Tuesday, 4 July 2017

The Hen Party by Emily Benet

Book review by Greenacre Writer Lindsay Bamfield

Fiona has a dream and she’s won it - her dream hen party.  She is to be whisked off, with her four bridesmaids, to sunny Mallorca to laze on sunny beaches, be pampered at a day spa and indulge in cocktails on a luxurious yacht as her prize on a reality show. Bliss.

Kate has a dream too. Hers is to make a documentary about the pollution of plastic in our oceans. Plastic People would aim to make viewers more responsible about our endless use of disposable plastic and the dangers it can cause to the environment and its wildlife.

The TV job she is offered isn’t quite what she hoped for but it could be a step in the right direction so she agrees to replace the injured director of The Hen Party, a low budget reality TV show.  Maybe she can include an environmental angle. After all, where better to highlight marine pollution than on Mallorca’s fabulous beaches?

Dreams soon turn into nightmares when plans go awry, ideals clash, secrets and jealousies simmer causing arguments to break out. Can Kate keep the hens under control to preserve the show or is she the one responsible for its looming failure? 

Despite the mantra, she did not feel the least bit calm. Her stomach was in knots. The girls would not be giving her a warm welcome this morning. If they offered her a cup of tea, she could be sure it was only because they’d laced it with poison. There wouldn’t be one ally among them. Not the bride-to-be. Not her four chosen hens. Not even the crew.
Kate altered her mantra.
‘Shit, shit, shit, shit…’

In a novel that bounces along with Emily Benet’s irrepressible verve, we become acquainted with the characters against the backdrop of gorgeous Mallorca away from the crowds. She paints each character’s strengths and weaknesses, changing our perceptions of each as the narrative unfolds. My sympathies changed course several times as I was drawn into the story through the different characters’ viewpoints and the backstories informing them. The plot twists mirror the characterisations with never a boring moment.  

Laugh out loud comedy mixes with tension, romance, a dose of travelogue and environmental issues, making this a great holiday read that you won’t want to put down and will give you a little more insight than you bargained for. 

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmilyBenet

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