Friday, December 3, 2021

Book Review: Winging It

By Sara Steven

When her husband David announces he’s been offered a job in New York, Saoirse is thrilled. The glamour of the big city, the shopping, the culture, not to mention the free Manhattan apartment and business class air fare – what’s not to like? There’s just the small matter of making it work for their daughter, five-year-old Anna, who isn’t so keen to leave her friends and school behind.

The Big Apple in the middle of summer isn’t quite the holiday Saoirse envisaged, and with David away with work, New York apartment sizes on the miniscule side, and the pace of life faster than the sleepy London suburbs, solo ex-pat parenting pushes Saoirse to her limits.

And as the pressure builds and ‘faking it till she makes it’ isn’t cutting it, there’s only one thing for it – Saoirse and Anna need a new plan, and ‘Winging It’ might be their best option… (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon)

This was my first book by Emma Murray, and while this appears to be the third installment in a series--the first two being Time Out and The Juggle (reviewed by Jami)--I never felt lost or like I didn’t know what was going on. It was written in a way that made me feel like I was caught up right along with the characters, particularly when Saoirse interacts with her best girlfriends and the head queen bee of the coveted yet evil group of PTA moms, known as The Organics. While Saoirse (pronounced Seer-sha) doesn’t want to leave her friends behind, the move to New York gives her the opportunity to get away from all the drama, but the move presents a new set of unknowns, right along with more drama!

I couldn’t blame her for feeling the way she did about New York. She’d been used to a much more quiet life in London, and from the get go it’s been nothing but trouble--from the mix-up with the apartment, to the price differences when she goes shopping, to the noise and busy streets of Manhattan. While plenty of people enjoy the fast-paced lifestyle and have no trouble raising their children there, it’s not what Saoirse is used to, and after a really scary experience while out and about, it’s even more imperative that she come up with a different plan for herself and for her family.

There were a lot of moments that were meant to teach the reader that you should never judge a book by its cover. From a neighbor next door who appears to have a secret, to the obnoxious social media maven who completely starts off on the wrong foot with Saoirse, it seems that the truth behind someone’s life goes a lot deeper than appearances. There were a couple of twists involved, too, particularly involving the next door neighbor. I thought it was an interesting turn of events. 

I really liked how important family was to Saoirse. At the same time, though, she begins to realize how important it is to ensure that she’s doing alright, too. It’s the old, “you can’t take care of others unless you take care of yourself, first,” and there are plenty of times we get to see that struggle for her. A few of the characters were strong standouts--her mother and Brigitte, and I really enjoyed Bea, too. She reminded me of a friend of mine that I used to refer to as “Oscar the Grouch,” and for good reason. Friends are family for Saoirse, and they’re a huge support system during everything she goes through. This was a heartwarming, fun five-star read!

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK * Amazon US

Emma Murray is originally from Co. Dublin and moved to London in her early twenties. After a successful career as a ghostwriter, she felt it was high time she fulfilled her childhood dream to write fiction.

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