Grief, love and insecurities are all strong presences in this sweetly charming book.
Down to earth, Billy and Me is a story featuring a very likeable central character who has traits that many of us can probably relate to.
Sophie has a secret which she hasn’t been able to reveal to anyone and has prevented her from moving forward with her life. This in turn means she is still living at home and working in a teashop, where she has been happy for the last eight years. But then when a film starts shooting in her village, she is introduced to actor Billy Buskin and sparks of romance happen – but Sophie struggles to fit into his glamorous world.
It is a book that is richly layered with many different emotions and strands of storylines that come together effectively to show how Sophie’s personality soon begins to blossom – even with the heartache and pain along the way. From her move to London to attending the BAFTA awards you really see things through Sophie’s eyes.
With her writing, Giovanna Fletcher really sensitively handles issues such as mental health and grief that really allows the reader to be swept into Sophie’s story, while the majority of the characters are equally warm and likeable. The ending is really tenderly written and in particular the way in which Sophie’s relationship with her mother is handled is really lovely, while her relationship with Billy is suitably dreamy and romantic despite the difficulties along the way.
The style of the book is relaxing, entertaining but always filled with heart which makes it really enjoyable to read. There are glimpses of glamour as seen through the BAFTA awards or the press nights that Billy and Sophie attend but mainly it is a cosy story. However,it is not simply a ‘fluffy’ read but covers difficult issues as well to give it extra depth and meaning.
Overall, Billy and Me is an insightful and enjoyable read with characters who are immensely likeable and relatable.
By Emma Clarendon
Billy and Me is available to buy now.