6 Jun 2022



Fern Carlile has a lot on her plate. It’s a good thing she loves her big, imperfectly perfect family, because she’s the one who washes their pants, de-fleas the dog and runs her own business. A hearty meal is the one thing that brings the Carliles together – but over the course of a year, the various courses also pull them apart.

Around the table sits an eight-year-old militant feminist, a pair of teenage accidental parents, and a cantankerous OAP. Fern’s husband needs an extra seat for his spectacular midlife crisis.

Will Fern’s marriage be over by the time coffee is served? Perhaps she’ll give in and have the hot new dish that looks so tempting. Decisions, decisions . . . ... Back Cover Blurb

Fern Carlile was a woman who lived from meal to meal, already fantasizing about dinner as she washed up her lunch plate, but the annual Midsummer supper in the garden was her favourite meal of the whole year. ... First Sentence, Chapter One; 'June: Hors d'oeuvres'

Fern wasn't good at knitting or smoking or working out celebrities' ages. It turned out she was also crap at sexting.

oh god I want you

She erased that, tutting furiously

I'm imagining you right now.

That's OK. Fern sent that one, and fanned her face at Hal's (very speedy) reply.

wish U were here. Nakd. What would U do 2 me?

Correct your spelling, for a start. ... Memorable Moment, Page 289

My goodness! One of those books made for sitting down in front of a roaring fire, a cup of {add your choice of hot beverage here} in your hand; steeped in what for many is modern family life, full of sharp, witty observations, amusing, larger than life characters {more of them below}, A Not Quite Perfect Family is one of those compelling reads that its all too easy to lose yourself in. 

"Did you and Daddy actually do all that sperm stuff?"

"What are the sperms' faces like?"

"Is Daddy's willy detachable?

- Pg 138

There aren't that many books that have me chuckling, fewer still that have me laughing out loud but, my goodness, with truly humorous dialogue, dry one liners and those delightfully embarrassing cringe worthy moments, not only is A Not Quite Perfect Family very funny but, as with the above 'ess eee ex' conversation between mother, Fern and her eight year old daughter, Tallulah, its very easy to relate to.

OTT or stereotypical, and yet grounded in reality in such a way they are totally believable. Much as I enjoyed Adam who was in the midst of a mid-life crisis, from matriarch of the family, Fern, to my favourite character, 'feminist', Tallulah, whose often misguided opinions had me creased up with laughter, to Fern's cantankerous, opinionated elderly aunt, Nora, to live-in cleaner {though to be fair she doesn't do a lot of this}, the sex mad liberated Evska, it was the wonderfully strong, feisty women that made this book for me.

Not that the book is all roaringly hilarious, there are some very moving scenes, the writing being such that you feel so many emotions throughout, I did at times find myself crying ... and not just tears of laughter.

A story of relationships, of family and friends; some of them like a pair of well worn slippers, old and familiar, others new ... It turns out there really is no place like home for the Carlile family.

An author I've never come across before but now that I have you can bet I'll be keeping a look out for their other books.


nightwingsraven said...

This sounds in every way like a very
compelling book. Not to speak of the
strong women who inhabit it. I will
definitely keep it in mind. And thank
you for your excellent review.

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

What a fantastic review and well selected shared lines and extracts, it's almost as compelling as the book itself sounds! :)

Contemporary Fiction isn't usually my most favourite of genres, however if a storyline grabs my attention, anything is fair game for my 'wish list'

This one is definitely worth being made the exception to the rule, so thank you for sharing!

I hope that Elizabeth is faring well in her new home :)

Shooting Stars Mag said...

This sounds really good! I love a book that can genuinely make me laugh.

Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net

Kelly said...

Okay... I'm still trying to figure out what "OAP" stands for. I feel like I should know.

Books like this can be hit or miss for me, but it sounds like this one worked really well! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'll have to see if it's at my library.

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

Oh this sounds fun! Great review.

Nadene @Ttly Addicted 2 Reading said...

I love when a book makes you laugh and A Not Quite Perfect Family sounds like it did all that and more. Great review Felicity.

Gina said...

Ooh... now this one is more like it, though I'm certain I'll be cringing as I laugh considering some of the moments listed!