Susie Rosen's life is a mess. According to her best friend Rebecca, she needs to get over her ex. Move forward and start dating- or at least stop being rude to every guy who tries to speak to her. A magazine feature tells her she is a 'Leftover'- a post Bridget-Jones 30 something who has neither her dream job or any sense of a meaningful relationship- she doesn't even own 4 matching dinner plates.
Following her grandmother's philosophy that there is a pasta shape and sauce for just about every situation, Susie cooks as she is overlooked for promotion yet again, manages hellish clients and tries to stop stalking her ex on Facebook.
Painfully honest about what it's like to be single in your mid-30's in a big city, Stella Newman writes with wit and insight about the leftovers we carry with us from our past and what we should really leave behind.
I really enjoyed this novel; it does not follow the standard formula for books of this genre and so feels fresh and original. The story covers a three month period in Susie’s life and reads almost like a diary (this is reinforced by chapter headings of dates or days of the week). What makes this book so enjoyable is the quality of the writing; understated and with subtle emotion that seeps into the sub-conscious and so before you know it you are really rooting for the central character ( so much so I could have popped to NMN and slapped a few people). Other characters in the book are well written, believable and certainly recognisable – who doesn’t have at least one unreliable friend or back stabbing work colleague? The ending is perfect and not at all clichéd, the epilogue (ok it is slightly clichéd but I still loved it) is the “cherry on the cake”.
The book has extra bonus pages that include recipes, everything you need to know about Ryan Gosling’s films and an extract from Pear Shaped – Stella Newman’s previous novel.