Sunday 10 July 2016

Book Review - Woman of the Hour by Jane Lythell

Amazon UK
Title:  Woman of the Hour
Author: Jane Lythell
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Publication Date: 14th July 2016
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Meet Liz Lyon: respected TV producer, stressed-out executive, guilty single mother... woman of the hour.

StoryWorld is the nation's favourite morning show, and producer Liz Lyon wants to keep it that way. Her job is to turn real-life stories into thrilling TV - and keep a lid on the scandals and backbiting that happen off-stage.

But then simmering tensions erupt at the station, trapping Liz in a game of one-upmanship where she doesn't know the rules. As the power struggle intensifies, can Liz keep her cool and keep her job? Does she even want to?

In this gripping novel of power, rivalry and betrayal, Jane Lythell draws on her experiences of working in the glamorous, pressurised world of live TV.

I really enjoyed the book, and found it  a very entertaining and gripping read.  Liz Lyon is in charge of features for a TV show called StoryWorld. It's a morning TV show, with guests on the couch, and some pre-recorded sections, but mainly live, similar to This Morning in the UK, at least that is the vibe I had from it. 

She has a small team and the book is all about the inner workings at the TV station, and the power games between the overall boss, Julius that she has had a chequered history, the head of the News team, Bob who has been having an affair with another member of the show. And on the flip side we also have Lizzy's anxieties at being a single parent to 14 year old Flo, whose new neighbour, 16 year old Paige is a not fantastic influence. 

I loved the scenes in the TV stations as it gives a great behind the scenes look at the decision making involved in putting on live daytime TV, and the dynamics between Liz's research team are great. Loves Simon, Molly, Ziggy and even Harry grew on me eventually. The two younger girls Ziggy and Harry cause the most mystery in the book, in an epic storyline that runs for the majority of the book, often in the background, but just there, hitting at your concious to be unravelled. 

The various "on air personalities" are a good mix too, from the insecure lead presenter Florrie, to the chef who makes some delicious sounding recipes to the flamboyant astrologer, the kind hearted Betty who is the problem letter lady and even some comic relief with Sal. 

There were loads of entertaining interactions, and between the team at the station and the stories of some of the guests, especially some for the Outside Broadcast, I had a tremendous sense of how realistic Jane Lythell can write her characters and that she clearly knew her TV production stuff. 

I believe I read somewhere this is the start of a series, and if so then I am definitely eager to see more from the team at Storyline, as I really want to know what happens next. 

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Head of Zeus for this review copy. This was my honest opinion.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for this excellent review Rachel. I'm very glad you enjoyed it as it was a change in direction for me from psychological thriller to contemporary women's fiction.


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