Good Afternoon All,
It’s official! My big house move has finally concluded and I can start setting back into normality. It’s been a stressful couple of weeks trying to get everything finished whilst still working and I am so glad to see the back of it. I plan on spending the next couple of weeks catching up on all my outstanding reading, so expect some exciting reviews in the near future.
Precious You by Helen Monks Takhar
The cover of this book is what initially caught my attention. Who doesn’t love some neon in their life. Once I read the synopsis I knew I had to give this book a go. Thank you to the author and HQ Stories for this ARC in return for an honest review.
Katherine is editor in chief at Leadership magazine, successful and in her forties. Though she has had her struggles in her personal life, she has kept hold of her role and is confident in her abilities as editor; with the help of her interns. Lily is a new intern at Leadership magazine, just starting out and in her twenties. She’s determined to bring a fresh voice and approach to the magazine and prove herself as worthy.
Katherine thinks that Lily is a spoilt millennial, handed her opportunities, scared of hard work and doesn’t deserve her voice to be heard without doing her time. Lily thinks that Katherine has had her hey day, is stale and is intent on “pulling up the ladder” for those that are coming up the ranks behind her. The two women ensue on a battle to prove their worthiness. Is Lily really trying to dethrone the editor in chief and ruin not only her career but her personal life too? Or is Katherine merely paranoid? Is this just a struggle of egos within the magazine or is there something far more sinister behind the toxic relationship between Katherine and Lily?
General Thoughts 🤔
I’m not sure I really know where to start with this. I finished this book last night and I’ve thought about it an awful lot since. It’s really made me question my own career, my own life choices and where I sit in the generation categorisation. I see the perspectives of both women in this book (that’s not to say that I agree with either of them). Yes, it’s easy to see how millennials may see that generation X have had it easy but I also see how generation X may feel that millennials feel that they are owed something from the world.
There’s so much to unpack from this book. The generation gap and how that manifests itself within the workplace and also within society. I’m not sure that older women should be respected no matter what, just because they’ve been around longer. I’m also not sure that younger women should be granted opportunities because they’re “in touch”. Surely there is something to be shared between the generations? Fresh ideas and a different perspective shared with experience and lessons learnt?
The main characters in the book are obviously Katherine and Lily. Not that I felt that I had to pick sides, but I constantly went back and forth between the two in terms of which I liked/disliked the most. Both characters are quite obviously flawed in so many ways and who am I to say that one persons problems are worse than another’s?
The other characters in the book came across as enablers to me. Iain (Katherine’s partner) seemed to be treading on egg shells around her constantly, rather than being firm with her. Katherine had a firm belief that they were solid, but my interpretation was more so that they tip toed around their problems rather than facing them together. Gemma (Lily’s aunt) knew about Lily’s problems from her past but gave her life changing opportunities anyway. I sympathised with Gemma actually. When it comes to family, I think there is a very fine line between wanting to help and condoning bad behaviour.
Writing Style ✍🏽
Straight away I loved the way in which this book is written. Sections are written in either Katherine’s voice or Lily’s voice. The part I loved though was the difference in which they were written. Katherine’s section were written as her voice and as though she was talking to Lily; whom she refers to as “you”. Lily’s sections were written as her diary entires. I loved this touch.
I also loved that as a reader, I got to read the same story but from a different character’s perspective. Mostly, Katherine’s version of events followed by Lily’s. Every time I read Katherine’s telling I’d think surely not! She has to be paranoid. Then I’d read Lily’s diary entry and be reminded of just how damaged their relationship and their individual characters were.
Conclusion & Scoring 🎖
This is probably one of the longest reviews I’ve written in a while and I’ve really scaled back. I have so much to say about this book and so much discussion I want to start on the back of reading it. It’s made me really think about my own behaviour around not only other women, but women from other generations. I cannot recommend this book enough. Helen Monks Takhar has done an outstanding job and I challenge any woman to read this book and not think about it for days afterwards!
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