Reasonable People – Caroline Hulse

CantBeArsed8: Am I the villain for being furious my partner’s father changed my daughter’s pirate party into a princess party?

REASONABLE PEOPLE is a sharp, funny and timely comedy-of-errors about a feuding family.

After a kid’s party faux-pas, mother Janine anonymously vents about her father-in-law’s behaviour on internet forum Am I The Villain Here? When the community is invited to take sides the post goes viral, with mild-mannered Roy ending up in the national newspapers and sparking protests at his local library. REASONABLE PEOPLE explores how judging others reveals our deepest, most unreasonable selves – with Hulse’s trademark heart, humour and humanity.

Book Info: Print length: 384 pages. Publisher: Orion. Publication Date: 3 August 2023

Caroline Hulse lives in Manchester with her husband and a small controlling dog.

She is the author of The Adults, Like a House on Fire, All the Fun of the Fair and Reasonable People.

Her books have been published in fourteen languages and optioned for television.

My Review:

This is my first book by Caroline Hulse and certainly won’t be my last and I have already downloaded The Adults and All The Fun of Fair since finishing Reasonable People.

I read this book alongside my buddy reader friends and I can confirm that we all thoroughly enjoyed it.

This is the story of a blended family – Janine and her 5 year old daughter Katie live with Janine’s boyfriend Phil in her family home, but when her ex-husband sells the house, they are forced to move in with Phil’s elderly father Roy on a short-term basis.

Janine is a marmite character, she’s outspoken, opinionated, rude, unforgiving, selfish and stubborn (and that’s just her good points). Now I really like Marmite.. however I did NOT like Janine and the more we get to know her, the less I felt any sympathy towards her as a mother, wife, employee or human being. Even when she loses her job and home her behaviour and attitude remains just as unlikeable.

Now before you wonder why I continued to read the book with such an unlikeable main character it’s because the rest of the cast are WONDERFUL. We have Phil, the boyfriend and practically a saint for putting up with Janine, then we have the “hero” or “villain” Roy. Roy is a very recent widow, his beloved wife died suddenly and he finds himself alone in his house. Offering to help Janine and Phil out on a temporary basis whilst they find somewhere to live, he also wants to give Katie a special party for her 6th birthday. She wants a Pirate Party, however Roy arranges a Princess Party and that’s when all hell breaks loose!

Janine decides to post anonymously on an online forum about her father-in-law’s behaviour which goes viral overnight and soon the entire world knows about Janine and Roy, airing their dirty washing to all and creating a huge family divide.

Reasonable People is a book about family, value and the darker side of social media. It’s heart-breaking in places, humourous in others and will definitely make you think twice before you post something on the internet.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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