Finally … here’s my rather belated post … delayed with compliments of that delightful South African concept known as ‘load-shedding’, where our power goes off in scheduled blocks of 4.5 hours at a time (in Joburg – for some reason, other cities only get 2 hours at a time), which leads to various other technical hitches like fibre network signals going down, and extended power outages due to sub-station malfunctions due to said load-shedding!! It’s been such a fun weekend, coupled with the uncertainty surrounding the start of our academic school-year this week.
Anyhoo … Kristen Bailey made me feel a lot better by sending me a lovely Tweety message saying that she is very happy to stay on the tour bus for a while longer! So here we are!
I need to give you a couple of warnings if you intend reading this book (which I highly recommend). Firstly, if you intend reading it on any type of public transport, be prepared to receive very peculiar looks from strangers, as you sit and laugh out loud, not only to yourself but to all who are within hearing distance! I read it on a plane while we were on our way to the coast in December, and my offspring claimed they had no idea who I was! Actually, it might be an excellent mechanism for social distancing: people will stay far away from you, and you’ll get the peace and quiet you need to read your book!
Secondly, don’t eat or drink while reading this book, unless you enjoy snorting food and beverages through your nose, or any other orifices! I’m serious! Don’t tempt fate!
If you’ve read any Kristen Bailey books before, you’ll know that no subject is taboo, and she continues in that vein here. Beth and Will are a happy-go-lucky couple, living the party life of drunken late nights, lazy weekends sleeping in and doing what they like, which is all well and good until one of them is pregnant – as these things go, it is as you guessed it, the female part of the couple. But they decide that they’ve had their fun, they’re a solid unit and this would be the obvious next step in their relationship … a baby! Yay! They’ve seen those around and they’re pretty sure they can handle whatever a small human throws at them.
Ha! They don’t exactly count on the fact that they have to do real life together with the tiny little person that now takes centre stage in it! Will has a demanding new boss who expects him to give his all to his job, and Beth finds herself spending more and more time having to navigate life with baby Joe on her own, on minimal sleep! It comes as a huge surprise to both of them that men and women land up approaching new parenthood very, very differently, and as much as they thought they were ‘in this together’ it starts to look like this might not be the case! With Beth’s large, loud, usually opinionated family thrown into the mix, life tends to get a bit messy! And of course, we also have Joe’s thoughts added for good measure too!
Bailey is a master at painting a bright, colourful tapestry of life in all its raw reality: the pretty, and the pretty ugly; the loud, the angry, the sad, the desperate and also the intoxicatingly, insanely, deliriously happy! It’s all here, laid bare for her readers to see, experience and identify with.
I adored Beth with all her insecurities. She’s just so natural and down-to-earth … so human! She’s very real, and her reactions when faced with her old school nemesis Yasmin are sure to bring back many memories of of being faced with schoolyard bullies and mean girls. I wanted to slap the woman, because there are far too many like her who so many of us have to face on an everyday basis … women who, whether intentionally or unintentionally just make other women feel small and insecure. And Beth is going out there and just doing her best … aren’t we all? This is a stark reminder that we all need to give each other a break! Kristen Bailey brings this message home loud and clear!
This is a fabulous, real, laugh-out-loud 4 star read. Thank you to Bookouture for the opportunity to be on tour with them once again! Here’s what the tour looked like so you can take a look at what all these bloggers thought of Did My Love Life Shrink In the Wash …
Mother-of-four, gin-drinker, binge-watcher, receipt hoarder, enthusiastic but terrible cook. Kristen also writes. She has had short fiction published in several publications including Mslexia & Riptide. Her first two novels, Souper Mum and Second Helpings were published in 2016. In 2019, she was long listed in the Comedy Women in Print Prize and has since joined the Bookouture family. She writes women’s fiction and she hopes her novels have fresh and funny things to say about modern life, love and family.
You can find out more about her at her website: www.kristenbaileywrites.com.
You can also find her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.