This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Cressida McLaughlin
The last thing Sam is expecting her friends Joy and Marie to arrange for her for their usual Friday night out at The White Horse is a blind date. Friday nights are when she can let her hair down, have some time off from being single mum to her daughter Beth, and really relax. Being sent on a blind date isn’t high on her to do list, especially considering her recent internet dating experiences. Sam is reluctant to go, but a small part of her wonders if this time it’ll be worth it. After all, Joy and Marie have told her it’s someone she knows, and there’s one person she wouldn’t be at all disappointed to see waiting for her at the bar. Sam’s upbeat, encouraging daughter Beth gives her a different perspective and encourages her to go, and Sam decides to take the plunge.
Woman Walks into a Bar is a fast-paced novella about Sam taking a chance with the support of her daughter and her friends. Sam’s caution is born out of an unhappy past, difficult previous relationships and the need to keep her daughter – and herself – safe. Flashbacks to her school days and her relationship with Beth’s father are interspersed with the dates she’s been on – some disastrous and some just unsatisfying.
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Sam’s story is heartwarming and inspiring. It’s written with humour and care, but it doesn’t shy away from serious subjects. Parts of it, especially Sam’s school days and one of her previous relationships, are difficult to read. Despite the brevity of the novel, I was hooked by Sam’s story, and was rooting for her to have a happy ending. Her daughter Beth, who leaves jokes on post-it notes for Sam to find, is funny and refreshing, and barman Brendan and her friends Joy and Marie are great supporting characters. The stories of Sam’s forays into internet dating are cringe-worthy and realistic, and by the end I could see how amazingly strong and courageous she was.
A Woman Walks into a Bar is funny, refreshing and thought-provoking. It has drama and romance, and packs a lot in to not very many pages. I really cared about Sam, and found it difficult to put my kindle down until I’d found out what happened on her blind date. It’s a wonderful story from a brilliant storyteller, and I’d recommend it to anyone.
*Rowan is giving 100% of the profits from this novella to the Refuge charity*
Rowan Coleman's website