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How to be Second Best

Oh, I cannot even express how much I loved this book! I wasn’t sure what to expect, thinking it may be a bit mum-sy, a bit too chick-lit for my taste, but I could not have been more wrong. I feel ashamed of my preconceived judgement!

How to be Second Best is a truly delightful, warm, funny and simply joyful novel to read. I relished opening it up when going to bed, and put a DVD on for my toddler on a Saturday afternoon so I could read on the sofa in peace. Then I mourned finishing it, wishing I had savoured every page just that little bit more.

It tells the story of Emma – a completely loveable character – who is devastated to learn that her husband has simultaneously fathered a third child three doors up the street, shortly after coming home from hospital with her second baby. Things get very tricky, very fast. No longer is it enough for Emma to be the best wife and mother – now she’s trying to be the best ex-wife, and the best part-time parent to her ex’s love child… and that’s before she even thinks about adding a new man to the mix.

Set in an upwardly mobile, ultra-competitive suburb, How to be Second Best is a funny, biting and heart-warming modern comedy that looks at the roles we play, how we compete, and what happens when we dare to strive for second-best.

With all the warmth of Lianne Moriarty and the wit of Marian Keyes, Jessica Dettman has truly nailed her debut novel. I cannot wait for her next book!

Reviewed by Celeste