Helen Bailey has pitched her narrative carefully – tantalising descriptions of a lifestyle built on fabulous wealth laced with a predictable canon of designer names, luxurious cars, exotic holiday destinations and an exclusive private school. Daisy Davenport has all the material possessions she could ever want but a clutch of vacuous, materialistic friends and a handsome, shallow boyfriend soon make the message transparently clear – this way lies the trivial, the insufferable and the emotionally indulged.
When Daisy’s father is imprisoned for fraud, the family’s lifestyle must change – unrecognisably. Daisy’s new school is the local rather rough and ready comprehensive – with a liberal dash of salt of the earth characters, rough diamonds who are eventually fine-polished when Daisy finally asserts herself, having found solace and support through the friendship of the gorgeous Jake.
Daisy’s mother also finds her métier in revitalising a local kebab shop – a far cry from the enforced idleness of her former life – and here again the clarion call of the theme sounds loud and clear: a humbler life is a more rewarding one. Loose ends are firmly tied in a rather predictable cat’s cradle of an ending but despite this the book provides an often entertaining read, as light, glossy and generously sprinkled with wry humour.