Lucy used to handle her adult romantic life according to the script she'd been handed. She met a guy just like herself: same age, same background, same hopes and dreams; they got married and started a family. Too bad he made her miserable. Now, two decades later, she's a nearly-divorced, forty-one-year-old schoolteacher with two school-aged sons, and there is no script anymore. So when she meets Joseph, she isn't exactly looking for love--she's more in the market for a babysitter. Joseph is twenty-two, living at home with his mother, and working several jobs, including the butcher counter where he and Lucy meet. It's not a match anyone one could have predicted. He's of a different class, a different culture, and a different generation. But sometimes it turns out that the person who can make you happiest is the one you least expect, though it can take some maneuvering to see it through.


This was the first book I have read by Hornby and even though it wasn't my favourite book ever, I still enjoyed it and would read more from him. In a nutshell, I really liked the wit and dry sense of humour that sometimes came through in certain parts of the story and I liked some of the characters, but I found the story itself and the two main protagonists fell a little flat. I found it hard to fully understand what the book was about; was it a love story or a book about the trials and tribulations of Brexit? Joseph and Lucy's relationship kicks off very early in the book and I found that once that happened, not much else happened and there wasn't a lot of substance or growth in the chapters following. The doubts and worries that they experience are quite repetitive and even at the end I felt like it never really gets resolved and you're left a little underwhelmed. It also made me grow tired and a little annoyed as it felt like they were constantly questioning everything and being negative and it just got a little tiring after a while. I'm not into over the top cheesiness and like realistic relationships in books but I felt like this was too far on the other side of the spectrum and was just a little depressing at times. The constant references to Brexit got a little too much for me by the end of the book. I just found it weird to read a story that focused so much on something that happened a few years ago and that took up way too much conversations and air time (I know it hasn't been fully executed but you know what I mean). It felt like we were taking a step back to a time that not many people want to relive and it was a walk down memory I wasn't particularly looking for. I appreciate the points being made about how it was dividing the country in ways that aren't obvious initially but I felt like we finally managed to move passed Brexit this year (mainly due to COVID) and then it suddenly was in my face again. Ok so I know it looks like there are a lot of negatives but overall I wouldn't say that I disliked the book. There were certain parts I really loved; Lucy's kids for example, both hilarious boys who I could picture in real life and some of the other characters like Emma and Jaz felt like real people who were just very unapologetic in their ways, which can be so refreshing. I also loved Joseph's relationship with his mother. It felt very real and wasn't trying to hide anything. And as previously mentioned, I found the tone and wit really good when it was applied. However, I do want to give an honest rating and when I weigh up the positives vs the negatives. the negatives win out each time, hence why I went with 2 stars in the end.

Big thanks to Net Galley for allowing me to read and review the book before publication!


Witty (at times)




'He was a wonky table, a glass skylight, thin ice. But people enjoyed thin ice! They liked looking at it, or skimming stones across it, or cracking it! They just tried to avoid walking on it, when they knew it was thin.'


Dylan and Al




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