‘Lucy Crighton has just moved in with some gregarious housemates called Brian and Denise . . . who are her parents. She’s also the proud mother of Glenda, her beloved 10-year-old . . . kelpie.’
Lucy is in between everything – in between relationships, in between careers, in between homes and is cheerfully avoiding the fact that this is a turning point in her life. It’s OK, though, because if she ever needs advice, her mother is always there with a quote from Cher (generally unsolicited).
She has recently moved back to Rockhampton (Rocky) from Melbourne after a painful relationship breakdown and it is a good thing her best friend Rosie is still in Rocky to help her get over her ex and work out what she really wants. Rose is Lucy’s complete opposite – she knows what she wants and heads at it like a bull in a china shop (assuming the bull is fluent in swearing and likes a fair amount of alcohol).
As happens, a couple of good-looking blokes end up moving in next door but is one of them really what Lucy needs?
Rosie then throws a spanner in the works by announcing she will be moving to London as she’s bored with little old Rocky but is Lucy bored? What will she do in Rocky if she’s not tagging along with her best mate?
Anna Daniels is a radio and TV producer now turned author, known for her humour and quirkiness. In 2016, Daniels wrote a manuscript called Rocky Road which was short-listed for the Vogel Literary Award. From this, the romantic comedy Girl In Between was created. She has described it as very close to her heart, coming from Rockhampton herself and seeing a dearth of regional Australian settings in popular fiction.
There is some suspension of reality required while reading (where do people get all of this money to take breaks from work, head overseas at the drop of a hat, find a job overseas at the drop of a hat…) but, nevertheless, this is a fun, laugh-along and occasionally thoughtful book. Her writing style is light and breezy, perfect for those lazy days sitting on the beach or at a café as the world goes by.
Be warned though: if you read it in public, you will laugh out loud and you will end up reading more than just that “one more page”, so put on some sunscreen!
Reviewed by Michelle Baylis
Rating out of 10: 7
Distributed by: Allen & Unwin
Release Date: May 2017
RRP: $29.99 paperback