3.8.15

BOOK REVIEW: Fresh Hell by Rachel Johnson

Debt, double basements, dastardly bankers...and DIVORCE!
'Hell is other people' and journalist Mimi Fleming is fast realising on her return to Notting Hill that there is no greater hell than the W11 neighbours with whom she shares an exclusive communal garden.
Since she's been away, all her friends have become-impossibly-even richer, thinner and YOUNGER. They're busy not just turning back the clock but also their home into palatial iceberg houses- with basement swimming pools.
But Mimi's troubles are just beginning. There's the compromising and risky mission she's undertaking to re-launch her so-called journalism career (plus an embarrassing case of mistaken identity thanks to Google) Then there's her children who will only communicate via WhatsApp. And worst of all, Mimi's fallen for someone and it's certainly not her husband Ralph.
Ralph and Mimi have already been to Notting Hell and back. But is this the end or the beginning of something new?

Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 304

I hate, hate, hate writing negative reviews but this book really didn't do it for me. It is the first book I have read by Rachel Johnson and I sadly didn't enjoy it as much as I was expecting to. Fresh Hell follows on from Notting Hell which I haven't read but I don't think you need to. The main characters are Mimi and Clare and they are really not my type of women. The book is really an exploration and comment on the super-wealthy who seem to be takingover London. There were times when I found Rachel Johnson's writing to be witty and observant but there were other times when I wasn't too sure whether she was being funny or deadly serious. The author is clearly writing about a world of which she has experience but it left me feeling rather uncomfortable; I was not sure whether Johnson was trying to make me laugh at these people or envy them.
As I said, Johnson is brilliantly observant and witty but this book just felt a little tired to me, I feel as though I have read several books with a similar idea behind them so I was a little disappointed. I will try this author again as maybe I was just unlucky with this one?

Many thanks to Penguin for allowing me to review this book via Netgalley. 

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