As with most trips to the library for my children, I am to be found lurking around the just returned section, it's like being a literary curtain twitcher!
I was pleased with what I found there, but the book I will review for you was one that I literally picked up and put back twice, liking the idea of the book, but the synopsis giving the impression that the little girl talking had just been bought by a celebrity intent on boosting her flagging career, now I do like a bit of celebrity but just wasn't sure whether I would enjoy it.
The book in question is - "The celebrity mother by Deborah Wright".
Karina has been a star since she stared in an advert at the age of six, then going on to be in one of the best known girl groups Beppo.
She was part of a celebrity couple too, with her and Liam (a bad boy rockstar) gracing the covers of papers and magazines all over the world, but then as it always inevitably does she has to check into rehab (exhaustion!), then her girl band breaks up and the final nail in the coffin being the love of her life, Liam, betraying her with a blond "slapper" named Hayley.
After a relatively lengthy time out of the limelight, due to her career refusing to get back off the floor, she decides there is nothing for it, she will jump on the Madonna and Angelina Jolie bandwagon and adopt, though her reasoning behind this is at least half honourable, wanting someone to fill the void that has been left by Liam since his leaving (and coming back, then leaving again, she seems to have very little will power where he is concerned!).
Her agent decides that she should adopt a child from India, as many of the other places have already been done by the afore mentioned celebrities, and also due to the fact that they could get a child in a much shorter space of time, almost fostering a child bringing them home, then applying for adoption when back in England.
After going through the motions and actually getting to India, she finds she is being swept along for the ride rather than being the instigator, with her starting to have panic attacks when she gets to the orphanage.
She finally brings her new daughter, Devika home to England and starts what she assumes will be a relatively easy, new life.
Then the untimely arrival of Liam, declaring his undying love creates a new problem, does she stick with her new daughter, who needs love as much as air, or does she fall back into the arms of her love rat ex, for what could be only a few nights of passion?
I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by just how much I enjoyed this book, though it did take me a while to warm to the main characters of Karina, with her being what I would class as a classic celebrity, selfish, self obsessed and completely oblivious at times to what her new daughter actually needed or wanted, though the language barrier between them did cut her some leeway, she didn't seem to anticipate what she could want.
I liked how the characters were portrayed, from Karina's confusion and feelings of helplessness towards her daughter , through to Devika and her feelings and interpretations of certain situations, though it is quite tough to read at just how desperate she is for Karina to love and accept her, trying so hard to please her, I didn't feel comfortable with these parts.
The acclimatisation of Devike to English culture is beautifully displayed for the reader, with her starting off as a deity fearing young Indian girl, to when Karina took her visiting to her friends house and she catches Devika "flipping the bird" to her friends obnoxious son, though after reading what words he taught the newly arrived Devika to repeat to Karina I would have belted him myself!
The final aspect that made this the prefect book is a certain situation that develops during the book and a new and quite alien thing to me, Indian sweatshops, and the premise and conditions behind them.
Much care has obviously been put into the research and writing of such a delicate topic, and the emotions of all involved has shone through the text perfectly, actually bringing me to tears at points, which for a book that was, up until that point, quite jovial and light hearted, was a real twist for me.
Price wise this book is available from www.amazon.co.uk for around the £4.99 mark.
This really is a surprising book, combining beautifully the fashion of celebrity with the tenderness of a new mother, and the feelings that many of us are familiar with, being a first time mum, perfect!
Thanks for reading x
Karina's celebrity star is falling fast, and she wants to get it on the rise again so what better way to do it than to adopt a child?! Karina, accompanied by the obligatory journalist of course, flies out to India to take home the little girl from the Orphanage who has been selected for her, named Devika. Karina is sure that the press will love her "good will gesture" but she hasn't a clue what being a mother to a child involves, let alone to Devika who has her own culture, problems with speaking English and finds it difficult to adjust to life in Britain. Thrown into the mix Karina's ex-boyfriend Liam and you've got trouble brewing. Karina wanted more fame, but is it going to come at too high a price for her and Devika?
I'd never heard of Deborah Wright before I read this book so I didn't know what to expect from her work at all. The book was initially due to be released last year with a black cover that looked a little tacky if I have to be honest, but then it was pushed back to a January release with a brand new cover, and I think it's a much better look for the book overall. With celebrity adoption being such a "popular" thing to do at the moment, I was curious to see how Wright would tackle the subject and whether she would make it like a fictional version of a real celebrity's adoption!
If I'm honest, I found the book a little hard to get into because I thought the main character of Karina wasn't particularly nice and I found it hard to warm to her. However, I perservered with the book and I am glad I did because it soon picked up in pace and took a much better turn that I enjoyed a lot more. It did take a while for me to get into the story and I did wonder how long it would take until I was totally into it, but once the story of the adoption got into full swing, I liked it a lot more and Wright seemed to get into her stride with the book.
Karina was definitely one of the celebrity's we love to hate such as Katie Price, Jodie Marsh etc. Karina is very focussed on being famous and seems to want to do anything to stay in the limelight, and so we can immediately see that the adoption isn't for genuine reasons. I wondered how how Wright was going to make this story seem less farcical and turn it into something that would be a little more serious and less ridiculous. I found Karina had a real turnaround around halfway through the book but for me that was a little long for a main character to become likeable to a reader.
Devika, however, was a different matter altogether. Wright has clearly done her research on conditions in India, their orphangages and Indian culture because all of these things come across incredibly well in the book, and she really manages to capture the innocence, confusion and fear of Devika within her short chapters. Wright has chosen to have Devika narrate the odd chapter in between Karina's narrated ones, and I felt this was a good choice as it gives a different viewpoint for the reader and opens up Devika's character a lot more.
I felt that Wright has tackled a lot of serious issues within the book, and this definitely becomes more apparent as the book progresses. The relationship between Karina and her ex-boyfriend is well explored, as well as the effect it has on Devika, Karina's obsession with fame and also how the press play a part in creating a world around these people that isn't properly real. Wright covers these topics in a serious way in the book, relating them well to both Karina and Devika so it has a realistic feel to it and made me a bit more emotionally connected with the book, and I felt like I wanted to read on to find out how Devika and Karina were going to work things out in the end.
The end few chapters of the book were definitely the best for me. This is because Wright takes the book off in a totally unexpected and different direction from the rest of the book, and its a very powerful ending that really opens your eyes. Considering I didn't get on with this book at first, I was engrossed by the end and wishing that Devika and Karina would live happily ever after. It's very well written, with the first person narratives of Devika and Karina working really well together and giving us a rounded story. I thoroughly enjoyed this, especially from around halfway through and onwards, and I'd recommend it.
Written for http;//chicklitreviews.com
Thanks for reading.