Title: Consent

Author: Vanessa Springora

Pages: 216 Pages

Publisher: 4th Estate

The Blurb

The devastating and powerful memoir from a French publisher who was abused by a famous writer from the age of thirteen

‘A gut-punch of a memoir with prose that cuts like a knife’ Kate Elizabeth Russell, author of My Dark Vanessa

Thirty years ago, Vanessa Springora was the teenage muse of one of France’s most celebrated writers, a footnote in the narrative of an influential man. At the end of 2019, as women around the world began to speak out, Springora, now in her forties and the director of one of France’s leading publishing houses, decided to reclaim her own story.

Consent is the story of her stolen adolescence. Devastating in its honesty, Springora’s painstaking memoir lays bare the cultural attitudes and circumstances that made it possible for a thirteen-year-old girl to become involved with a fifty-year-old man.

Drawing parallels between children’s fairy tales, French history and the author’s personal life, Consent offers intimate insights into the meaning of love and consent, the toll of trauma and the power of healing in women’s lives.

The Review

Consent by Vanessa Springora is a memoir about her time as a real-life Lolita. Springora describes her life and her relationship with a celebrated writer in France and how as she has grown up she has realised that their relationship was not one based on mutual affection but one that was manipulated by an older man taking advantage of a younger girl. She looks at the power dynamics and how her innocence was lost to this. Springora also looks at the changing attitudes of the time and how something that happened to her wouldn’t be seen as socially acceptable as it was perceived at the time (not completely accepted but far more so than in today’s society).

Consent is part memoir part social commentary about relationships, society and power. Equally, it is about claiming back your own existence and taking your power back. It is only a short book but it is a powerful one.

Consent by Vanessa Springora is available now.

For more information regarding Vanessa Springora (@VSpringora) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding 4th Estate (@4thEstateBooks) please visit www.4thestate.co.uk.

Title: My Child and Other Mistakes

Author: Ellie Taylor

Pages: 243 Pages

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

The Blurb

My Child and Other Mistakes is the honest lowdown on Motherhood and all its grisly delights, asking the questions no one wants to admit to asking themselves – do I want a child? Do I have a favourite? Do I wish I hadn’t had one and spent the money on a kitchen island instead?

Stand-up comic, broadcaster and actress Ellie Taylor is relatable, clever and interested in how women can have it all. Her honest, hilarious and moving account of the whys and hows of having a baby makes perfect reading for expectant mothers and fathers everywhere, as well as those who’ve been there, done that, and wonder how on earth they did. 

In this very funny book she writes candidly about her own personal experience exploring the decision to have a baby when she doesn’t even like them, the importance of cheese during pregnancy, why she took hair straighteners to the labour ward, plus the apocalyptic newborn days, childcare, work and the inevitable impact on life and love and most importantly, her breasts.

The Review

I’m a fan of Ellie Taylor. When I watch her acting or her stand up I genuinely belly laugh at the things that she has to say so I was eager to read her memoir My Child and Other Mistakes because I knew that I would be entertained. Ellie Taylor did not let me down.

In My Child and Other Mistakes, Taylor chronicles her ascent into adulthood. I don’t mean the passing of the years that makes us a grown up but the decisions that we make that validate that in modern society such as getting engaged, getting married, having kids.

What Taylor does in her coming of age memoir is show you the reality of this in a funny way. She doesn’t sugarcoat the harder times or the times that make her look just a little unhinged. It all adds to the wonderful colour of this story. Her thoughts on motherhood are especially honest and she lays bare how hard it is but also how rewarding she has found it.

My Child and Other Mistakes is a wonderfully funny read.

My Child and Other Mistakes by Ellie Taylor is available now.

For more information regarding Ellie Taylor (@EllieJaneTaylor) please visit www.linktr.ee/Elliejanetaylor.

For more information regarding Hodder & Stoughton (@HodderBooks) please visit www.hodder.co.uk.

Title: My Mess is a Bit of a Life

Author: Georgia Pritchett

Pages: 268 Pages

Publisher: Faber & Faber

The Blurb

This memoir, told in gloriously comic vignettes, is an utterly joyful reflection on living – and sometimes thriving (sometimes not) – with anxiety.

And multi-award-winning television writer and producer Georgia Pritchett knows a thing or two about anxiety.

From worrying about the monsters under her bed as a child (Were they comfy enough?), to embracing womanhood, (One way of knowing you have crossed from girlhood to womanhood is that men stop furtively masturbating at you from bushes and start shouting things at you from cars. It’s a beautiful moment) worry has accompanied her at every turn.

Brimming with wit and honesty, My Mess is a Bit of a Life is the perfect nourishment for an anxious world.

The Review

I think the reason that I wanted to read My Mess is a Bit of a Life by Georgia Pritchett is because there are times when I felt just the same. I think we all have at some point and so there is a comfort in having someone – even someone who you don’t personally know – acknowledge this. It makes us feel less alone. Less like a failure. Just less than the mess we are. So for that reason alone we should all salute Georgia Pritchett for being brave enough to be this honest.

My Mess is a Bit of a Life is a memoir that packs a punch. It deals with feminist issues, suppression of women in the workplace, sexuality, mental health, death, autism. All of it is discussed with humour and grace but without losing the impact of what Georgia Pritchett is trying to say. It is in this quality that we see what a powerhouse of a writer she is.

My Mess is a Bit of a Life by Georgia Pritchett is available now.

For more information regarding Georgia Pritchett (@georgiapudding) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Faber & Faber (@FaberBooks) please visit www.faber.co.uk.

Title: More than a Woman

Author: Caitlin Moran

Pages: 277 Pages

Publisher: Ebury Press

The Blurb

The author of the international bestseller How to Be a Woman returns with another “hilarious neo-feminist manifesto” (NPR) in which she reflects on parenting, middle-age, marriage, existential crises—and, of course, feminism.

A decade ago, Caitlin Moran burst onto the scene with her instant bestseller, How to Be a Woman, a hilarious and resonant take on feminism, the patriarchy, and all things womanhood. Moran’s seminal book followed her from her terrible 13th birthday through adolescence, the workplace, strip-clubs, love, and beyond—and is considered the inaugural work of the irreverent confessional feminist memoir genre that continues to occupy a major place in the cultural landscape.

Since that publication, it’s been a glorious ten years for young women: Barack Obama loves Fleabag, and Dior make “FEMINIST” t-shirts. However, middle-aged women still have some nagging, unanswered questions: Can feminists have Botox? Why isn’t there such a thing as “Mum Bod”? Why do hangovers suddenly hurt so much? Is the camel-toe the new erogenous zone? Why do all your clothes suddenly hate you? Has feminism gone too far? Will your To Do List ever end? And WHO’S LOOKING AFTER THE CHILDREN?

As timely as it is hysterically funny, this memoir/manifesto will have readers laughing out loud, blinking back tears, and redefining their views on feminism and the patriarchy. More Than a Woman is a brutally honest, scathingly funny, and absolutely necessary take on the life of the modern woman—and one that only Caitlin Moran can provide. 

The Review

I am a little bit in love with Caitlin Moran. Okay, this is an understatement. I love her that much that I know the my gentleman friend would understand if I left him for her (please don’t ask me to). I truly believe that she is my patronus and that one day if evil should befall me and I should call on her that she would be by my side, fag in hand, sarcastic comment at the ready. That is just how much I love her. In my eyes, she can do no wrong. For that reason alone I knew I would love More than a Woman. Fortunately for Caitlin Moran, her writing warrants that love.

In More than a Woman we see the more grown up Caitlin Moran. She has changed in the past 10 years since How to be a Woman was released. Her opinions have changed, her lifestyle has changed, many things are different now but what is great about Caitlin Moran is that she is willing to accept change, admit that she has changed her mind and still own it. She is an example to us all.

Some of the later chapters did leave me feeling broken and there is a sadness that maybe isn’t seen as much in her earlier works. It makes you want to wrap her up in a great big hug and tell her that it will all be okay. 

I really loved More than a Woman and I think Caitlin Moran is consistently brave with her writing. It is for that reason that I believe people love and believe in her.

More than a Woman by Caitlin Moran is available now.

For more information regarding Caitlin Moran (@caitlinmoran) please visit www.caitlinmoran.co.uk.

For more information regarding Ebury Press (@EburyPublishing) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: Life in Pieces

Author: Dawn O’Porter

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins UK

The Blurb

Dear 2020 – can we just start over?

Dawn O’Porter has been thinking about life. In lockdown. Mostly from a cupboard.

From reflections on grief and identity, bad hair and parenting, sleep and spirituality, to the things we can control and the things we cannot, Dawn’s daily diaries track the journey – for a hilarious, heartbreaking and highly entertaining glimpse into the new normal.

LIFE IN PIECES is a book for anyone who’s been thrown into a life they didn’t plan, or who just wants to stick it to 2020. When it looks like everything’s falling apart, we’ll piece it back together.

Love Dawn x

The Review

One of the things that I wish I had done was to have made a record of all the weird things that happened during lockdown. Like when I lost my sense of taste and smell or how we had a mouse and it terrorised us so much that we were held hostage by it, or how we would watch the daily briefings with shock, despair and anger at our governments handling of the whole ordeal. Alas, I did not. But Dawn O’Porter did.

In her latest release, Life in Pieces, Dawn O’Porter tells us about her lockdown and how she handles things such as the isolation, Covid-19, home schooling etc. It was such a tonic reading it and knowing that you weren’t alone in the weird lockdown feelings. 

Some of the more poignant parts of Life in Pieces came when O’Porter talked about the death of her friend Caroline Flack. Her moments of stillness allowed you to take a moment yourself and realise that in times as strange as these have been to take note of the people around you that you love.

Another wonderful piece by O’Porter.

Life in Pieces by Dawn O’Porter is available now.

For more information regarding Dawn O’Porter please visit her Instagram page.

For more information regarding Harper Collins UK (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit the Twitter page.