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20 April 2015

Review & Interview: 'Check Your Privilege' by Ella Vincent (2014)

From the outside Nancy’s life is pretty funny. Or anyway that’s how Jonny see’s it when he meets her in a pub one night after her date doesn’t show up. As a single, working mother living in a happy home of chaos with a gay ex-husband and a band of demanding friends to contend with, can Nancy even fit anyone else into her life? Even someone as gorgeous and funny as Jonny. 

A heartwarming, hilarious London romcom tale with a touch of Christmas sparkle. 

If you like Mhairi Mcfarlane or Helen Fielding, you'll love new romcom writer Ella Vincent.

Earlier this year I was contacted by author Ella Vincent about possibly reading and reviewing her novel 'Check Your Privilege', a heartwarming romantic comedy set in the city of London. The blurb indicated that fans of Mhairi Mcfarlane and/or Helen Fielding would enjoy this read, and as a big chick lit fan I couldn't say no to a promise like that one! I looked forward to giving 'Check Your Privilege' a chance and had my fingers crossed for an enjoyable chick lit read! If you want to know more about Ella Vincent and her novel, be sure to scroll down and read the author interview I got to do with her,

Thirty-something Nancy Shufflebottom used to be happily married to her husband Adam, but after Adam announced he actually preferred men to women and moved in with his boyfriend Stephen, Nancy found herself alone again. As a hard-working paediatric nurse and a single mum to her two kids Matilda and Felix, Nancy finds it difficult to make ends meet. However, she knows she has to make the best of it and with the support of her best friend Alice, she knows it's time to get back out there and start dating again. Yet, the world of dating is a tricky place and soon Nancy finds herself wondering whether it's worth the hassle, while also trying to juggle taking care of the kids, her job, her group of demanding friends, and her ex-husband's wishes.

After having read 'Check Your Privilege', I have to agree with what is mentioned in the description of the novel: a heartwarming London romcom tale, which I really enjoyed. Ella Vincent has managed to create a lovely group of characters who really complement one another and add something to the storyline as a whole. Main protagonist is Nancy Shufflebottom and she's incredibly likeable; a single mum trying to get back out there in the field, while trying her very best to not only take care of her kids, but also her friends. Matilda and Felix, Nancy's children, were just too cute and funny, and I also really liked Alice, Nancy's best friend, and Jonny, the aspiring musician Nancy meets on a night out. Most of the characters had their own part in the storyline and this made the story even more interesting and fun to read.

Due to the topics the novel deals with, mainly the life of a thirty-something single mother, I am sure many readers will be able to relate to the characters and the story. It's very realistic, quite amusing and heartwarming at places, and has a nice and comfortable writing style that urged me to just keep on reading. I do have to say I think the book could have a more catchy and better-fitted title and book cover, since this would definitely benefit the wonderful story inside, in my opinion. Overall, 'Check Your Privilege' is a real, fun, warm chick lit read; if you're looking for a new romantic comedy to pick up, this is definitely one to consider!
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

Thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Author interview with Ella Vincent!

I'm really happy to have author Ella Vincent on the blog today for an author interview. Below you will find some more information on her novel 'Check your Privilege', her inspiration, and her future plans as an author!

Can you tell us something about your novel, ‘Check Your Privilege’?
The story is centred on single mum Nancy who has enough to deal with without worrying about her love life too. Whilst forcing herself to date men she’d rather not, she sparks up a friendship with the gorgeous Jonny.  Despite the whirlwind of her ex-husband’s gay marriage and her best friend’s breakdown around her, Jonny serves as a beacon of light in her life.

Where did you get the inspiration for your novel? Is it in any way based on your own experiences?
Not especially.  I have young children so I know what that’s like, but Nancy’s life is much tougher than mine.  However I wanted to write a chicklit novel that was a bit more realistic when it came to looking at the real issues women face today, like money, kids and work rather than lipstick and handbags. 

Can you tell us a bit more about the main character, Nancy?
A little but feisty, a lot of fun and very warm.  She copes with a lot but just gets on with it.  I think a lot of people aspire to be a bit more like Nancy. 

There’s a great cast of supporting characters in the novel as well. Which character did you most enjoy writing?
Her best friend Alice is a lot like Nancy but a bit spikier and tends to say it like it is.  I liked writing the dialogue between the two of them especially.

Did you do any particular research for parts of the book?
Nancy works as a paediatric nurse, a role I know nothing about. Luckily I have a friend who has the same job and filled in the blanks where I was unsure. 

Can you perhaps tell us something about your future plans? Are you perhaps already working on a next novel?
I’m currently working on my second romcom.  It’s called 'Out There Somewhere' and it’s the story of a young woman who has spent years pining for The One That Got Away.  When she loses her job she decides to break the habit of a lifetime and go around the world, with a secret plan to hunt him down.  

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Read and write as much as you can.  And read Stephen King’s On Writing too. 

What is the last book you read that you’d like to recommend to others?
I’m just finishing Zadie Smith’s 'White Teeth'.  I’m amazed that she wrote the book when she was so young and had such an insight into humanity at that age, it’s a fabulous read.

Which book could you not live without?
Once I’ve read a book I don’t tend to revisit it. As a teenager however I couldn’t have lived without 'Deenie' by Judy Blume. I must have read that book a thousand times. 

And last but not least, if you had to describe ‘Check Your Privilege’ in just three words, which words would you pick?
Funny, Fresh and Warm.

Thanks so much, Ella!

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