By Jane O’Connor
Pub date: 27 June 2019
Publisher: Ebury Press (Fiction)
I’ve been requesting a lot of books from NetGalley lately and I think it’s because I really want to read and enjoy as many as possible this year! This one was sitting on my digital library for a few weeks before I decided to give it a go and what a joyful book!
The story revolves around Sylvia, a PA who lives alone and dedicates herself to her job at the local university. On weekends, she helps put at the local hedgehog sanctuary because it gives her something to talk about on Mondays – and makes people think she’s nice than she really is.
And Sylvia has a secret: she’s been madly in love with her boss, Professor Lomax, for over a decade now… and she’s sure he’s just waiting for the right time to leave his wife. Meanwhile she stores every crumb of his affection and makes trouble for anyone she feels gets in his way.
But when a bright new PhD candidate catches the Professor’s eye, Sylvia’s dreams are soon in tatters, driving her to increasingly desperate measures and an uncertain future.
Sylvia might have been sleep walking through her life but things are about to change now she’s woken up…
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I really, really enjoyed this book. I was not expecting to like it so much as the main character can be really annoying in the first few chapters but there was something about the story that kept me hooked and it was really worth it.
As I was reading the book, I felt more and more drawn to Sylvia and her personality and she reminded me a bit of Eleanor in Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. I found Sylvia’s story more interesting though and truly uplifting. As I turned the last pages, I had a wide smile on my face.
It was a really cosy book that I read in a heartbeat. The characters were believable and the hedgehog sanctuary brought warmth and real hope to the story. Family relationships are also a big part and Sylvia’s resolve to overcome what happens around her is admirable.
It’s a very satisfying read that will let people realise that sometimes in life, we go through phases of hibernation and that is good (and fundamental) to wake up and truly go back to living our own precious lives.