Review: Little White Lies (Gemma Townley)

Goodreads Summary: Okay, so it isn’t that little. It’s kind of a whopper. It’s just that when Natalie Raglan ups and quits her job at a Bath advertising firm, breaks up with her loser-ish boyfriend, and moves – to London! Things don’t quite turn out the way she planned. Having made the brave move to the Big City, the lifelong country mouse finds that living chic is still a long way off. Even Cressida, the girl who used to rent her tiny flat, still gets more phone calls and mail there than Nat does. Come to think of it, Cressida Langdon’s life looks pretty appealing–especially when an invitation to the posh, exclusive Soho House club arrives, addressed to Cressida.

Before she really knows what she’s done, Nat has opened Cressida’s mail … and taken up her life. Soon Nat’s dating a gorgeous investment banker named Simon, giving “reiki healing sessions,” wearing wonderful clothes, and partying with the A-list at Soho House. But the best part really is Simon. He’s everything Nat has ever wanted. The problem is he thinks she’s someone else. And as her life and her lies begin to spiral out of control, Nat can’t help but wonder: Will she be exposed as a liar and a fake–or be saved from ruin by simply claiming good intentions…

My Thoughts: This was actually the first book I‘ve ever read written by Gemma Townley. I did not even know about her existence before I stumbled over a blog post by A Woman Reading who wrote about her. Gemma Townley is the sister of Sophie Kinsella and also writes Chick Lit. Since I love Sophie Kinsella books I definitely wanted to try out a book written by her sister. I chose Little White Lies because it is about a girl moving from a smaller city to London and tries to find her way through life. I liked the idea because I also just moved to London.

When you first move to London, you have all these great expectations about how life in this metropolis would be like. You feel sophisticated and cosmopolitan. But as it turns out, even people living in London are just normal people like you and me. Living in the city is different from living in the country but both have their positive and negative sides.

This is basically what happens to Natalie, the main character of the book. She moves to London and expects a fabulous life. She quit her job in advertising in her home town but the only job she can find in London is a working in a cloth store being bullied by her boss all the time. In the beginning she is not even going out. She spends her evenings alone in her tiny Notting Hill apartment dreaming of a better life. She told all her friends and family back home how great life in London is going to be and now they start asking about it. Feeling too proud to tell the truth, Natalie makes up stories about her great new job and her fantastic social and party life. While telling all these lies she forgets about the possibility that the people from home might come to London to be a part of this gorgeous new life she supposedly has. This leads to Natalie making up new lies trying to support her old ones. And it gets even worse when she falls in love with Simon while pretending to be someone else.

But as the saying goes, lies don‘t travel far: First there is just one lie, then another one based on the first one and in the end it is a whole bunch of lies and a complete new story arises. It can become pretty hard to keep up with all the lies that are being told. Natalie has to remember all of them and everything new she tells has to fit into the whole imagined story.

Even though I could not really understand why she was lying in several situations when it was so obvious to the reader that telling the truth would have been the less painful choice, I could still feel with her and it really made me laugh how she always found her way out of one lie through creating an even more absurd story…

Throughout the whole book I was asking myself how Natalie would ever get out of the story she created. I do not want to give away the details for people who are interested in reading the book but I can say that I liked her way of dealing with things. What can be learned from this story is “that you have to make things happen, not wait for them to happen to you.”

For this novel, Gemma Townley seemed to be inspired by the movie “Notting Hill” even though it is a complete different story. I could sense some similarities like the scene in the end when Natalie talks to Simon in his classroom in front of all his pupils as if she was one of them. This reminded me of the last scene in Notting Hill in which William Thacker pretends to be a journalists asking questions to movie star Anna Scott. The movie is one of my most favourite movies. I‘ve seen it so many times and it was nice being reminded of it by this great book. In the end I felt like going to Notting Hill and enjoying the little streets with the nice little houses and the cute little shops, maybe stopping by in the Travel Bookstore and at Tina T‘s… 🙂

I really enjoyed reading Little White Lies and I don‘t quite understand why Gemma Townley isn‘t more popular. In my opinion she can definitely compete with her sister! I am going to read more of her books for sure…

More about Gemma Townley can be found here.

My Rating: ★★★★

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One Response to Review: Little White Lies (Gemma Townley)

  1. Pingback: My Weekly Reading Dose (#3) | The Secret Insights of my Bookshelf

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