Legend Press is an independent publisher, and This Holey Life is the second book published by them by Sophie Duffy. This cover is bright yellow and lovely, and the blurb sounded too tempting for it not to go in my suitcase, Ryanair bastard baggage limit or no Ryanaire bastard baggage limit.
The story of a highly dysfunctional family centered around Vicky, the reluctant curate's life that reeks more of Katie Fford than Joanna Lumley, this is a feel-good, non-nonsense family saga that was made for lounging about on a beach with.
When Vicky's hideous brother finally gets thrown out by his career-woman wife, he throws in his lot with his sister, coping with a new born baby, a three year old that is obsessed with cleaning, a neglected ten year old growing up too fast, a husband who had abandonned his lucrative career as a plumber after a religious conversion, and a father who may or may not be having an affair with his home help. Vicky herself is also suffering in a more personal way, grieving for the death of her son six years before.
The chaos that unfolds leads to Vicky questioning the importance of family, and whether she herself should pack it all in. It is witty and warm and full of stand out characters. The twists and turns of the plot are well constructed and there is just enough drama to keep it interesting rather than hard work. I love love loved the children especially and this is a family I would like to see again.
Although this book is a little odd in places, jumping for Vicky to the thoughts of other characters,w hich it really doesn't need to do, the adventures of a British family are very well observed, in a way that reminded me a little of Deborah Moggach's Close Relations. As the the whole Church aspect, I couldn't tell you if it is true to life, but fans of Rev will enjoy it.
All in all this is a lovely, if slightly preditable, tale and fans of the more 'mumsy' side of chick lit* will enjoy.
3/5 and a lovely day on a sun lounger-thank you! xx
*not an insult cos I bloody love it!