Thursday 16 April 2015

Review: The Gospel According To Drew Barrymore by Pippa Wright

Friendship is like a shark: it has to keep moving forwards to survive. Esther and Laura have been best friends since they were seven, when Esther was chubby and Laura was already perfect. So much has changed since then - school, boyfriends, drink, experimental hair-dye, university, jobs, London, babies - and their friendship has changed just as much, but they are still close, still inextricably linked to one another. 
So when Esther is told that Laura has gone missing, she leaves everything behind - including her husband and small child - to fly to San Francisco and trace her friend's last movements. All she has is an email from Laura: 'I'm channelling Drew Barrymore, as ever. The Gospel, right?' 

In trying to understand why Laura has disappeared, and what on earth Drew Barrymore has to do with it, Esther needs to look back. Back at the secrets woven into their friendship and the truths she's avoided facing for so long.

Review: I thought this was such a cool idea for a book. The whole thing is tied together by references and citations from Drew Barrymore films and I think this is an excellent way to structure it. I would have expected to see a little more of Drew in there or reference to the films, it was like sometimes, the Drew Barrymore focus was lost and I was a little disjointed by this. 

I liked the fact that this story is also anchored by two female leads. You don't often get two female leads who both play as big a part as the other as opposed to one being the lead and one being the supporting actor, this aspect I really liked. I can't say that I liked both of these characters to be honest I found Laura's unpredictability a little draining, I felt as if she never actually felt anything real or tied herself down to one particular thing...I didn't have much more love for Esther either, although she is the mother figure in the story, she is still fairly self pitying and will wallow in her own shortcomings given the chance! The men don't play too big a part in this, unlike many other books in this genre, I found that refreshing. 

The overarching storyline, of Laura's disappearance was my favourite part of the book, I really expected it to take a dark and sinister turn at any Monet! Some of the flashbacks  were endearing and some amusing but generally I found these to be a little bit of a distraction from the main part of the storyline. Although we get to learn a lot more about Laura's character in these sections, I felt myself skimming through some of them to get to find out what happened to Laura in the present day, or in real life as I thought of it...

Overall I thought this was a fun read but it didn't grip me the whole way through. I loved the way the book was structured and the idea behind it is original but I would've liked to see ore made of Drew and her movies. I haven't read anything else by this author before but this book has definitely intrigued me and so I will be trying other novels by her in the near future. 

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