New Beginnings by Fern Britton

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New Beginnings by Fern Britton

Category: Women's Fiction
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Fern Britton has wisely stuck to what she knows best for her first novel. It's an interesting story, but perhaps lacks a little pace.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 400 Date: March 2011
Publisher: Harper Collins
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0007362691

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Christie Lynch is a widowed mother with a couple of children and she's been keeping the proverbial wolf from the door by doing some journalism – but then she gets the lucky break of an appearance on daytime television. She's spotted by Julia Keen, the most successful agent and it seems that the sky's the limit. It's not long before Christie has a high-profile presenting job. The public loves her. The camera loves her. What's not to like?

Well, Christie loves the job and the money does mean that she can do something about the state the house has fallen into. But the money isn't quite as good as she thought and when she queries this with her agent she starts to get a reputation for being greedy and just a bit too keen on the cash. She can buy Libby and Freddie a few treats but the kids are not altogether keen on how little they see of their mother or some of the problems that come with fame. Libby, particularly, much preferred the days when they could fade into the background.

Fern Britton knows what it's like to be a presenter and for her first novel she's wisely stuck to what she knows well. You get a real feeling for what it's like to live the life and experience the camaraderie and the jealousies which go with the job. I hope that the predatory agent has been written from the imagination rather than personal experience! Julia Keen might be the best, but you wouldn't wish her on your worst enemy. She's almost the pantomime villain – and definitely good to hiss at.

I've read quite a lot of women's fiction which rather gives the impression that working and having children is no big deal. I can tell you from personal experience that it is and Fern Britton has caught the situation perfectly. Crises at home usually happen when you need to be at work and at your best. Grandparents might love the kids but they can sometimes be a bit resentful about having to be on tap – and critical of what their daughters do/wear and think. A big hurrah for that – because it applies to those in well paid jobs just as much as to those at the bottom of the financial ladder.

There's a thought-provoking look too at what it's like to be back in the dating market again and it's not made any easier by being famous. You're no longer thinking just about yourself – you've got to think about the impact on the children (yours and his) too. Minefields are tame by comparison.

It's an enjoyable book, perhaps lacking a little pace at times, but I did enjoy it and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If you'd like more from those who work in television we can recommend What Women Want by Fanny Blake.

Buy New Beginnings by Fern Britton at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy New Beginnings by Fern Britton at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy New Beginnings by Fern Britton at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy New Beginnings by Fern Britton at Amazon.com.


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