By Alison Jean Lester
Published by John Murray
Available in paperback and ebook
Lillian on Life, Alison Jean Lester’s debut novel is fantastic and you should read it.
If you mixed together Lena Dunham, Amy Schumer and Mad Men then you would end up with Lillian – witty, sharp and willing to bare herself to the world . Life has not turned out as she has expected or more importantly what society expects – no marriage, no children but Lillian, 57, has had a career spanning from New York, London, Paris and Munich plus she is never short of boyfriends.
Lillian takes a breather from the married man in her bed, and her demanding cat, to reflect back on her life. The short chapters, are split into rich and vibrant topics as she examines the life she has had. These chapters, are almost like essays and could stand alone if you wanted to dip in and out of the novel at random. I told myself that I would read one more chapter but Lillian on Life is too addictive. Lillian casts herself away from the conservative constraints of her upbringing and in to a world full of changes – from driving sports cars around France, to dinner parties in Munich.
Her glamorous life, in post-war America and Europe shows how women have gained more choices in their lives, but are still struggling to break away from society’s expectations. Lester has created an unforgettable character who is full of elegant and edgy quips, fierce, independent, strong-willed and an inspiration. I adored this book, and I really think everybody should read it.
There is one downfall – this is the author’s debut novel – I’m hoping I don’t have to wait too long for another book.
You can buy Lillian on Life from your favourite bookshop.
I was sent a copy via bookbridgr.