Reviewed by Sarah Brew
Tilly has the day from hell when she's sacked from her barristers' chambers in the morning, then finds her husband in bed with her former best friend in the afternoon. She escapes to her mother, Roxy - a sassy solicitor whose outrageous take on men, work and family life is the despair of her more conventional daughter. Roxy comes up with a radical plan for their future - they'll set up an all-female law firm which will only champion women who have been cheated, put upon, attacked, ripped off or ruined by the men in their lives.
In court, Tilly finds herself up against Jack Cassidy, the smooth-talking, politically incorrect, legal love god who broke her heart at law school. Jack is fluent in three languages - English, sarcasm and flirtation. but if he's so loathsome, then why is she committing Acute Lust in the 3rd degree?
When a case lands on the doorstep that threatens to change all their lives, Tilly finds herself dangerously close to taking the law into her own hands. Will Jack's cunning ways and expertise in emotional break and enter derail her quest for justice? Or will the women take on the boys. and win?
Sacked from her barristers’ chambers and finding her husband in bed with her best friend – two traumatic events turned into a life-affirming change of course by Matilda, a strong and intelligent heroine.
Despite their different outlooks on life, it’s her mother she turns to and it’s her mother who comes up with a completely new idea – setting up their own law firm, Pandora’s, dealing only with women who have, in some way, been exploited by men. The cases they encounter are eye-openers. They find themselves embroiled in the case of a 16 year old rape victim. Strong and hard-hitting, the storyline is brutal in places and may shock the reader. Yet, there is great compassion shown which gentles the impact. It’s a theme which could turn into a rant against men but the sensitive handling and well balanced approach to the topic, coupled with some very strong and likeable role models, keeps the book on track. A leavening of humour helps too. Vivid and descriptive, Kathy Lette has a powerful way with words.
Professional and personal lines cross and Tilly finds the past has a habit of catching up with people when she finds herself in court against Jack Cassidy, who broke her heart at law school. It seems her feelings for him are as strong as ever; can they turn her aside from her course?
It can fall into the broad genre of chick lit but it’s chick lit with a strong message; a book that will have you pondering over rights and wrongs. There’s enough controversy herein to make it excellent book club material – plenty to debate over the cakes and wine.
I'd like to thank Sally at Transworld Books for sending us a copy of this book and Sarah for reviewing it for the blog.