#BookReview The Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan @SVaughanAuthor @simonschusterUK

 

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Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan.

 

My Review:

There is a lot of hype from fellow book bloggers about Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan, this can be a good thing as hype doesn’t happen over an average book but it can also be a bad thing, having heard all the hype it is easy to have high expectations and be disappointed by a book.

Having seen nothing but 5* reviews for this book I had high hopes, but did it live up to my expectations? Well, the answer is yes, and no. One pretty amazing thing about this book is timing, given how long it takes to write a book, edit it and get it ready for publication the timing of the release is pretty perfect as the story is so so current.

With the recent flurry of stories coming from Westminister about sexual assaults and people taking advantage of junior staff this book is timely and certainly gives food for thought.

The story of James, the apparently loving family man, is accused of a serious crime by his former mistress. The fact that they previously had a consensual sexual relationship does muddy the water slightly as he can easily claim revenge for breaking up with her.

The book is well written and the characters have a great backstory and their actions are in the main believable. It is a great book and well worth reading but for me, it lacked the wow factor that other readers have felt when reading it. Who knows why, but it’s still a great read that I’d definitely recommend.

Blurb:

An astonishingly incisive and suspenseful novel about a scandal amongst Britain’s privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake.

Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.

Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes.

Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience? Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy.

Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator… Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth?

About the Author:

1026489 Sarah Vaughan read English at Oxford and went on to be a journalist. After training with the Press Association, she worked for The Guardian for 11 years as a news reporter, health correspondent and political correspondent before leaving to freelance. She started writing fiction the week she turned forty. Anatomy of a Scandal is her third novel and will be published in January 2018 by S&S in the UK, US and Canada, plus other commonwealth countries. It will also be translated into 16 languages. She lives in Cambridge with her husband and two young children and is currently writing her fourth novel.

 

Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan is out on 11th January 2018 and can be pre-ordered now from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Review: Nina Is Not OK by Shappi Khorsandi.

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Nina Is Not OK by Shappi Khorsandi

This is such a well written book that skillfully tells the horrors of alcoholism. I hope that readers who do not struggle with addiction will see things differently and gain some understanding and compassion after reading Nina is Not OK. I really enjoyed it and I know that I will be thinking about Nina for some time to come.

My Review:

There are lots of books and movies out there that glamorise addiction, even unintentionally. Nina is Not OK is not one of those books.

Having worked in the field of addiction I was unsure about how I’d find this book, as so often inaccuracies frustrate me, and recovery is made to look very easy. Impressively I found none of this in Nina Is Not OK.

Nina is 17, her father is dead, her mother is married to a new man and has a half sister, Katie aged 6. Nina loves Katie in an adorable way, but she struggles with her relationship with her mother and step dad, Alan. This, combined with the fact that Nina’s boyfriend has dumped her for someone he just met prove to be too much for Nina. She descends into a world dominated with alcohol and sex with men she just met. Nina is consumed by anger and the only way that she can cope with this is to drink herself into oblivion.

Despite her awful treatment of her family and friends they stick with her, eventually showing her the tough love that she needs and taking her to rehab. While the author doesn’t go into a lot of detail about her time in rehab, what is there is in my experience, fairly realistic. Once out Nina attempts to put her life back together, she throws herself back into her A-Levels and rebuilding her relationships with her friends and family. Without alcohol to skew her thinking she is able to come to terms with things that previously consumed her and with the quiet and steady support from her 12-step sponsor she begins to rebuild her life.

The author, Shappi Khorsandi, writes a painfully accurate portrayal of alcoholism. It isn’t sensationalised or overdramatised. I would think that the author must have experience of alcoholism in some form or other.

I think that Nina is Not OK is a good book for anyone to read, but for those with family or friends who struggle with addiction it is good insight into the thinking that goes on in the addicts mind, and how powerless they are over their addiction. I couldn’t help but wonder while reading whether this would be a good book for people in early recovery to read. I think Nina is Not OK would be a good book to give to someone in active addiction, especially a young person, but I don’t think that someone in early recovery should read it due to the risk of being triggered. There is also frequent reference to a rape that some readers should be aware of.

I received a copy of Nina Is Not OK from the publishers via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Blurb:

Nina does not have a drinking problem. She likes a drink, sure. But what 17-year-old doesn’t?

Nina’s mum isn’t so sure. But she’s busy with her new husband and five year old Katie. And Nina’s almost an adult after all.

And if Nina sometimes wakes up with little memory of what happened the night before , then her friends are all too happy to fill in the blanks. Nina’s drunken exploits are the stuff of college legend.

But then one dark Sunday morning, even her friends can’t help piece together Saturday night. All Nina feels is a deep sense of shame, that something very bad has happened to her…

 

Nina is Not OK is available now on Amazon UK and Amazon US now.