At 21, Vicky prods her best friend, Mikey, into agreeing to be her back-up man in the event neither are married by the time they’re thirty. She then takes off to see the world with her other best friend, Kat, but their friendship comes unstuck during their time abroad. Years later, Vicky heads back home when her relationship with an artist falls apart. She decides to look up her former friends again. Mikey has become successful in the tech world, while Kat may be getting married but still hasn’t escaped the clutches of her controlling mother. Told with short flashbacks to earlier periods in their lives, this is an engrossing story – albeit with predictable twists - with a raft of interesting characters. As the trio deal with disappointments, troubled family matters and life-changing secrets, are their ties strong enough to bring them back together again?
Laura Kemp's latest novel, Whatever Happened to Vicky Hope's Back Up Man?, asks if the past can ever be part of your future. The summary says: "Twenty-one and insecure, Vicky Hope comes up with a plan on the eve of travelling the world with her high-flying friend, Kat Lloyd: if she isn't married by the time she's thirty, she'll marry her geeky best mate Mikey Murphy.
Fast-forward eight-and-a-bit years, Vicky, now Vee wakes up on her thirtieth birthday in Brighton, expecting a proposal of marriage from her arty boyfriend Jez. Instead he tells her their relationship is over and she has no choice but to return to her parents' home.
Devastated and alone in her childhood bedroom, she decides she has nothing to lose and tracks down her two old mates. With shock, she discovers Mikey, now Murphy, is a successful app designer driven by his tragic upbringing. Kat, or Kate, never made it - but she hides a devastating secret, which threatens the happiness of all three." Whatever Happened to Vicky Hope's Back Up Man? is out in January 2017.