One Step Closer To You by Alice Peterson

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One Step Closer To You by Alice Peterson

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Category: Women's Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: Polly has been down and out but is now up and coming, and enjoying life until a couple of men throw spanners into the works
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 384 Date: September 2014
Publisher: Quercus
ISBN: 978-1782061830

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Single mum Polly has a lot of baggage, but it all basically boils down to two things, boys and booze. She’s been to hell and back, but for right now, she seems to be doing ok, holding down a job in a café, looking after son Louis and staying off the sauce. She’s even in a position to help those she meets, like her fellow AA-ers and single dad Ben at school who is adjusting to his new role.

This is a book about Polly’s past as much as about her present, and through various flashbacks we see the turbulent times in childhood and early adulthood that led her to the mistakes she ultimately made. Her distant mother, her brother sent away from home, all of this has had an effect.

Back and forth, back and forth we go, invariably ending up with an AA meeting or with a therapist. It made for slightly unpleasant reading at times, but I think that’s the point, that it was gritty and real. It was also quite interesting to read a book with this slant, where the female lead is a recovering alcoholic, and I can’t think of another I’ve read where this is the case. The contrast between these scenes and those where Polly is a mummy is extreme, especially when she’s helping Ben with his daughter, plaiting her hair and so on. I also liked the dimension of Hugo being deaf and the struggles he faced, because it was woven into the story as if having a disabled brother was the most natural thing in the world. And of course for Polly it is.

The story flows well at a good pace, and I found it easy to read and keep track of where we were up to, and what point of time was currently in focus. For the most part, the flashbacks are believable in terms of age-appropriate behaviour, but there are few contemporary references and where they do exist, they are sometimes inaccurate. I found this book a tiny bit sloppy in places. For example, I know of very few houses whose shelves would have been stacked with CDs in 1989, and it would have been hard to watch Friends while skiving off school in 1994, seeing as it first aired in the UK in 1995.

Otherwise, I enjoyed this book and found it captivated me more than I expected it to. It’s a little bit more special than ordinary chick lit offerings, though it fits very clearly into this genre. The ending seemed a little rushed, especially as from the blurb on the back I’d expected Matthew to have a larger role. That said, Ben was a much better male lead so I’m glad he took priority.

I’d like to thank the publishers for sending us this book to review. It’s a little bit different, and I liked it.

The Kinsella Sisters by Kate Thompson is another winning read for fans of this genre.

Buy One Step Closer To You by Alice Peterson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy One Step Closer To You by Alice Peterson at

Buy One Step Closer To You by Alice Peterson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy One Step Closer To You by Alice Peterson at


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