Some time last week I was staring at the book on the top of my to read pile, saying something like this…
“What exactly is perfect? Who decides what defines perfect, and being perfect is kind of impossible anyway isn’t it?”
Then I snatched up How To Be Perfect by Holly Wainwright and started reading, and from there I barely stopped.
And yes, that entire conversation was with myself… I don’t get out much.
So now, here I am trying to figure out how to put into words how I felt about this book.
Amused, inspired, inlove, coffee… no wait, that last one just snuck in there.
Okay, so maybe I need to start with a basic synopsis.
How to be perfect carries on from Mummy Bloggers about twelve to eighteen months later. Elle is knee deep in her latest scam already, and without her boys this time. Adrian, Teddy and Freddie are living on the farm with Abi, Grace and the whole family. Leisel doesn’t make much of an appearance in this one, but instead we meet Frances. She’s a first time mum, forced back to work as a nurse when her little boy Denny is only six months old.
As usual everyone is brought together by the force of Elle, but this time things are different. Circumstances have changed, and Elle may have gotten in a little over her head with her latest scam.
I don’t want to give much else away so I’ll leave it at that.
How to be Perfect is not just a light entertaining read, it’s also a relatable one. This is why I loved it so much, and it’s why I loved Mummy Bloggers too. I mean I can’t say I’ve experienced every situation in this book, but I can identify or empathise with all of them.
At times I thought Frances was put in this book purely to make me feel better, to make me feel less of a screw up and a bit more normal.
Don’t worry, I’m not getting all emo on my review and I know I’m not really a screw up, it’s just that her struggles with Denny, being a new mum, feeling judged, feeling like you’re not enough… I’ve felt all of those things on numerous occasions.
And if you’re a parent reading this, I’m sure if you’re being honest with yourself you have as well.
But you know what, as entertaining and relatable as the characters in this book are, it’s the feeling that came over me when I finished the last page that’s staying with me days after finishing it. The closing page in itself nailed how to be perfect on the head, and how perfect it is to admit that you’re not perfect.
How is it that this novel has left me feeling so light? How did it manage to make me feel a part of something without even leaving my house? I see other parents in public and am able to relate with them in some way shape or form, and they’re total strangers, how?
I think perhaps that’s credit to reading about all of these woman who are co-existing and not so quietly hating each other, yet are still understanding of each other at the same time. When something bigger is at play than they’re dislike for one another they still banded together. It’s inspirational.
It makes me feel unified.
I feel like I’m suddenly part of a community even though this is a fictional novel.
How does that even work?
I’ll tell you why….
It’s because Holly Wainwright is an amazing woman, writer, mother, and blogger.
She just gets it.
She’s inspirational in herself.
5 stars out of 5 for this one.
Thanks Holly for sharing this with the world!