Jenny Colgan returns to the blog with a story that is superficially unlike others I’ve read from her with
West End Girls
Twin sisters Lizzie and Penny couldn’t be more different, nor more intrinsically the same. While Lizzie is an introverted homebody, content to snack, work and spend time with her Mum, Penny is always chasing that next “new thing” and attempting to move ‘up and out’ of their borderline lower middle-class neighborhood to do something “more”. In defense of the language used in the story here – and even the stereotypes: we are getting the interior voices and feelings, mostly from Lizzie, that she’s heard her entire life. While not particularly politically correct or without their difficulties for readers: these are voices that are honest and real, and that doesn’t always come with the constraints or caution that one uses when speaking to others.
That being said – Penny is outrageous and more than a bit flighty – catching that “right” guy to whisk her off her feet and allow her to live a life of luxury somewhere else is coming one step closer when the girls’ grandmother offers them her flat in Chelsea, on King’s Road, to live: rent free, while she’s in a care home. Not really remembering their father’s mother, or their father for that matter, the girls leave everything from home and head to Chelsea for their new adventure. While gorgeous, the flat is cluttered with years of stuff: and they aren’t allowed to move or throw out anything. Finding a job and checking out the local scene are priorities – although Penny is far more interested in the local talent.
Throughout the story – the girls must navigate their new postcode and the expectations that come with it, even without the accent, and as Lizzie starts to find her niche and a purpose, Penny is still struggling to make real friends, find a man to support her and decide just what is her next step. A bit quirky with plenty of self-revelations, growth and struggles for both twins, the story brings itself full circle as the two learn the importance of self-esteem, being comfortable in their own skin, enjoying the moments and finding that piece of the puzzle that just fits.
Title: West End Girls
Author: Jenny Colgan
Genre: British, Coming of Age, Contemporary Elements, Contemporary Fiction - Adult, Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Friendship, Humor elements, Romantic Elements, Second Chance, Setting: Britain
Published by: William Morrow
Published on: 5 January, 2021
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 8 Hours: 33 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
The streets of London are paved with gold ...allegedly.
They may be twin sisters, but Lizzie and Penny Berry are complete opposites - Penny is blonde, thin and outrageous; Lizzie quiet, thoughtful and definitely not thin. The one trait they do share is a desire to DO something with their lives, and as far as they are concerned, the place to get noticed is London. Out of the blue they discover they have a grandmother living in Chelsea - and when she has to go into hospital, they find themselves flat-sitting on the King's Road. But, as they discover, it's not as easy to become It Girls as they'd imagined, and west end boys aren't at all like Hugh Grant ...
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.