enjoy more light-hearted reads. I’ll definitely have to check out more of Fallon’s books now!
Happy reading 🙂