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‘On Top of Everything’ by Sarah-Kate Lynch

As you can see, I have reviewed my very own novel. Well, what’s a girl to do? At first I considered not reviewing it at all. one doesn’t want to be seen to be blowing one’s own trumpet, does one? But then I thought, well, one still made the trumpet. There’s no point keeping it shut up in a box. Why not get someone else to blow it for me?

The trouble with getting someone else to review my book, the Ginger pointed out, was that they would feel obliged to say they liked it, whether they did or not, for fear of hurting my feelings. Personally, I didn’t see the problem with that but he mumbled something about “integrity” so I suggested asking someone who didn’t care about my feelings. He further pointed out that those people had offered their opinions in the past and I hadn’t seemed to enjoy the experience. All of which leaves me here, trumpet in hand, blowing – but gently.

on Top of Everything is my sixth novel and follows a short period in the life of London mother-of-one Florence Dowling, whose seemingly happy existence is somewhat challenged when she is fired from her job at the shop she half-owns and then told by her deeply distressed husband that he is leaving her for another man. It’s what you might call a bad day, but – unfortunately for Florence – there are worse days to come. The good news is that, as in real life, there are better days to come as well. It’s just a matter of looking out for them. In Florence’s case the better days tend to include Will, the slightly mysterious (not to mention tall and well-toned, obviously) builder who arrives on her doorstep to help turn her canal-side house into a tearoom.

The book is written from Florence’s point of view but between all her chapters are brief asides from other characters, be they main ones like Harry, Florence’s husband, or oonty, their 19-year-old son, or minor ones like oarguerite, the local tea-leaf reader. The overall theme is, I hope, ultimately uplifting because I am a big fan of happy endings, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t sad bits. The real world is neither all gloriously wonderful or all hideously gloomy, after all – it’s bits of both and so is on Top of Everything.

I’d say if you liked By Bread Alone, you’ll probably like this but if you don’t, well, I have included the recipe for my Lake Hayes A&P Show award-winning Banana and Chocolate Cake with Fresh Raspberries, so there’s always that.

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