Monday 7 October 2013

Review! What Would Oprah Do? By Erin Emerson

Cate Sanders is a 32-year-old woman living on her own in Atlanta, who’s at a crossroads. After being laid off from her corporate job, she’s determined to find a new career path. To help guide her, she looks to the woman she admires most, Oprah Winfrey. At every new phase she writes a letter to Oprah, knowing in all probability her hero won’t be reading them, but finds hope and inspiration from imagining what Oprah’s words of wisdom would be.

With Amelia Bedelia tendencies and a Chelsea Handler attitude, Cate’s mishaps provide humor, while her relationships give the story depth. Throughout her amusing and heartwarming trials, she searches for the answer to one question. Can she find her purpose in life by pursuing her passion?

Review: Such a cute idea for a book! Each of the chapters in the book begins with a letter to Oprah from Cate. I thought this was such a good way to structure this whole story and meant that I found myself uttering to immortal phrase 'just one more chapter' so I could read what she was going to write to Oprah next! Cat is a fab character, totally someone I could relate to, and someone a lot of readers will be able to relate to as well. She finds herself suddenly laid off from her job, something which has happened to many of us in the economic climate, and struggling for money. She writes to Oprah countless times and even though she doesn't get a reply, she uses these letters as a kind of sounding board as to where she is going to go next with her life. 

The great thing about this story is that we get to live vicariously through Cate. Many of us would love the chance to start over, completely change what it is we do for a living, chase those dreams and be free from tax bills and paying into a pension fund and that is exactly what Cate is faced with, only it isn't all it's cracked up to be. Thankfully she has some wonderful friends who proved great entertainment as characters in this novel, and they help her through the tough times. Everything that happens to Cate is totally realistic and yet I found myself getting frustrated on her behalf, she really did seem to have the worst luck.

Over the course of the novel, she volunteers at various organisations and gets various part time jobs, whether they are creating her own jewellery or her own hats. Through all of this she meets Vivian. Vivian is an elderly woman with a fabulous dog called Buddy and she is just the best character for me. She helps Cate discover what it really is she wants to do. She is a mother figure to Cate and she educates her in the ways of plants. I really wanted to meet the real life Vivian, have her make me some 'good coffee' and spend some time with Buddy too! 

This was a thoroughly optimistic novel with a fabulous storyline, structured so cleverly and it really drew me in to Cate's world. The epilogue is absolutely hilarious and totally wraps up the book beautifully! This was a nice easy read and although Oprah is somewhat of an American treasure, the concept of writing to someone like that and asking them for help or advice, definitely translates over here in the UK too!

This fabulous novel is available at a total bargain price right now, so to get your copy, just click here

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