The WAG's Diary by Alison Kervin

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The WAG's Diary by Alison Kervin

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Category: Women's Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: An ingenious tongue-in-cheek look at the world of WAGs, handbags and glad rags.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: N/A Date: October 2007
Publisher: AVON
ISBN: 978-1847560544

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Tracie and Dean are the Posh and Becks of Luton Town FC - him as captain of the team, her as queen of the WAGs. A veteran with some 12 (shhhh) years experience, Tracie knows all there is to know about being a footballer's wife, and is happy to help the new, inexperienced girls find their way through a maze of fake tan, killer heels and skirts so short they'd show your pants if you were actually wearing any. When one of these newbies suggests she publish her wisdom she initially dismisses the idea - she's a WAG, not a writer - but with a little encouragement she soon finds herself in a brand new world of blogs, magazine columns and TV appearances.

Tracie truly has her own style, be it in her fashion (everything short and tight, and only pink or white, the more tassels the better), her make-up (if you're not yet scaring small children, you're not yet done) or her "interesting" take on the English language (she fears being ostrich-sized... that would be just ludo-cross). And yet, underneath all the glitter, acrylic and spidery eyelashes, you can't help but empathise with Tracie. She may not be the sharpest eyebrow pencil in the box, but she clearly has good intentions deep down. Her lifestyle is like child-sized porcelain clowns weeping silently at either side of a gold plated fireplace - totally, appallingly frightfully awful, but something you can't tear your attention away from nonetheless...

As her real life hits problem after problem - a wayward mother, a tomboyish daughter, a husband with a penchant for own goals, a group of thinner, younger slag WAGs - her writing world where people are lapping up her wisdom becomes more and more appealing. If only she could figure out what they also seem to find her serious, insightful pieces so hilariously funny.

Before this book arrived, I was expecting it to be bog-standard, slightly cringe worthy, Katie Price-ish chick lit that would be easy to read but not exactly entertaining. Instead, I found this book quite incredibly brilliant. Everything is so exaggerated, so bright and shiny and permatanned, that you know it's meant to be a tongue in cheek look at this WAGy world, and some of the incidents Tracie is unintentionally responsible for are outrageously comical. As a heroine she is just the right level of dense - enough so you can believe the things she ends up doing and saying, but not too much that it's totally unfeasible that there could be people out there like her. I loved the slap-stick style comedy of her conversations -

You could be huge! gushes her writing coach. Stop saying that, begs a body-conscious Tracie.

I think people are going to underestimate the skill required to write a book such as this. Just as it probably takes Britney hours of preparation to look that trashy, I could imagine this book taking ages to craft so that the friendly, I'm-having-a-conversation-with-you story leaps off the page. Tracie talks in a way you can imagine to be quite authentic for some, but which I'm 100% certain is not the voice of the former Times journalist who penned the book.

Reading this, the voice and approach of Tracie were reminiscent of Becky Bloomwood in the Sophie Kinsella series, which I also really like. The Motherhood Walk of Fame is also a similar book exploring the life of a minor celeb who makes it big through their writing. But I think you should give Tracie and Dean a go first, even if you're hesitant, because they are much more welcoming and enjoyable and educational than you might think from the title.

Thanks to the publishers for sending in this book.

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Piers James said:

This book was brilliant. I loved it. There were parts of it that were so funny that I couldn't quite believe it. I loved Nell and the old people in the old people's home. I loved the idea of Dean's career slipping away, and Tracie trying to build him up, and I just loved all the funny moments - the hair in the car door, her cooking efforts, losing Gladys in the middle of London. All briliiant. Most of all, though, I loved Tracie Martin - I thought she was a genius comic character. Please tell me they are going to make a film of this. Fab!!!!!!!! PS I love this site!

Rozina Ali said:

hi my names rozina and i really love the book about the wags it's reallly cool . i love to find the websites bout it so cool and funny i really like tracie and how she found dean . love rozinaxxxxx