by Paige Nick (Penguin) ISBN: 978-0-14-352755-8
Paige Nick is a regular columnist for the Lifestyle section of the Sunday Times. This Way Up is her second novel.
The story bumbles along. Conservative Stella dreams of becoming a feature writer. She wants to escape the Dr Dee column she has penned for two years, two months and nine hours, answering the letters of ‘deranged’ and ‘retarded’ people about their sexual problems.
Her life unravels when she tells a little white lie to her family. This lie snowballs, causing an avalanche in her life. Stella finds herself in unfamiliar territory when she has no home, her marriage is falling apart and her twin sister refuses to speak to her.
Stella’s story is in contrast to Poppy, who is travelling the world with her best friend, Buck. Poppy is young and adventurous and it is appears that Nick uses this story as a comparison between two different lives. This comparison is contrived and confusing.
The book is about family bonds and that despite bad things happening, it is just a phase and things will end up the way they should.
Nick tries to be humorous but fails to deliver.
This Way Up does not quite make it in the Bridget Jones’ Diary or Eat, Pray, Lovecalibre. It may appeal to people who are leading dead end lives.