Review: Claudia’s Big Break by Lisa Heidke

Claudia’s Big Break

by Lisa Heidke

Seeking time and space to think about new possibilities in her life, Claudia Taylor jets off to glorious Santorini with her two best friends, Tara and Sophie.

Sophie and Tara also hope a break from the daily grind will help them make some major life decisions. Sophie, a former high-flying career woman turned mother of one, is no longer sure what the future holds. And Tara is toying with the idea of leaving her less-than-satisfying job to try and realise a long-held ambition to be a writer.

Claudia’s Big Break is a funny, thoughtful novel about friendship, romance, laughter and loyalty. It’s also a breezy account of three women taking stock of their lives – with a bit of drunken karaoke thrown in.

For Claudia and her friends, life will never be the same after their much needed holiday in paradise.

We meet Claudia just as her life seems to have reached the point where it can’t get any worse, her fling with the married (but recently separated) boss has just come to a grinding halt, but as a departing gift he offers to fly her and her girlfriends (Tara and Sophie) to Greece in return for the one small favour of handing over a small yellow envelope and obtaining a signature.  She thinks this is the perfect opportunity to take stock of her life, especially now that she is getting closer to the big 4.0. And it doesn’t take much to encourage her BFF’s to tag along.

All of the girls are struggling with the daily grind of their lives, stuck in a job they are not happy with (or in the case of Sophie, stuck being a stay-at-home-mum and feeling unloved, unwanted and taken for granted), none of them are in a relationship (Sophie may be married but she’s unhappy and feeling at a loss), so they intend to kick up their heels for 2 weeks, enjoying the sand, sun, and Greek Gods.

The small favour doesn’t work out the way that Claudia had hoped and drags on for more than the one day she was hoping for, and so enters Jack, the strapping, incredibly attractive Aussie from Yackandanda, Jack adds to Claudia’s woes as she didn’t want to get involved with anyone, least of all anyone from Australia! Jack keeps popping up and they have a wonderful connection – even though the small favour to her boss keeps getting in the way of her love life. Which is where I will leave the analysis of the story line as I don’t want to give too much away.

Claudia’s story is more of a soliloquy of her time on holidays, it is a fun, cheeky recount of what is happening, and Lisa Heidke has managed to capture the essence of a near 40 insecure woman, with no financial or romantic future. Claudia is a character who can never learn from her past mistakes and lives so much in the day that unless she takes stock of her life, and does so immediately she will never have achieved all that she is capable of. She makes and repeats so many silly mistakes that it is hard to not want to shake her and hug her at the same time. Which is part of the authors charm with her writing, she develops characters who are true to life, making real mistakes and living as a normal, everyday person would.

This book is a great book to read, curled up on the couch, after a hard day. It is not heavy but has enough adventure to make it interesting.

Favourite Quote: The three of us sat quietly staring out to sea, thinking about our conversation. In particular, I was thinking about whether we had the strength to see our resolutions through once we were back home and faced with the reality of our lives. It was easy to be full of grand ideas here on this amazing island. Page 201.

Published by Allen and Unwin

Recommended Retail Price $29.99

Recommended Age: 18+

My Rating: 4/5

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