This year for our summer holiday we went on a canal boat on the Norfolk Broads for a week which was… interesting.
I spent most of my time sat in the tiniest bedroom at the front of the boat with a book in my hand and Maltesers by my side taking in the views of endless trees and the odd swan through my window.
The first book I picked up was Louise Pentland’s novel Wilde Like Me. I’ve watched Louise’s videos online for years and when I heard about her book, I was very excited to read it. I love her humour and I could sense from her blog posts that the tone of her book was going to suit me.
The story of a single mum isn’t something I can really relate to. I’m a 23 year old with no children so how could I identify with that? But I ended up loving it far more than I thought I would. Reading through the scenes made me picture my own embarrassing moments and I’d find myself grinning and even laughing to myself. I flicked through the chapters so quickly and read it in a single sitting. I was shouting at Robin in my head in places too. Shouting for her to be kinder to herself but also shouting at her to appreciate things more – will you just notice Auntie Kath needs you?! She isn’t the perfect character, but nobody is. And that was nice to see.
Isn’t the mark of a good book when it can make you both laugh and cry? I didn’t quite shed a tear, but I empathised so much with Robin’s struggles and it made me want to grab life a little bit more. Just go for it because what’s the worst that can happen? I loved how the story ended and I am so excited for book number 2!!
Louise’s honesty and strength really shone through in this book. There was a video she posted on her channel a couple of years ago about her mum dying called ‘My pink hair story’. This is something I can definitely relate to as my mum died in 2014, and the moment I first watched that video I felt so comforted to know that somebody else was having the same thoughts I was about mum not meeting my children or being at my wedding. I watch it whenever I’m feeling a bit sad (or the emptiness as Robin would say) and it makes me feel a little less alone. Reading Wilde Like Me made me feel a similar way and I know it will comfort many other readers too. And give them a holiday read that will make them smile and forget that they’re sitting on a canal boat instead of being on a sunny beach like everybody else.
Congratulations Louise for hitting the number 1 spot and thank you for not only a brilliant book, but for being a good egg!
If you want a page-turning story you can lose yourself in and have a giggle along the way, then this is a book for you.