Source - Received from publisher to review
Be careful what you wish for.
Antonia has always put everyone else before herself. Shy and quiet, her life in a small village in Wicklow has been devoted to her invalid mother and singing in the local church choir. Somehow, it's easier that way.
But when she is left alone, her friends encourage her to audition for a television talent show. Blessed with a glorious singing voice, she is suddenly thrust into the limelight and enters the world of celebrity and glamour. She's the Girl from Nowhere, but can she cope with this startling new life? Antonia discovers that this business is tougher than she ever thought possible, but also that she's stronger than she thought she was. And she finds that help can come from the most unexpected places.
I've read all five of Anita Notaro's previous novels so had been keeping an eye out for a new release from her for a while so was very fortunate to be sent a proof copy of this book to review by Transworld Ireland.
Antonia is a twenty-something young woman who has led a sheltered life and is still living at home looking after her mother who has had a stroke. Her only social activity appears to be singing in the local church choir.
When her mother dies suddenly Antonia is left floundering unsure what to do with her life when out of the blue she receives an invitation to audition for reality TV show, That's Talent. She's a bit puzzled as to why they've asked her as she didn't apply. After finally plucking up the courage to ring and confirm that she'll audition she turns to her friend Mary for help with a mini-makeover which she hopes will give her more self-confidence.
As she progresses through each round of auditions she battles her self-doubt and is surprised by her success and her transformation into the glamorous 'Toni', the star of the show, but deep down she is the same person. However along with success comes the pitfalls as she has to deal with jealousy from other contestants, men who try to take advantage of her, nasty press rumours as well as falling in love for the first time. Will life ever be the same again for Antonia?
With the influx of TV talent shows it's not really that much of a surprise that we are starting to get books being written with such shows as the theme. Although Ms Notaro also has the advantage of having worked in the television industry in Ireland so that probably helped as she could also draw from her own experiences.
This book is the tale of a small town girl having to overcome her anxieties to achieve her dream. If you're looking for a bit of escapism then this book's perfect for you as I read it in a matter of hours on a damp and dreary day. It's sad to know that this will be Anita's last book due to illness.