Blog Tour Book Club: Girl In Between

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Author: Anna Daniels
ISBN: 978-1-76029-530-1
RRP: $29.99

Girl In Between is most definitely an Australian novel, written by Rockhampton raised comedian and media presenter Anna Daniels.

Lucy Crighton is in her early thirties, and her childhood bedroom. She’s floating through life trying to find a direction, trying to find her calling. She has lived in many places across the country, and the globe, but after a breakup she finds herself back at home with her folks.

I liked the story, the premise is good and I liked the characters but I often felt like it was a bit too stereotypical and a little over the top. I haven’t visited Rockhampton so I can’t compare the picture Daniels paints of the town to the actual town but it came across to me as an exaggeration of the laid back small coastal town vibe and reputation some places have. I feel like I’m being really rough here but I can’t quite find the right words for what I want to say. I don’t think I was aware that Anna Daniels is a comedian before I started the book, but it didn’t take long to work it out.

Comedy is not something I get into, some would say that I have no sense of humour but that’s not it ( though I will admit it’s a little warped). I find that comedy comes across as planned where I tend to find my laughs more organically.

Lucy Crighton is at a crossroads in her life. She is back in her childhood home and feeling stifled by the town of her childhood. She’s feeling down that things aren’t how she thought they would be and fearing that she’s running out of time. Her parents are happy enough to have her but also pointing out that she needs to start standing on her own two feet again.

This is the point where she needs to start making decisions, working out what she really wants from her life. There is a lot about Lucy that is totally relatable and I think most people will be able to sit back and recognise that they have been where she is. Lucy is scared of making the wrong decision, taking the wrong path, being with the wrong man, living in the wrong city, being stuck in the wrong job and who can’t relate to that. Lucy lets that fear stop her from chasing dreams and is left floating through life in a sea of discontent.

Her financial position is dire and Lucy needs to find work, she has to have her own money even if she is living with her folks. She is surrounded by people who believe in her but she hasn’t got that belief in herself and it’s crippling her chances, at her dreams and in her everyday life. So it’s her mum and her best friend Rosie that set her up with a writing gig, formulating the blurbs for a home shopping catalogue. It’s not glamorous, it’s not life-changing, but it is a writing gig and it’s bringing in some money which will allow her to write her novel.

Lucy doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life and she feels that she should. On the one hand she feels like she’s almost too old to achieve her dreams of a published novel, husband and children but on the other she’s thinking of a change in career path and the things she considers mean a return to intensive long term study.

The cast of supporting characters are charming and quirky. Rosie is Lucy’s crazy childhood best friend, she’s one of the family and spends as much time at Lucy’s as she does at home – even when Lucy isn’t there. Rosie has commitment issues of her own, both to a relationship and a full-time job. She isn’t afraid to tell Lucy what she really thinks and goes from being the voice of reason to the instigator of crazy shenanigans.

The two are in their early 30s, their friends are getting married and starting families while these two are returning to the days of boozy all-nighters at the bar and teenaged backyard drinking games. A change of scenery with a move to London and Lucy finds a job she loves and falls into a relationship, works on her novel and things all seem to be looking up for her but she is still settling in fear of chasing her dreams and not being able to make it.

Lucy’s parents are endearing characters. The two are retired and finding their way through this new phase in life. Mum takes up a string of ridiculous hobbies and cultivates her long standing obsession with Cher while Dad struggles a little and is always out doing things. These are lovable and supportive parents with their fair share of embarrassing habits.

Daniels has written a touching story of family, friendship and finding the strength to follow your dream. It’s a story that reminds us that sometimes it’s all in the perspective and you need to find self-belief before you can truly shine.

Girl in Between is a story that I enjoyed, Lucy is a character that I related to and this is sure to offer a wide range of emotions to readers. Is it ever too late to find what you really want to do with your life?

I especially enjoyed watching the shift in the way that Lucy viewed Rockhampton (Rocky). The story starts with her almost resenting the small town with residents she’s known forever, the memories on every corner and the lack of big city living. New neighbours offer fresh eyes to see the town through and the perspective starts to shift but it’s not until near the end when Lucy has started finding herself that she really recognises the beauty that surrounds her and that Rocky will always be home; and that is definitely something I relate well to.

Girl In Between is book #22 for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2017.

Anna Daniels can be followed on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and her Website.

Girl in Between is published by Allen & Unwin and is available now through Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to Allen & Unwin 10 of our Beauty and Lace club members are reading Girl In Between so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

9 thoughts on “Blog Tour Book Club: Girl In Between

  1. Bl**dy brilliant.
    Sorry but I had to start like that.

    The thing I loved most about this book was that our Aussieness is not taken out of the book. From the way we shorten names or add a ‘y’, to the special way we say things. These things make us unique and to read it all in a book without one ‘mate’ was fantastic.

    Anna Daniels has written a heartwarming story about Lucy a 30 something woman who is living back home with mum and dad and her dog Glenda. Oh how I loved that dog’s name. A non traditional dog’s name which I read with a smirk on my face.

    Along for the journey we take with Lucy is Rosie her best friend another 30 something woman that also lives in Rockhampton. They have been through many of lifes journeys together and now we get to follow along with them on these journeys. What fun journeys they will have too.
    Lucy’s mum had me laughing out loud and I swear there was a hint of one of my Auntie’s there. Well more than a hint. lol

    Throughout the story you find yourself falling in love with the characters and I’m sure you’ll find a few people you know. 😉

    I had such a fun time reading this book that I read it in two days and I didn’t want it to end. Anna’s writing style is warm, loving and witty. It’s fun and relationships, love and frienships and laughs galore.

    Thanks you Beauty and Lace and Allen and Unwin for giving me this book to read.

    As Cher says ‘If grass can grow through cement, love can find you at every time in your life’.

  2. I’ve just spent the entire day reading this and I’m happy to say it really DOES make you giggle out loud!!!

    Putting it simply, it’s a story about a girl named Lucy who is in her early thirties nursing heartache from a previous relationship and is questioning her next move.

    It sums up and honestly reveals how a break up can be so destabilising.

    Lucy seeks refuge back to her home town of Rockhampton in central queensland.
    Enter now the wild and glorious best friend (Rosie) and Lucy’s parents (Denise & Brian) whose very quotes are that colourful they will definitely leave you reeling in smiles. (THANK YOU)!!!

    Ultimately this is a journey from being lost to being found, unearthing what Lucy really wants, who she shares it with and where.

    Anna’s prose is engaging and full of humour!! The Australian dialogue is refreshing and made reading it a real joy.

    It did take a few chapters till I was really hooked but I think I was impatient for Lucy to get her head together and get on that plane to London….!!

    There isn’t one character you won’t love or be endeared too.

    An easy read to wile away a day!!

    Thank you so much Allen & Unwin and Beauty & Lace Magazine for the opportunity of reading A Girl in Between!!!!

  3. Thank you Allen & Unwin and BeautyandLace fo this book reading opportunity.

    Girl In Between is a sweet romantic, funny and endearing book. What I really enjoyed about this book is the Australian touch, I could laugh and agree on so many points. I absolutely loved that familiarity and the “oh I know what you mean” feeling as I read the book. It’s just so nice to read a work by an Australian author who captures our humour and daily happenings in such an entertaining way.

    It’s a funny and cute style of writing, the story is easy to understand and follow. The characters are realistic and lovable, and made me laugh quite a bit.

    The main character Lucy is sweet and is a fantastic heroine of the book, along with her best friend Rosie. They all seem to have so much fun, I want to have a cup of tea with them all too!!!!

    I would recommend this book for anyone who wants a nice easy happy read to just relax, laugh and enjoy! Good job Anna Daniels, please keep writing!

  4. Gosh I loved this book.

    Characters that are relatable and a story line that was really interesting. I enjoyed how familiar I became with Lucy and Rosie.. They sound like the sort of people I would love to be friends with.

    I absolutely loved Anna’s style of writing and I am so looking forward to Anna’s next book #nopressureAnna.

  5. I looooovvvveeeeddddd this book!!
    Lucy reminds me so much of myself, so often I’m stuck in the middle and have no idea which path to take. I giggled most of the way through this book and I love the way it was written in such an Aussie way!
    Highly recommend for anyone wanting a bit of light hearted reading.

  6. 3 out of 5 stars from me. Despite the “laugh out loud” promise on the front cover, I found this more of a dark comedy. My advice to readers is: make sure you’re in the right frame of mind to enjoy this (i.e. don’t be 32, living at home and at a cross roads in your life or it won’t be an uplifting few days of reading). There were a couple of sweet moments that made me smile but if you are thinking this is Australia’s answer to Bridget Jones it is not.

  7. This was a lovely read! It made me laugh, it mad me angry, it made me sad, it made me want to run off to the other side of the world on an adventure!! We all know someone like Lucy, or have been that girl in between, whether it be a relationship, a job, something with family or friendships. We all know someone like Rosie too, and it was the characters, places and story combined that made this novel so readable and relatable. (I kept picturing Lucy’s parents like characters from the movie The Castle or Muriel’s Wedding!)
    I really enjoyed this wonderful book and cannot wait for the next of Anna’s books!

  8. If you are a follower of Duffythewriter, you will probably guess (quite correctly) that my favourite book genre is thriller.  I seek out pages full of darkness, suspense, twisted characters, and twisted plotlines. So, you might be wondering what I was doing reading The Girl In Between. Well, I also fancy myself as a bit of a joker, love nothing more than pub banter with my mates, and find myself lurching from one ridiculous social situation to another in life, so it’s this side of my life that lead me to read  Anna Daniels new fiction, The Girl In Between.

    “Lucy Crighton has just moved in with some gregarious housemates called Brian and Denise…who are her parents. She’s also the proud mother of Glenda, her beloved 10-year old…kelpie. And she has absolutely no interest in the dashing son of her parents new next-door neighbour… well, maybe just a little…”

    I immediately took to the character Lucy. She’s 32, and far from having it all, in fact, she’s almost on her last $50. I could completely relate to having a relationship end in my 30’s and the sheer cliff-face of doom and failure that smacks you in the face, spending your days just trying to scramble back from the brink. That feeling of not wanting fall apart, yet having no idea what to do to make it alright. What also resonated with me was the support of family and friends that rally around to get you out of your funk through love, bloody tough love, adventures, opportunities, and lots and lots of vino. That’s what this book is all about.

    The mad, yet adorable Rockhampton Crighton family will have your heart.  So much so, you’ll feel like you’ve sat on the couch and had a cup of tea with Denise yourself. Lucy’s headstrong, no filter, gregarious, best mate Rosie is laugh out loud funny, and you really do feel a part of this fiction book as you hang out with the Crighton’s and Lucy tries to get her life together. There are plenty of so-called chick-lit books out there, but The Girl In-Between has the edge if you want relatable madness. There are some genuinely funny moments, with on-point observations of the locals in Rocky, the nuanced details of London that ring oh-so-true, and of course Sydney. A really fun read.

    Being an ex-pat from the UK, who went through a similar situation and ended up living in Sydney, I didn’t have any other choice but to be drawn to this book. I would tell you it’s a great holiday read, but it’s more than that. It’s a bloody good read, wherever you choose to turn the pages, so get out and buy it. You won’t regret it, and it will be sure to do the rounds with your mates!

    The Girl In Between was given to me in exchange for an honest review via the wonderful Allen & Unwin and  Beauty & Lace Book Club

    Buy from Booktopia today and have it shipped next day!

  9. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Allen & Unwin for the opportunity to read this awesome book from a fabulous new author!

    I really enjoyed reading about Lucy’s adventures in Rockhampton especially with the everywhere Colleen! I did struggle to identify a little with Lucy and Rosie and their somewhat flightiness, maybe because I am a bit of a different place in my life.

    All in all I did enjoy the story though and will be on the lookout for more of Anna Daniels’ work!

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