The Summer Job Book Cover The Summer Job
Lizzy Dent
Women's fiction, Contemporary fiction
April 29, 2021

Have you ever imagined running away from your life? Well Birdy Finch didn't just imagine it. She did it. Which might've been an error. And the life she's run into? Her best friend, Heather's. The only problem is, she hasn't told Heather. Actually there are a few other problems... Can Birdy carry off a summer at a luxury Scottish hotel pretending to be her best friend (who incidentally is a world-class wine expert)? And can she stop herself from falling for the first man she's ever actually liked (but who thinks she's someone else)? If you're looking to replace that Fleabag sized hole in your life, look no further: you'll laugh at her, you'll cringe with her but ultimately you'll fall in love with Birdy Finch. For fans of The Flat Share, this is a rom com like you've never seen before, The Summer Job is the hottest read this summer.

A light hearted story about a somewhat chaotic character.

Our heroine, Birdy, has never managed to keep herself in their job – or any kind of training for enough length of time to become skilled at it.  She had a chaotic upbringing with an alcoholic father and a mother who was his facilitator –  so much so that when he sold items eg her clarinet when she was seven years old, her mother told Birdy she had lost it herself, rather than admitting that her father had sold it to pay off a debt.  As a result she found it difficult to maintain any emotional attachment to people except for her best friend Heather.

Heather had also had a difficult upbringing but in a very different way. Heather’s father had been a successful wine merchant and when he died and left her a small amount of money she used it to train as a sommelier and had become very well known in her particular field, and very experienced, but because her relationship with her father again was difficult she sought out love from men who were unsuitable in different ways .

This story begins late spring when Birdy is unemployed (again) and Heather decides to go to Italy with her current boyfriend. There is a problem with Heather’s current boyfriend in that he already has another girlfriend, but he promises to break up with her. Birdy has her own problems in being not only being unemployed but having nowhere to live. She had been sharing Heather’s flat but Heather had leased it out for the summer. Birdy then wonders what she’s going to do.. .What she does do is to pretend, as she has often pretended, to be Heather  – but before for small occasions but this time she was attending a an event for British wines.  And she meets a delightful lady called Irene there, who says oh you are Heather and chats to her, and they have a very nice time whilst Birdy’s very unreliable boyfriend Tim gets very drunk .What Birdy doesn’t know about Irene comes back to bite her later .

I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed Birdy trying for the first time in her life to learn a skill and failing miserably initially. I enjoyed her character arc and how she developed and learned to be more than she had been before. I recommend that if you are having a struggle learning who you are meant to be, what your job should be, what your place in life is, what you could become, that you read this book and see what Birdy’s trajectory was and ponder.

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