Book Review| Shelf Life by Livia Franchini

Hey everyone,

I know that we are in the middle of the month of a new year but I caught a really bad cold on the first day of the new year, I tried to shake it off but it wouldn’t leave me. I am fully recovered and ready to talk about books.

So I have a sort of plan for 2020 which has always been to go through my TBR and at least cut it in half or all of it. But I always succumb to a new book and have the urge to read it. Especially like this book.

Shelf Life by Livia Franchini

Ruth is thirty years old. She works as a nurse in a care home and her fiancΓ© has just broken up with her. The only thing she has left of him is their shopping list for the upcoming week.

And so she uses that list to tell her story. Starting with six eggs, and working through spaghetti and strawberries, and apples and tea bags, Ruth discovers that her identity has been crafted from the people she serves; her patients, her friends, and, most of all, her partner of ten years. Without him, she needs to find out – with conditioner and single cream and a lot of sugar – who she is when she stands alone.

Published: 9th January 2020

Publishers: Black Swan

Pages: 288

Format of Reading: Paperback

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary

Goodreads Star Rating: 🌟🌟🌟

Review

I picked this book up because the blurb seemed like the typical Chick-lit type of book about a woman, Ruth, whose relationship ends after 10 years and it is how she handles the break-up. Her ex-fiance also leaves a shopping list of their weekly shopping.

The book is chaptered by an item from the shopping list, some of the items link to Ruth like the whole chicken and the six eggs within the book but some don’t. You are focused more onto Ruth, you are mostly in her perspective and some chapters show how other people look and talk about her. I found it difficult to connect to Ruth as it was hard to get an understanding of how she is feeling, you feel like how the other characters feel about her. You also get to see a bit about Ruth’s Ex, Neil, like how they met and the broke-up.

I found myself very confused over the whole aspect of the book, some of it is through the perspective of Ruth and some are complied of text messages, emails and even Hotmail messaging (Man those were the days) but not only that it would cut into some of Ruth’s dreams and it broke the book down even more. It’s not like When Rainbow Ends/Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern, it’s dark.

The book shows how much a bad relationship can affect a person, Neil was a shit boyfriend, (I don’t care about spoilers because you might not even want to read it) from the beginning he seemed like the type of man who you thought had everything but it wasn’t until you saw emails of his proclamations of interest to other women, while still with Ruth. He practically watched Ruth before even meeting her and slept with Ruth’s friend before handing over his number to Ruth, on the same night. He made Ruth to be the charcter that she is perceieved and it left her emotionaly unstable.

I will be honest I was not expecting it and it wasn’t until I read the reviews on Goodreads as to understand this book. While I can see what the Author was trying to convey to the reader but it didn’t connect to me until I saw what other people thought about it. It did kept me intrigued regardless of the hints that I didn’t notice.

I hope you liked this review and I want to mention that this book should stay in the fridge, it felt fitting that it would sit there while I decide if I like it or not. And then my Dad told me off for putting a book in the fridge.

Happy Reading xx

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