Today I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Start of Something Wonderful the new book from Jane Lambert and HQ Digital. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the book with you in just a moment, as soon as I’ve shown you what it’s all about.
The Official Book Blurb
It’s never too late to follow your dreams…
Forty-year-old air stewardess, Emily Forsyth, thought she had everything a woman could wish for: a glamorous, jet-set lifestyle, a designer wardrobe and a dishy pilot boyfriend. Until he breaks up with her…
Catapulted into a mid-life crisis she wishes she’d had earlier, she decides to turn her life upside-down, quitting her job and instead beginning to chase her long-held dreams of becoming an actress!
Leaving the skies behind her, Emily heads for the bright lights of London’s West End – but is it too late to reach for the stars?
Don’t miss this heartwarming and uplifting debut, perfect for fans of Colleen Coleman and Cate Woods!
Wouldn’t we all like to start over. To have the nerve and gumption to let go of the past and follow our dreams? Go on. You can admit it. I do. This is exactly what happens in The Start of Something Wonderful. We join unlucky in love Emily Forsyth just as she is about to leave behind her career with an international airline to follow her life long dream of appearing on the stage. It won’t be easy and Emily knows that her dreams are stardom are as distant as a long haul flight to Melbourne, but it doesn’t stop her. And what ensues is romantic, funny, heart warming and a little inspiring. If only we could all be so brave.
From the early days in drama school, to a problem ridden rep season in the north of England and a one woman show in the safe confines of the Italian restaurant Emily works in to pay the bills, she has the grit and determination to succeed if only she can find the nerve and the right agent. Given only the roles which others turn down, can she turn her early disasters into success or will a possible romance with chef and part time Italian tutor Francesco derail all her plans?
I love a bit of theatre, I really do, and so the whole premise of this book appealed to me. Not necessarily because I have designs on a life on the stage. I tried that as a child and boy am I not suited. Not suited at all. But I can kind of identify with Emily. Not the being jilted by a two timing boyfriend bit. I’m not that daft. But being the forty something woman with a kind of hankering after reinventing herself, or at least following her dreams, I can understand that sentiment for sure. Unlike Emily, I have literally no idea what that dream may be, but hey. This isn’t about me now, is it?
I think readers young and old will identify with Emily. With her hopes and dreams. You can certainly admire her tenacity. So many times when it would have been easier to turn back and not follow her chosen path and yet she doesn’t perhaps the benefit of experience but perhaps also something more. It certainly makes her very likeable and there I found myself nodding along with her, recognising her doubts and her struggles. So many times she made me smile, I really wanted to see her succeed.
Jane Lambert has done a great job in creating character in this novel. Not only do you have a really interesting and well rounded character in Emily, but her friends and family are also believable and endearing. Especially Luigi, Francesco and the team at the Italian restaurant, Emily’s former co-workers from the airline and her fellow thesps from the Austrian production. I really liked them all. There were quite a lot of people to get to grips with, the nature of Emily’s chosen career and the start stop nature of some acting jobs meaning that the cast changed regularly, bit this flowed well and suited the story. Emily didn’t have a particularly easy rise to the top, trying to start an acting career at forty plus having its natural disadvantages. They say there’s a lack fo decent roles for the more mature (i.e. over 30 something) actress, but Emily seemed to find enough.
As much fun as it was to see Emily’s career take off, the comedic elements of some of the early acting disasters providing some truly chucklesome moments, especially during the Rep season, there are some beautiful moments too, notably where Emily finally gets the approval of her parents for her acting, but also in the blossoming romance with Francesco. It’s not easy making a long distance relationship work and yet this seems credible with an almost innocent air to it, despite the chemistry which leaps from the page. I love the way in which the author explored this, not forcing anything too quickly or cutting it off completely each time Emily left for a job. The delay, the element of will they won’t they made the romantic element all the more appealing. Not too much, not too saccharin. Just right.
I really enjoyed this foray into Emily’s world, a perfect antidote to all the bad things in the world. Nice to see someone succeeding, if only in fiction, in realising their dreams. A really great book and I look forward to seeing what Jane Lambert has to offer us all next.
My thanks to publishers HQ Digital for providing an advance copy of The Start of Something Wonderful for review. It is available now from the following retailers:
About the Author
Jane taught English in Vienna then travelled the world as cabin crew, before making the life-changing decision to become an actor in her mid-thirties. She has appeared in “Calendar Girls”, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time” and “Deathtrap” in London’s West End. “The Start of Something Wonderful” is her debut novel.
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Make sure to check in with some of the other blogs taking part in the tour.