2015 Book Reviews Kirsty Greenwood My 2015 Favourite Reads Pan
Book Review: The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance by Kirsty Greenwood
Author: Kirsty Greenwood
Published: April 9th 2015 by Pan
Amazon | Amazon UK
Blurb: Jessica Beam is a girl who knows how to party. Only lately she's been forgetting to turn up for work on time. Or in clean clothes. Down on her luck, out of a job and homeless, Jess seeks the help of her long-lost grandmother.
Things aren't going well for Matilda Beam, either. Her 1950s Good Woman guide books are out of print, her mortgage repayments are staggering and her granddaughter wears neon Wonderbras!
When a lifeline from a London publisher arrives, the pair have an opportunity to secure the roof over their heads – by invigorating the Good Woman guides and transforming modern, rebellious Jess into a demure vintage lady.
The true test of their make-over will be to capture the heart of notorious London playboy Leo Frost and prove that Matilda’s guides still work. It's going to take commitment, nerves of steel and one seriously pointy bra to pull this off...
*First of all I would like to thank the publishers for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
Review: The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance is the book everyone is talking about, the book everyone is loving unconditionally. And now I know why. Do you want to know why too? Well, because it is da bomb! If you want to laugh uncontrollably for hours and fall in love with a book, a story, all its characters and its author, go get it immediately. By the end of this book all you'll be able to do is wish and pray to all gods that Jessica Beam was your best friend and maybe that you grandma was as ladylike and cool at the same time as Matilda Beam too.
Jessica Beam is nothing like your regular Chick Lit heroine (which I think makes you love her even more). She's a party animal and doesn't know the meaning of the word responsibilities. So, when she loses her job and consequently her home (as she was working for her best friend and roommate) it's not hard to imagine all her friends (already married and with kids and very fond of the word responsibilities) turning their backs to her. So she ends up tracking down a long lost grandmother.
Matilda Beam was every woman's (and man's) dream in the fifties. So she wrote a series of Good Woman guides to help women be ladylike and land a good husband and she became quite the celebrity. But now she has come down in the world and all she has left is a mountain of debts and a very naive but cute assistant.
As you can imagine, if you mix together these two the result can only be a hilarious tale full of heart, corsets and some pointy bras that will capture you. I think there was not a thing in this book I didn't love. Also, every chapter started with a small piece written by Matilda in the fifties that relates to the chapter following. I found this detail genius as it also made you understand her better and see how different society was back then.
I can't end this review though without mentioning the male characters (yes, plural, with Jessica, what did you expect?). Ok, mentioned. (To know more, read the book, you won't be disappointed).
The Vintage Guide of Love and Romance is like a breath of fresh air. Unexpected, quirky and hilarious, I am sure it'll be one of the books of the year (it'll certainly be one of mine). And Kirsty Greenwood will now have the privilege of being one of my favourite authors of all time.
And the best thing is that there's more Jessica Beam to come! (Not as good is that we have to wait one year... but I'm sure it'll be totally worth it).