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Reviewed by Fiona Ingram for Readers' Favorite
Self Love: A British Tale of Woe and Wit by T.L. Clark is the story of thirty-something, aspiring entrepreneur (her own florist business), attractive but overweight Molly. Our heroine is plagued by what seems to be a malevolent fate. Her weight has become an obsession, her self-doubts are fuelled by the voice in her head that sounds very much like her mother, her boyfriend – Nigel the wanker - has dumped her, and she seems to be spiralling downward in a cycle of binge eating and despair. What’s it going to take for Molly to turn her life around, regain her confidence, and realize that loving yourself must come before anyone else can love you?
Full of charm, realism, and British humor, Self Love will resonate with most, possibly all readers. I defy anyone who reads this story not to have experienced at least one of Molly’s issues, be it being dumped by the boyfriend before a client’s wedding, despairing of one’s weight, enduring the worries of a fledgling business, discovering health issues, undergoing the humiliations of online dating, trying yet another diet… the scenarios are myriad and real. There are many funny moments, and a few bitter-sweet moments. The reader hopes that Molly does discover the value of true friendship, real love, a relationship with her mother and, mostly importantly, a relationship with herself just as she is, and embraces who she is.
The story is simple, as most life stories are, without complex plot twists and turns, but that very simplicity is part of the appeal of this tale of woe. Molly is hilarious in dealing with her dramatic events, and her inner monologue/stream of consciousness narration ensures the reader is with her all the way, traversing the ups and downs of life by her side. Molly is very real and relatable and the secondary characters, while not so fleshed out, are still very credible. Her parents, especially her mother, are hilarious. The dialogues are natural, and this makes the chain of events believable. The story flows well and events transpire smoothly. I enjoyed Molly’s story and rooted for her all the way, as well as cringing with her in places. Most readers will nod their heads in a ‘been there, done that’ way while turning the pages. A delightful, witty, and hilarious escapade through life with an unlikely but tenacious heroine.