“Does an exciting weekend for you mean scrubbing all the grouting in your bathroom with a toothbrush? Have you ever felt the urge to kidnap the cable guy and tie him to the bed like Kathy Bates in Misery because you are terrified the TV will stop working once he’s gone? Do you ponder marrying the Albanian builder who has just fitted alcove shelving because he’s brought you more happiness in three days than your useless ex-boyfriend brought you in three years? Are you engaged in endless rows with call centre staff called Keeley who hang up on you because you are ‘shouting and hysterical’? Welcome to Melissa Kite’s life.”
I have to start this review by pointing out that this isn’t my usual genre. Non-fiction autobiographical books by women can be, in my experience, slightly woeful and self-deprecating. Not to hate on my own gender. But, reading the back of Real Life, it seemed closer to a very funny work of fiction – and I was delighted to find that it was much better than expected.
All of the hilarious events Melissa details in her book would have been less so if they were fictionalised – and I wouldn’t have experienced so many moments of ‘OMG ME TOO!’ had this been the case. I could draw similarities between myself and Melissa – recognising bits of my past, present and undoubtedly future life. And that is surely the winning formula when writing any book – particularly autobiographical.
This laugh-a-minute book that should be read by anyone who is a) female and b) likes a good laugh. And if you’ve never worked up the nerve to try non-fiction – Real Life is the perfect gateway read. I was so amused by Melissa’s anecdotes (don’t worry Mel, everyone laughs at mine too) that I’ll allow her the very neat, hasty happy ending without begging for more amusing detail.
PS, must try that spag bol. The recipe had me licking my lips on the bus (I’ll even forgive you making me look like a weirdo in public, Miss Kite).
Many thanks to Constable & Robinson for the review copy.