Guest Editor, Amanda Cole Author of I Hate Cinderella
If only you knew then what you know now.Â For Charlotte Merryweather, there’s no need to imagine. She’s about to find out for real. With surprising consequences in Alexandra Potter‘s new book, Who’s That Girl?
Ever wanted to go back and give your 21 year old self all the advice you wish you knew now? Yes please!!! Well through a series of random events our beloved PR agent Charlotte finds her 31 year old self confronted by seeing her 21 year old self driving around London in her old Beetle (that was sent to the scrap heap years ago!).Â Â
Charlotte is currently a stress ball, with much on her plate, running her own successful company, putting up with sleazy offensive clients, dating a “beige safe guy” and ignoring her instincts. So when she has a chance encounter with her younger self known as “Lotte” back then, she gets to see all the differences, some subtle (no wrinkles, no sun damage, no eczema) and others larger than life (happy and relaxed, enjoying the small pleasures out of life – on a budget!).Â Charlotte thinks she needs to change Lotte, warn her about life ahead and how to avoid some pot holes but as the story unfolds its not really the case.
Lotte has no need for a noise machine or humidifier when nodding off to sleep, rather she has many fun nights out, tonnes of dancing, followed by pot noodles and passing out! No allergies, no demanding schedule and no imminent stress related ulcer. And Lotte is happy bargaining in a flea market, perving on all the hot guys and not self diagnosing all that she feels, maybe she is the one to teach Charlotte how to get back to basics.
What follows is a magnetic and magical tale by Alexandra Potter who weaves a clever story throughout 1997 and current day as Charlotte runs into a man (who she met 10 yeas ago but blanked) who seems to know her better than she knows herself.
The book cris-crosses time, back and forth and the pace picks up as it threads throughout important girlie lessons such as:
- Wear sunscreen!
- Back away from those PVC trousers!
- DON’T give that idiot your phone number!
- Lemon juice won’t bleach your hair – it just attracts wasps.
With the lessons being beautifully laid out for us, we see Charlotte and Lotte helping each other (yes I am aware of the irony here!) to become a more rounded version and to embrace herself and her new direction. This is a great book to read on the way to and from work and seemed almost magical to me as my train raced through the tunnels taking me to my destination. Alexandra has created a great piece of escapism although she could have explored the intricacies of stepping back in time a little bit deeper, it’s definitely one for the Must Read list.