The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent
I am so thrilled to be joining the blog tour for The Summer Job. Many thanks to Ellie Hudson at Penguin Vikings for the chance to read and review this wonderful book.
Have you ever imagined running away from your life?
Well Birdy Finch didn't just imagine it. She did it. Which might've been an error. And the life she's run into? Her best friend, Heather's.
The only problem is, she hasn't told Heather. Actually there are a few other problems...
Can Birdy carry off a summer at a luxury Scottish hotel pretending to be her best friend (who incidentally is a world-class wine expert)?
And can she stop herself from falling for the first man she's ever actually liked (but who thinks she's someone else)
The Summer Job is a fresh, fun, feel-good romcom for fans of The Flatshare, Bridget Jones and Bridesmaids.
Birdy, a young women who has coasted through life so far and is feeling rather fed up. Her best friend Heather is off to Italy, renting out her flat so Birdy will become homeless and being estranged from her alcoholic father and unsupportive mother Birdy finds herself alone and fearful of the future. Having nothing to lose Birdy travels to Scotland to take on the job as a sommelier, a job that Heather was offered before she decided to go to Italy with her boyfriend. Birdy promised Heather that she would call the hotel and apologise on her behalf for pulling out, but with no job herself and nowhere to live Birdy decides that she can step into Heather's role, after all how hard can it be to recommend wine to customers staying at a rundown hotel? However, when Birdy steps out of the taxi she realises that this is not the hotel she was in fact expecting. Having current renovations going on, a new advisory head chef in position and over one hundred wines to get her head around, Birdy realises very early on that she has bitten off far too much...but she cannot turn back now! She is determined that she cannot let her friend down or tarnished Heather's reputation due to her own inexperience and stupidity of impersonating her. She must keep up the pretence that she is Heather and will do the very best she can.
You cannot help but warm to Birdy, even after all her lies, imperfections and betrayal she is a character who means well even though she goes about things in completely the wrong way. Her sense of humour and gregarious nature gets her by on a wing and a prayer and I love this element about her. I was so invested in Birdy and the other characters that The Summer Job was a pure delight to read. I couldn't always predict where the story was heading but I really hoped that when the truth about the real Heather was revealed that Birdy would come away unscathed.
Although, there are a few darker themes running through the book such as alcoholism and neglect, it is balanced beautifully with humour, love and self discovery. There was such a fun, witty, feel-good quality to this book which I absolutely adored. Highly recommend this novel; a real summer/holiday treat to get lost in. Much praise to Lizzy Dent and her highly entertaining debut novel.
Lizzy Dent (mis)spent her early twenties working in Scotland in hospitality, in a hotel not unlike the one in this novel. She somehow ended up in a glamorous job travelling the world creating content for various TV companies, including MTV, Channel 4, Cartoon Network, the BBC and ITV. But she always knew that writing was the thing she wanted to do, if only she could find the confidence. After publishing three young adult novels, she decided to write a novel that reflected the real women she knew, who don't always know where they're going in life, but who always have fun doing it. The Summer Job is that novel.