By Fiona Gibson

What do you do when your life goes tits up? Viv gets to find out the hard way when her husband Andy hurls a very unexpected bombshell into their marriage. And soon she realises that the foundations of her life are very unsteady indeed. It’s a theme many of us will recognise, which makes this an easy and satisfying read for any woman who’s hit midlife and gone through a major wobble (ie, most of us in some form or other).

Viv has to reevaluate her life and explore her options, as well as decide whether the pompous and emotionally stunted Andy will play a part in it. There are no big surprises, but as a gentle exploration of the gradual process of a midlife relaunch, it hits every button. Navigating her way through the gruesome and sometimes hilarious indignities of ageing and the menopause, Viv rethinks her career, develops friendships and feels the thrill of rediscovering long-forgotten skills.

The scene when her boss talks her through the ‘exciting’ new career role she’s carved out for Viv really nails the way middle aged women are often put in a box, patronised and pushed into roles considered relevant to our age, rather than considered capable of doing new and exciting things. This is such an Audrey novel because Viv could be any one of us. Once she’s accepted the lemons of life, she’s not afraid to use them.

Marina Gask