So Lucky

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 4 Nov 2019

Member Reviews

‘So Lucky’ was a fabulous book. ‘So Lucky’ tells the story of three different women and their very different lives.

Ruby, Lauren and Beth are all wonderful characters and I loved getting to know each one as the plot unfolded. I was desperate to see if, or how, the three women would meet or if their lives would intertwine as the story developed further. This was a wonderful book that tells of a special kind of feminism and community in a world where some of us have lost our way. 

I read this in one sitting as I just could not put the book down. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone.
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Ok, so erm, I have decided that I will not be doing a review for this book. I don’t want to and it doesn’t deserve one from me. No, no, no, hear me out a sec. That is not a negative comment from me at all, in fact it’s totally the opposite.

I formally known as the Book Geek Wears Pajamas or PajamaBookGirl in the book world, or just Natalie in the normal world, or Mum (none fucking stop) in my kids world, could never ever do So Lucky justice with my words. I don’t have them and I certainly can’t articulate them like they deserve.

So Lucky deserves unlimited praise. It deserves it for making women feel beautiful regardless of their faults/conditions/jobs/thoughts/looks/life. It deserves it for making reality what it is and what it should be. For keeping life real in a fictional world. For making sure that a fictional world created gives back to people in need. People that deserve it. Characters we connect with and want the best for.

It’s a fucking decent read my friends. It’s funny, sad, stupid, diverse, harmonious, sexy, fun and REAL! And we know for sure that right now in this shit world we all need that. We all need the love. And that my fabulous book geeking fabulous friends is what So Lucky is. It’s self love that’s what it is.

Do I recommend? Abso-fucking-lutely!

Do I resonate with the characters given to us by O’Porter in SO? More than you will ever know.

Do I feel better about myself being a hairy bastard who can give my husband and his beard a run for his money? Yes, actually, I do.

Am I embarrassed to be telling you all that and owning up to the fact that I am part of a female world that is silent and ashamed and yeti-like? Well, I’m proper beetroot and overheating writing this so am taking that as a big fat yes!

However, I am writing it and I am telling you all, and that my friends comes down to So Lucky. It helped me in realising that we are all not perfect, we all have problems and issues, but we are not alone even though we feel we are. So Lucky helped me see that and I went searching on Instagram and found hundreds and hundreds of people just like me. And for that tiny bit of confidence it gave me will always be why I can never do this book justice with my words.

Thank you Dawn for SO and for keeping it 109% real always! The world needs that and the world needs your books and love.



P.S… I have not and will not be editing this post. Why? Because I wrote it from the top of my head and from my heart. If it’s wrong in any way, I do not care. If it doesn’t make sense or doesn’t flow, oh well! Fuck being right. I like being wrong sometimes 🤷🏻‍♀️
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I really enjoyed this book although it took me a while to get into it. The characters were really interesting and it was a humorous but humane tale.
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A fresh and funny look at modern woman-hood, this book was a fun and thought-provoking read. It made me think about the relationship women have with their image and how we choose to represent ourselves. A serious topic explored through very different characters, with a dose of humour that prevents it from feeling too 'heavy'. The laugh-out-loud moments did lean on the slapstick at times, but the commentary on social media influencer-behaviour and millenial-speak was sharp and spot-on. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to my friends.
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Thank you for the opportunity to read this book and I really enjoyed it. It was so far away from my usual genre but wow did I need the refreshing change and wow some parts would make yoir hair curl lucky for me I'm broad minded. Was lovely to follow 3 women through there lives and trails and tribulations. Top marks it was a fab read and would recommend to all women to show us that we should be happy with who we are!
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This book did not disappoint.

It was funny, poignant, fast paced, a quick read but had some deep themes.

I really enjoyed the difficult, awkward viewpoint of Ruby and the development of all the characters,

I was a bit concerned how they would all come together and thought it might be a bit tacky and obvious, for example Ruby's wedding photos getting muddled or something but it was done in a really nice and clever way. 

I would recommend this book to others and really enjoyed it.
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I really enjoyed this book. A heartfelt story about body image and how we see ourselves and think others see us. It’s all about self esteem and finding the confidence to accept ourselves for who and what we are. 
The story follows 3 different women who essentially share the same issue, they don’t really like themselves or the way they look. As the book progresses the women learn to accept themselves, flaws and all and forget about what other people may think of them. This, I believe, is the biggest hurdle for women, learning to love ourselves. The book has a strong message in its plot-nobody’s perfect.
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I was delighted to be given the opportunity to read the latest book by Dawn Porter and it really did not disappoint. Her style of writing is so clever that one is entangled in the story line so much so that it is hard to put the book down. I would certainly recommend!
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There are times when you read a book and you have no idea what it’s about and have taken a punt because the author is famous and you like them, and because the cover is really cool, and this was one of those occasions. This book was an exquisite piece of fiction that encapsulated what it is like to be a woman in the 21st century, and how no matter who you are, why you are, what you is happening and what you see can be very different. It was heart breaking and heart warming in equal measure and showed the power of women, both the positive and negative. 

The book follows the perspective of two mothers, Ruby and Beth, as they negotiate motherhood, work, and relationships, while dealign with their own insecurities and problems. As we track their stories, we’re also treated to an external view of a third woman, Lauren, whose Instagram ideal lifestyle and impending nuptials provide a backdrop and timeline for the book’s narrative. Each woman’s life and lifestyle is vastly different, and the way we see each really carries a message about shown life versus true life. 

Let’s start with Ruby. She is a complex character who suffers from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and the associated affliction of excess body hair. She is the mother to a young daughter Bonnie, and her strained relationship with her emotionally manipulative and abusive mother has left her with a complex about herself and about her life as a mother. She doesn’t connect well with Bonnie and is jealous of Bonnie’s relationship with her Dad Liam. Her struggle is heartbreaking and was fascinating to watch as she grew. Meeting Ross in the park really opened her mind to her familial relationships and her growing bond with her daughter, which was heartbreaking to read about at first, become one of the warmest aspects of the book for me. I thought her self loathing was awful and all too familiar, and her battle with dealing with her negative body image whilst working within the photo retouching business was a painful duality to read about. I really like that she had found someone initially in Liam, and like that her insecurities were the basis for their split, but later their growth.

And Beth, I loved Beth. Her and Risky has a special working and friendship bond and were hilarious to track. There sexual frankness and body positivity was actually quite inspiring, and even though I really didn't like the relationship between Beth and her husband Michael (in fact, I really hated it) I felt like she was a really great character. She was so different to Ruby, she was open enough to breastfeed at work, she thoroughly enjoyed being a mother, and she had a relationship with the father that was deeply flawed in a completely different way to Ruby and Liam. Although Risky was beyond deeply inappropriate at points, there unusual working and personal relationship was a real show of female diversity and force, and I loved that together they had forged to create a successful business together. Her brief encounter with Ross was pretty heartbreaking and born from a place of desperation, and he navigated that with an aplomb that I really respect O'Porter for giving to one of the male characters.

I thought the most interesting person was Lauren. Lauren appears at the end of chapters in the form of an Instagram post, associated caption, and a mix of positive and negative reviews. We see Ruby begin to interact with her world as a photo editor, asked to assist at Lauren's upcoming wedding to a famous (and loathsome/controlling) businessman, ready to touch up their big days photos to fulfil a social media obligation to a champagne company sponsoring her big day. We also see Beth interacting with Lauren as her wedding planner. I think he dichotomy was absolutely spectacular, and actually made you question Lauren's character and motive and then in turn your own. Her personal portrayal on social media, carefully planned, orchestrated, and edited, provided a very glossy and impersonal image. Her want to edit and touch photos for her big day gave the impression of someone unhappy and desperate to change themselves to conform to a publicly expected image. Then we see Beth interact with her, we see her smile and laugh one on one, and cower in on herself when her mother and her husband to be are present.

I feel like this book absolutely embodies the idea of not judging a woman, or in fact anyone, by their cover. Partly because we're complex, partly because you don't know what someone has been through or is showing you, it shows that all women are judging themselves and choosing the front they put on to the ones closest to them, and to the wider world. I found bits of this book really hard to read (in a good way) because it struck very close to home, and I feel like that would ring true for anyone that reads it. I like that O'Porter made all of the characters, whether main or side, complex and flawed. They had their moment where things, and characters, all come together in a powerful way, and had enough uplifting moments that the harder moments to read were worth it.

This book expertly navigates the complexities of being a woman in the modern world. It really embodies the idea that we shouldn't judge others (by what we see, what we hear, what we feel) and should just strive to be better versions of ourselves because that will ultimately help. I really think it shows that idea that we (as humans, as women) are actually judging ourselves more harshly than anyone else and showed that theory that no-one else is looking at you because everyone is too busy thinking everyone is looking down on them I can't recommend this emotional rollercoaster of a book highly enough.
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This is the third book by Dawn O'Porter I've read, I liked Paper Aeroplanes but haven't liked the others.  Think this has confirmed she's not the author for me, but I can see why others would like her.
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Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for my chance to read this novel in return for an honest opinion.

I have to admit until I was halfway in I was struggling with this book.
There are 3 main characters, Ruby with an attitude, Beth with sexual issues and Lauren with a penchant for creating a false life. (There is also Risky – yes that is her name – who works for Beth and is advanced sexually but still slightly naive in the ways of relationships.) I wasn’t connecting with any of them, so wanting to read the book was a chore rather than a delight to start with.

Ruby – She suffers with PCOS and instead of making her feel worthy her Mother took every chance to insult her condition, which meant she grew up thinking her body was something to be ashamed of.

Beth – has newborn Tommy and a runs a company, but her Marriage is in trouble as her husband doesn’t find her sexually attractive any more…………so she tries to find comfort in other ways.

Lauren – is set to marry a wealthy businessman. She also runs an instagram with doctored photos and made up prose about her perfect life.

Then they start to come together and the book really starts to come into its own. It’s like a blossoming flower and the second half of the book became a story I couldn’t put down. Then among the wonderful narrative sprang forth life affirmations and positivism and I found myself thinking of ways I could change my own  life for the better.

In the end I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It was a girl-power story, a tale of 4 women coming together to make their lives better and give support..

I would definitely recommend it.
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Wishes really do come true! I was so happy when the publishers granted my wish and provided me with a copy of So Lucky via NetGalley before it's release date. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to read it until now, but I'm still so thankful I was given the opportunity.

So Lucky focuses on three female characters, who from the outside all appear to have a perfect life, but are all struggling with certain problems of their own, whether that be marriage, physical conditions or doing anything to gain followers on social media.

Dawn O'Porter is spot on with the way society is judgemental and toxic. How many of us believe we need to live up to certain standards surrounding us. I loved how true to life the characters were, I think every woman can relate to them.

This book is brutally honest, frank and gritty. A range of emotions ebbs and flows over the reader whilst you progress through the chapters. The empowerment towards of the end of the book is just brilliant.

Honestly, if you haven't yet picked up this book, just buy it. I don't think you will be disappointed.
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I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest, independent review.

Beth has it all...or so it seems. She hasn't had sex for a year. Ruby lives life by her own rules...but she feels like she's failing. Lauren is living the dream...but her happiness is fake news. Is anyone's life as perfect as it looks?

'So Lucky' was a great read about sisterhood and body image with laugh-out-loud moments, and shows what all women face in the world of social media. It shows how we are all so obsessed with portraying ourselves as perfect...but no one truly is. We are all hiding something. All of the characters had something to hide, and I loved how it wasn't just thrown out on the table straightaway, but teased out gently. I really felt I understood each of the characters and felt I got to know each of them.

I have never read anything by Dawn O'Porter before. However, I loved the way she wrote and developed each character. She is not afraid to tackle issues such as sex and body positivity, while still managing to create a novel that had uplifting messages at the same time as being funny.
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This was a really interesting read, I couldn't actually put it down, I was great to read about topics that wouldn't usally be spoken about so frankly. I kind of loved all the characters as they were all battling their own demons be it from body image to marital issues. This was just a great insight to remind us all that everyone is battling something and to just be kinder to each other. I would recommend this book to my friends without a doubt.
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This was such a great read, filled with plenty of moments that made me laugh out loud, moments that were raw and emotional, and plenty of filthy frank and blunt moments too!. It has a bit of everything and it flows brilliantly too, I loved the different characters having their own focused chapters so we really got to know each one properly and see what they were dealing with. The character progression for each of them was brilliant too, the writing and building for each one done so well!. They were all people you felt you knew, could relate to on some level.

Just a little word of isn't for the prudish! ha. Dawn doesn't shy away from the bluntness of sexual discussions and terminology, which is kinda great to see, to be honest!
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'So Lucky' describes how I feel about reading the newest novel from one of the UK's most dynamic and fearless women writers-it also describes the throwaway remark that most of us unwittingly use to dismiss the success of others.

Especially women.

We do this to ourselves all the time, men rarely underplay their achievements but a woman going 'hell yes I have worked hard for this home/promotion/personal goal' is nearly always framed by 'being in the right place at the right time,'or good fortune. It is almost always given away to outside forces rather than our own sheer hard work.

And by the same token, whether in work or out of it, our female centric standards are always holding us to be better, more beautiful, thinner, faster, smarter, just more until we disappear into the perception of what we should be,and are forever yellow stickered and abandoned on the reduced shelf, living a half life.

This is what the characters in 'So Lucky' deal with daily-Ruby, the single parent whose style everyone has opinion on, Beth the mother who finds that being one is so much harder when the 'perfect' mother in  law is breathing down her neck, and Lauren whose very lifestyle exists as a yardstick by which other women are measured.

I suspect every reader will relate to all of these women depending on where they are in their life at the time, but one of them more than the other two. For me, it was Ruby, as a single parent the weight of other people's expectations of failure was suffocating. Being on your own signified to the world that you were unable to hold down a relationship, there must have been something about you that was 'unlovable'. Give her a wide berth, you could see it in other people's eyes.

The women's journies to learning to accept themselves, and casting off expectations is truly brilliant and I defy anyone reading this not to punch the air in recognition of the following-

bad sex
awesome sex
so-so sex
hating your kids
loving them so hard you cannot breathe
wondering who you are and where you are going(and will you ever get there?how will you know?)
acknowledging that no-one has it all together, no matter what image they project
I cannot think of enough superlatives for this book and could easily bang on for another thousand words about the cover design which is dynamic and brilliant as well as appearing effortlessly cool.

The black and white of what life expects of you and as well as you expect of yourself straddled with the glistening pink doughnut of being a woman in the 21st Century.
The hole in the middle, the constant feeling of missing some vital part of yourself, versus the carby delight of scoffing the whole thing.
But I digress! AGAAIN!

There is genuinely only one thing this book review can be boiled down to-Dawn is an incredible writer who nails each and every single thing in this book. Humour, sexiness (as well as the lack thereof), the brutal reality of parenthood, social media 'standard' setting and bullshit detecting .

The whole package is a stunning and emotive portrait of modern womanhood that sticks two fingers up to the world, unbuttons your jeans and reaches out for an extra biscuit.

Because life is too short to live by impossible standards.

All you can do is live in the moment,try to learn to love yourself and find it in you to let go of what is pulling you down. And on days when things seem unsurmountable, just remind yourself we are all doing the best we can. But most importantly, the hardest people on our backs are usually ourselves.

So let's stop, redefine our boundaries and start over again. And if we don't manage it today, let's give it a go again tomorrow. We are women, we are sisters , let's try and be a littler kind to ourselves and each other, what do you say?

Liberating, fearless and contemporary, Dawn O'Porter's 'So Lucky' is a book to be read, treasured and re-read.And bought as a present. And borrowed from libraries. And generally shouted about as purely excellent craftsmanship and story telling.
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I’ve loved all of Dawn O’Porter’s novels to date, especially The Cows, and So Lucky is another brilliant read!

So Lucky follows three women: Beth who has a new baby but is very unhappy in her marriage, Ruby who feels she needs to keep her entire body covered at all times, and Lauren who we mainly see through her Instagram posts and seems to have a perfect sparkly life.

I read So Lucky in one sitting as once I started reading it I just didn’t want to put it down. Dawn O’Porter is so good at capturing what it is to be a woman in the modern age and the pressure we all feel to conform to society’s norms. There is a sense that women should be perfect – we should remove all of our body hair and be smiley and happy at all times. Life just isn’t like that!

Beth is besotted with her young baby but she also loves her career so she’s back at working planning Lauren’s wedding but she’s also pumping breast milk and trying to be a good wife. Her husband has had no interest in sex ever since she got pregnant and Beth just wants to feel desired. She’s also having to deal with her interfering mother-in-law who her husband seems to always defer to. I felt really sorry for Beth, it’s so difficult to be in a relationship where your partner won’t discuss issues. My ex was awful for sweeping everything under the carpet and pretending nothing was wrong, it makes for such stress in the home.

Ruby is separated from her husband but she’s cordial with him because they have a three year old daughter, Bonnie. I really felt for Ruby, she had a difficult time as a child and she can’t seem to relate to her own child now. She also has a secret that means she feels she has to keep her body covered at all times. Her attempting to get a wax with her child in the room was so tense and I wanted to climb through the pages and help Ruby.

It was brilliant to read a novel like this where the women are close to my own age. I still have so many insecurities as a 40 year old but it’s not always represented in novels as much as it is for younger women. It felt like Beth represented the not being allowed to be who you are and to talk openly about what you want in life, and Ruby represented all the body issues that women have. They were both such real women to me though and I could see myself, and women I know, in both of them.

Lauren is a younger woman on the verge of marrying the man of her dreams. We get to know her through her instagram posts that are full of inspirational hashtags and often sponsored. She seems to have a perfect life. As the novel progresses we find out that Beth is Lauren’s wedding planner, and Ruby is going to work on the wedding photos so through them we get to meet Lauren in real life, and it seems all is not quite as glossy as it seems on her Instagram. She has an over-bearing mother and fears that her fiance might be attracted to other women. It really showed how social media allows us to give the impression that our lives are so perfect but the reality is that everyone has their insecurities and their problems but we forget that sometimes and think we’re the only one.

I love how real all three women felt in this novel, and how we gradually get to know why they are the way they are and we see how they try to accommodate for what they see as their inadequacies. There are some utterly mortifying moments in the novel, which were toe-curling in the embarrassment factor but I loved that because life is like this. Things often aren’t as we might imagine them to be!

Ultimately, I found this a really relatable, moving novel that also saw the funny side of things too. I very much enjoyed this book and I already can’t wait to read Dawn O’Porter’s next book! I highly recommend this one!
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I started this book yesterday evening, intending to read for 30 minutes before bed. 2 hours later and I had to force myself to put my Kindle down! 

The story flicks between the POVs of Ruby and Beth. 
Beth appears to have the perfect marriage but is struggling with her husband’s lack of interest in sex. 
Ruby is finding it difficult to manage her 3-year-old daughter Bonnie (alongside a physical condition which leaves her feeling ashamed and isolated). 
Meanwhile, social media 'influencer' Lauren is about to marry a wealthy millionaire and appears to have the 'perfect' life, at least according to her Instagram feed. 

The characters are complex and well-developed. Their individual stories weave together well, and I found myself racing through to find out more. I guessed parts of the ending long before it happened, but that didn't take away from how much I enjoyed this book.
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Beth, Ruby and Lauren have it all. They're living life by their own rules. They are, to everyone outside, so lucky. But Beth is in a marriage where her husband won't have sex with her and disparages her body post-pregnancy; Ruby feels like she's failing and is becoming overwhelmed in a spiral that sees her take it out on her young daughter; Lauren is an influencer who can't let the cracks of her life show publicly.

Truthfully, I wanted to read the book as I had seen this cover everywhere and kept thinking - I really can't seem to escape this. Sometimes books just pop up a lot. I didn't expect to demolish it in one sitting, following three well drawn women - and Risky, the MVP of the supporting cast - as they explore their ambitions, flaws and connections in all their messy glory. It's an easy read, funny and considers what lurks behind the outsider notion of being so lucky.
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I'm not sure I would know how to categorise this book. I raced through it - it's very funny but with some serious issues of the modern world. Lauren - social media starlet about to marry millionaire Gavin Riley amidst rumours of him sleeping around. Beth - wedding planner, new mum working full time on Lauren's wedding while still breast feeding and wishing she was on maternity leave which has been left to her husband Michael. His lack of interest in sex and strange relationship with his mother is a huge issue. Risky (by name and nature) is Beth's assistant - outspoken, feminist (when it suits), she shocks Beth constantly with her openness about sex. Ruby - touches up photos for a living to remove imperfections despite struggling with her own huge body issue that takes over her life and is ruining her relationship with her three year old daughter, Bonnie. We join these women's lives - we experience what they do, we feel for them and we wonder how their stories will join - there are coincidences, elements of farce and some laugh out loud comedy as well as some very poignant moments. I loved this very current read. #netgalley #solucky
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