Meet Mavis Upton.
As mummy to 7-year old Ella, surrogate to far too many pets and with a failed marriage under her belt, Mavis knows she needs to make some life-changing decisions. It’s time to strike out into the world, to stand on her own two feet … to pursue a lifelong ambition to become a Police Officer. I mean, what could go wrong?
Supported by her quirky, malapropism-suffering mum, Mavis throws herself headlong into a world of uncertainty, self-discovery, fearless escapades, laughter and extra-large knickers. And using her newly discovered investigative skills, she reluctantly embarks on a search to find her errant dad who was last seen years before, making off with her mum’s much needed coupon for a fabulous foam cup bra all the way from America.
Follow Mavis as she tackles everything life can throw at her, and revel in Gina Kirkham’s humorous, poignant and moving story of an everyday girl who one day followed a dream.
If you think this book might be your cup of tea – grab the audiobook version. Diana Croft almost killed me off with the giggling fits this book gave me.
The book itself is clearly a mix of autobiography and fiction, I’m familiar enough with some members of that particular constabulary to know that a lot of the anecdotes are accurate, especially the pranks and the demolition of multiple packs of hobnobs every shift …
Mavis Upton is the author’s alter ego who one day has an epiphany and decided to join Merseyside’s finest. She tells us about the training courses, initiations into her first station and some of the more memorable jobs of her early career from a uniquely female perspective. What I enjoyed is that this is a story of a woman who gives as good as she gets! She’s a single mother to her very funny daughter Ellie, and daughter to an equally wicked mother. It’s her perspective on everything as a woman that makes it so easy for me to relate to – mishaps with stockings that won’t stay up, car seats that won’t come far enough forward and the eternal struggle of making an ample bosom look smart in formalwear.
Most importantly, this book is insanely funny. It’s possible the humour is a bit of an acquired taste but it’s definitely one of mine! There is quite a lot of snot and other body secretions in this book, as well as some excellently timed fart jokes but it’s important to see the funny side of absolutely everything when your work involves seeing the worst sides of absolutely everyone.
It’s not all giggles though, there are some chapters that deal with the sadder aspects of Mavis’ work and private life, Diana Croft had me holding back tears when she read these. That woman is GOOD. The whole story is in the voice of Mavis, with her funny and matter of fact voice with a Scouse (Liverpool) accent which is a tricky one to copy successfully but Croft nailed it – she clearly worships at the same altar of ‘less is more’ that I do when it comes to accents.
The book itself is beautifully written, every single word had its place in this book and had an impact on me. I’m not one for re-listening to audiobooks as a rule but this one will be my go-to forever.
The take away message of this book for me is that you’ll never get out of the job alive if you can’t laugh at yourself!
**I received a free copy of this audiobook for an honest and unbiased review**