Chicklit Club
 

KATHRYN FLETT

 

Outstanding (2016)

 

Eve Sturridge is the head teacher extraordinaire at one of the most prestigious independent schools in the country. Boasting a rating of outstanding, Ivy House attracts the creme de le creme of the uber rich, including the latest recruits, the Sorensons. But just when it seems that the school’s landed the biggest coup yet, Eve begins to realise that Ivy House is failing to cater for those children with extra needs. With Eve’s eye on the ball at school, unfortunately her attention slips off matters closer to home and in particular her eldest daughter, Zoe, who’s got herself into a spot of bother. Kathryn Flett proves herself to be a skilled, versatile writer, particularly at home here with the social comedy of manners, as well as hugely adept at capturing her characters’ idioms, often with a incisively witty turn of phrase. Unfortunately though, the story and plotting lets this one down a bit. It’s a case of trying to do too much and as a consequence some of the storylines fizzle out without fully developing, and so too some of the characters. As much as I was hoping this one was going to be outstanding, unfortunately it fell a bit short, but nonetheless it’s clear that Flett is a born writer. (JC) 6/10


 

Separate Lives (2012)

 

When Susie reads a mysterious text on her partner Alex's phone, she assumes he's having an affair, but in this wonderfully imagined book nothing is ever black or white. In turns Susie, Alex and Pippa recount their version of events, filling in the gaps in each others' stories to create a portrait of a marriage on the rocks. This is a thoroughly modern story with realistic characters each with flaws and insecurities. It is cleverly and interestingly told by three unreliable narrators and across overlapping timeframes. I felt the ending was a bit vague and rather disappointing but it suits the tenor and mood of the book. Overall a great debut that introduces a modern, witty and original voice that is definitely one to look out for. (JC) 8/10

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