Title: Losing the Plot
Author: Elizabeth Coleman
Published: April 15th 2019
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 3.5 stars
Funny, charming and captivating, with a plot within a plot, and a girl who is looking for love in all the wrong places.
Vanessa Rooney is a thirty-something dental hygienist who finds herself a single mum with a hole in her heart where her husband had been.
Somehow she finds the courage to fulfil her childhood dream of writing a romance novel but soon discovers that her novel has been plagiarised by her idol, celebrity author Charlotte Lancaster.
Vanessa reluctantly sues Charlotte with the help of suburban solicitor Dave Rendall, who’s nursing some unfulfilled dreams of his own. When gun QC Marcus Stafford agrees to join their legal team, Vanessa feels like her perfect man has stepped right out of the pages of her book and into her life.
As all hell breaks loose publicly and privately, Vanessa confronts a painful past and realises what Dave already knew – that she’s an intelligent, funny, amazing woman and Marcus Stafford is, well, a tosspot.
Vanessa finally understands that what she wanted wasn’t what she needed, but has this realisation come too late?
Answering the call for more heart warming fiction or ‘up-lit’ is debut author Elizabeth Coleman, with her highly readable first novel, Losing the Plot. Offering the reader a balance between humour and heart, Losing the Plot chronicles the journey of Vanessa Rooney. Vanessa is a dental hygienist, a single mother and an aspiring author, who longs to publish her own book, as well as find her own romantic hero in the process!
In the popular rom com genre, it is hard to stand out from the crowd. There is definitely a market for original and witty romantic comedies, especially those based on home soil. Elizabeth Coleman, a debut Australian author, makes her mark with her first novel, Losing the Plot. This brand new novel has been endorsed by two well known Australian celebrities, Sigrid Thornton and Rebecca Gibney. I have to agree with Rebecca Gibney’s quote that Losing the Plot has such a strong visual feel. Like Rebecca, I could easily see it playing out on the big screen. I also started forming my own cast list!
Elizabeth Coleman’s plot has a strong contemporary feel. Losing the Plot, is a well crafted and clearly written novel. I felt that the topics covered in the book were both insightful and topical. Coleman highlights the plagiarism that exists in the writing world and the hard yards aspiring authors go to in order to have their writing recognised in the public sphere. Coleman also smashes a few common constructions around romance heroes and romantic relationships which was pleasing. There is also a nice side serving of humour, which adds some extra lightness to the unfolding tale.
There is a fabulous character set that comes with this novel I genuinely enjoyed meeting the whole cast. I was able to form a great deal of sympathy for Vanessa, the lead. I virtually had everything crossed for Vanessa! I hoped that she would find her happiness in all facets of her life, especially in gaining recognition as an author. The character that stayed with me after I read the last page of this novel was Kiri. I loved the language play that Elizabeth Coleman used with this character. I had to stop and think twice about the possible spelling errors, Coleman had me fooled! What a clever narrative device, which definitely pulled me closer to the appealing protagonists of this novel.
Coleman balances out the crisis in Vanessa’s personal life with the fight she takes on the conquer the woman who stole her prized possession, the manuscript of her first novel. This plays out against a couple of suitors, an ex and family issues. I had an inkling from fairly early on how it was all going to turn out, but sometimes the sense of knowing what is to come is comforting. But, as this is a rom com, Losing the Plot doesn’t quite offer a smooth pathway to love – but it sure is an eventful one!
For lovers of romantic comedies and contemporary fiction with a little pizzazz, this book a great addition to your TBR pile. Losing the Plot introduces us to a brand new author on the contemporary writing scene, Elizabeth Coleman. I look forward to seeing what she comes up with next.
Losing the Plot by Elizabeth Coleman was published on April 15th 2019 by Allen & Unwin. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of Losing the Plot, Elizabeth Coleman, visit here.
*I wish to thank Allen & Unwin for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.
Losing the Plot is book #50 of the 2019 Australian Women Writers Challenge