Based on true life, this funny, quirky, tongue in cheek look at life and growing up, regardless of age, through the antics of a family, which has always been led to a certain extent by their powerful mother Lydia Hennessey, a feminist, now in her later years but still powerful in personality and belief.
Her three daughters have to some degree successfully gone about building their own adult lives, but as age begins to creep up on them all, they begin to face a certain amount of doubt about what they have a called success and in their own particular styles, begin to deconstruct their so-called successful careers and lives.
Self-destruction seems to be the new normal for Mariana who is in danger of ‘throwing out the baby with the bath water’ as she faces her mid-life crisis; Nina is a changed woman after returning from an overseas medical mission, but is not talking about any of it and Beata has just disclosed to her youngest son, the details of his previously unknown father, which he has not taken well.
Over the course of year, the fall out is going to be cataclysmic, almost a funeral pyre, but will it eventually allow them to consider themselves, finally grown-up?
Hitting close to the bone of modern families, so much of the storyline contains those ah ha moments in life that looking back could be considered as cringeworthy, cathartic, down right dumb and overall chalked up as many of life’s lessons, delivered at breakneck speed.
The choice of life issues is interesting as they are issues which many families will face over time; second loves, teen rebellion, divorce, tragedy and eventual healing. Kate Hilton has kept the narrative light and breezy to a certain degree but at times, there is almost too much happening, at least for the course of one novel, which does provide a disconnect from time to time.
Designed to appeal to lovers of what could be considered as literary ‘family sit com’, Better Luck Next Time is a great read for a cosy afternoon in with a good glass of wine and roaring fire.
|Publisher||Allen and Unwin|
|Distributor||Allen and Unwin|