Ohhh reading, how I’ve missed you. I used to be one of those people who’d be in the middle of about three books at a time. But then motherhood hit and Josh decided that my main form of reading entertainment would be in the shape of “that’s not my (insert various animals/vehicles here)!
So when the opportunity to review the lovely Louise Pentlands debut novel came up I jumped at the chance. And I am so glad I did.
Wilde Like Me is a novel in which every single one of us can find an aspect to identify with; a stressed Mama juggling everything but attempting to appear to the world that she’s got her shit together. The hopeless romantic determined to see the good in men only to be let down (we’ve all been there). Louise has written this book in a way that just makes you want to get inside the book, befriend Robin, and take her out for a gin whilst telling her “you got this”! Because she is just like us; she swears, she forgets the correct socks for her daughters fancy school gym bag and by the evenings she too is reliant on half a pack of bourbons.
The part for me that really stood out, that we can all identify with to a degree, is the dreaded emptiness Robin refers to as she gives us an insight into her life. The character of Robin is a single Mum, pushing herself in her job as a glamourous make up artist assistant, dealing with the “Posh School Mums” and their catty comments on the school run (which she ends up dealing with in such an epic way you wish so badly she was a real friend that you could take out for a congratulatory prosecco), opening her heart again to the prospect of love after being let down by an absolute muppet of a man, all the while with her daughter Lyla at the forefront of her mind. I love that Robin always keeps her little girl as her priority and for a fictional character, Louise has written it so beautifully that you can really feel that mother and daughter love shine through.
But as a single Mum, Robin has her own struggles. The emptiness; feeling lonely, something all us Mums have felt to one degree or another. The comparisons to other Mums she encounters; again something all us Mums have done. The main thing about this book is it’s so relatable. And this goes for the romantic side of the story too. Don’t get me wrong, I am now a happily married woman, but reading about the almost predictable mind games the love interest Theo plays with Robin, it was like I was transported back to my early twenties, trying to figure out men and their frankly bizarre way of being super keen one minute, and dropping off the side of the earth the next only reappearing when they wanted “something”! I got it; as I read it I got the message that Louise was putting out there with this book: that we’re all stronger and more worthwhile than we give ourselves credit for. And as you read the book that’s exactly what you want to say to Robin!
Louise has always been incredibly warm in her vlogs, of which I’ve been watching for several years now, and that warmth comes across so beautifully in this book. She makes you instantly love Robin; the whole way through the book you’re rooting for her to have some luck and kick some arse. And she doesn’t let you down (that goes for Louise as well as Robin)! This is a brilliant, page turner of a debut novel and one that I really hope Louise writes a follow up to because I for one can’t wait to find out how Robin handles what ever this crazy life of Motherhood throws at her next.
Wilde Like Me is available now to buy from all good bookstores as well as online at Amazon.
I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have received a voucher as a token of thanks for this post.