I’m a fan of Dawn O’Porter on Instagram and I’ve been meaning to read one of her books, this lockdown business gave me a perfect excuse so I bought So Lucky and was really excited to get cracking. Straight away, I liked the up-front way she talked about body hair, boobs, and periods. But I’m afraid that’s right about where the positive reviews ended from me.
The story line focuses on Beth and Ruby and is told from their separate points of view. In books with multiple POVs, the character’s storylines are always destined to intertwine. In this case, it was through an ‘Instagram famous’ model, Lauren, which I thought was a little lazy and trying to be too relevant. The character of Lauren was very surface level, even though she was supposed to be a vehicle to show that Instagram is just that, a surface level facade. Every time she had dialogue my eyes involuntarily rolled.
Another character who threatened to have some development was a mysterious bench man, whose fate I guessed about half way in (which I never ever do) (seriously ask my boyfriend).
Pretty much all of the characters were unbearable, including Risky, Beth’s assistant who I think was supposed to be depicted as a progressive feminist character to counteract her boss’s (little c) conservatism, but whose sole personality trait seemed to consist of taking about anal and being way too OK with breastfeeding.
The storyline around Ruby’s polycystic ovaries was poorly managed. We only find out until the near the end that that was even her ‘condition’. It was entirely focused on body hair and shame, and while I know that was part of the characterisation, O’Porter exploits this one symptom for dramatic effect instead of exploring the many ways women deal with PCOS, which I ultimately feel is irresponsible and lazy.
The ending seemed very rushed, all characters neatly came together and were united over ‘sisterhood’ and teamed up to help Lauren in her time of need. They put their careers on the line for each other (who all met that week) to end the book finally getting their issues off their chest and free themselves of their problems they’ve been repressing their entire adult lives, in about five minutes. To which they all realise ‘huh, maybe my body issues don’t matter after all’ at which point I honestly thought the book would end with them all jumping up for a group high five, and the final frame of them being in midair with their fists to the sky.
And it may as well have. It was basically an entire book that threatened to be interesting that was ended with ‘oh well, at least we have each other who we met this morning SISTERHOOD’ which I just generally thought was an inaccurate and lazy way of dealing with the genuine issues we as women live with.
TW: Eating disorders, body hatred, and fat phobia, pornographic content, blood, Mental illness, child abuse, death of a child, drowning, sexual abuse, rape