Beg, Borrow or Steal, Susie Tate
Beg, Borrow or Steal, Susie Tate
Genre: New Adult, Romance
A new to me author so came into this read expecting from the cover a light and fun romance, and it is, but with a sharp dose of the harsh realities of life as a single mother too.
Advice for would be authors is always write what you know, and Susie’s medical background certainly shows here, not to the point I was boggled by terminology but just that the reality for the settings and the characters was very good, felt totally genuine. I hate when I’m reading and I think “but in real life…”
Having said that, as a mother of three and grandmother of five kids, and having known lots more, I’ve never met a four year old quite like Rosie! She’s four going on forty at times and TBH a very unrealistic character and yet she was so good, so funny that I can ignore that and just enjoy her.
Jamie, he’s a great guy, comes from wealthy family and has worked his way up the ladder. He’s proud of where he’s got, but had some unpleasant pre-conceived ideas about the realities of life, from students all out partying and that’s why they’re tired, to Libby’s job, to which he has a typical male attitude.
I was so angry at him and yet sad too, because the way he saw it, the way his brother saw it, and even some of the other students was all too common. So much for a feminist world 😦
Libby was doing what she had to do to provide for her daughter. She could have given up school, and taken a shelf stacking job or similar, but that would mean working at min wage and very long hours, and there’s no future of ever getting a better life for her and Rosie that way.
Yet so much of their outlook comes from not understanding what its like to struggle for money, from never having had to choose between being behind with the rent or the electric, from seeking pennies down the side of the sofa to pay the kids school milk money, so they aren’t embarrassed by being the only ones not to have it, from eating toast yourself because its cheap and filling ,so you can give the kids a nutritious meal.
It’s hard to understand what you’ve never experienced, and of course that lack of experience mean snap judgments tend to be made, of the “you can get a better job/car/flat surely?”
We all know people like that, they’re judgmental, but really it’s a lack of understanding of these issues that drives the judgement. Doesn’t mean it hurts less though and I so felt for poor Libby when it happened to her.
Jamie’s actually a great guy though, and when he begins to see why Libby is late for lessons, why she’s not suitably dressed, he wants to swoop in on his charger and take her away from all that. Its not what Libby wants though, she’s aiming at independence and good for her.
Libby, who couldn’t admire her. Pregnant and 17 and abandoned by the father she’s struggled and yet is so determined to make a good life for her and Rosie. I really liked her, loved her strength of character in standing up for herself and Rosie, her determination to not be pulled down by those with petty small minds.
I loved the story, loved all the characters and the insights that things aren’t always as they appear. Millie/Dr nuclear winter for example. Rosie had the knack of bringing out the best in everyone, Kiki (think that was her name) was a terrific friend to Libby and great source of support. I loved her nicknames for people, loved the snark between her and Jamie’s friend Pav, loved the guys at the club Libby worked.
It made for a real read, one packed with honest humour, even if Rosie was a little OTT she still made me smile, filled with assumptions people make, snap judgments without knowing the facts, Jamie’s dad for instance, and not just second chances but third ones.
A great read I really enjoyed.
Stars: Five, a fun story, with some real life situations included.
ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers