Friday 17 April 2020

My Pear-Shaped Life by Carmel Harrington #RandomThingsTours @HappyMrsH @fictionpubteam #GuestReview @jaustenrulesok @HarperCollinsUK

Meet Greta.

She’s funny.

She’s flawed.

She’s hiding so much behind her big smile she’s forgotten who she is.

But Greta is about to discover that the key to being happy is…being you.

Greta Gale has played the part of the funny fat one her entire life, hiding her insecurities behind a big smile. But size doesn’t matter when you can laugh at yourself, right?
Until Greta realises she’s the only one not laughing. And deep down, she’s not sure if she’ll ever laugh again.

But with her world feeling like it’s falling down around her, Greta is about to discover she’s stronger than she feels. And that sometimes the best moments in life come when it’s all gone a bit pear-shaped…

My Pear-Shaped Life by Carmel Harrington was published this month by Harper Collins.

I'm delighted to welcome guest reviewer Louise Wykes to Random Things today, she'ssharing her review of the book for the #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour.

You can find Louise on Twitter @jaustenrulesok

Louise's Review of My Pear-Shaped Life 

My Pear-Shaped Life by Carmel Harrington was published by HarperCollins on 1st March 2020. I would like to thank the publisher for sending me a copy of this book to review and I’d also like to thank Anne Cater for agreeing to host my review on her blog.

Carmel Harrington is a completely new author for me although from what I’ve seen reading other people’s reviews and following Carmel on Facebook, I had a suspicion that I would enjoy reading her books and by Jove, I did with this one!

My Pear-Shaped Life follows the life and troubles of Greta Gale who shares her name with a fictional Dr Gale from America who shares her words of wisdom and hope on Instagram and tv shows such as Oprah. Greta finds complete solace in Dr Gale’s words especially as at the beginning of this book, the reader is witness to Greta’s complete descent into a life where she ends up at a rehab facility to address her addiction to sleeping pills.

The book follows Greta’s experiences into rehab and the scenes are very hard hitting and as someone who has spent time in a hospital’s mental health ward I can confirm that these scenes are completely realistic and I found myself identifying with Greta and her struggles that she faces during such a difficult period of her life.

Then after Greta comes home from rehab, she realises that her true journey back to a “normal” place really begins. Again, I felt that this is an accurate representation as all the work that is done in rehab is only the beginning and the toughest test is being back in the real world and trying to find ways to deal with the many temptations that can face you.

After rehab Greta is offered the chance by her uncle (with whom Greta has a very special bond) to join him on a road trip from Kansas to Las Vegas where once there, Greta will be able to meet her hero Dr Gale who is performing in a show.

This book drew me in completely heart and soul. I empathised and identified with Greta so much especially about her battles with low self -esteem due to her battles with her weight. The intricate references to the film and book of The Wizard of Oz were enchanting and so very cleverly done I actually felt I was journeying with Greta, her uncle and the people they meet along the way. This book had a very theatrical feel and I think it would make a magnificent film.

All I can say is please read this beautiful, funny, bittersweet and wise tale of someone who learns that all of us are suffering in one way or another, but love, kindness and friendship can help ease all of our burdens. With reference to a phrase within the book I would say this is a Perfectly Perfect gem of a story.

International bestseller CARMEL HARRINGTON writes uplifting and inspiring books that have captured the hearts of readers worldwide. 
They have been translated into eight languages and published in eleven countries to date. 
Her latest novel, My Pear-Shaped Life went on sale in April 2020. 
Previous novels include A Thousand Roads Home, The Woman at 72 Derry Lane and Cold Feet, The Lost Years, the official ITV original novel to accompany the hit TV series. 
Carmel was shortlisted for an Irish Book Award in 2016 and 2017 and won the Kindle Book of the Year and Romantic eBook of the Year in 2014 for her debut novel, Beyond Grace's Rainbow. Carmel is also a regular on Irish TV as a panellist on Virgin Media's Elaine show. She lives with her family and rescue dog in a small village in Wexford. 

Carmel loves hearing from readers, so please feel free to connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, @HappyMrsH

You can sign up for Carmel's newsletter on her website or join The Carmel Harrington Reading Room on Facebook, where readers discuss their favourite reads and take part in bookish challenges.

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