THERE’S A FINE LINE BETWEEN INNOCENCE AND GUILT. AN EVEN FINER LINE BETWEEN JUSTICE AND REVENGE.
Data scientist Laura prefers the company of her books to the real world – let alone that cesspit online. But when her best friend Emily becomes the victim of horrific cyberbullying, she makes it her all-engulfing mission to track down the worst culprits.
Petite corporate financier Suki is about to outshine the stupid boys at her firm: she’s leading the acquisition of Edinburgh’s most exciting start-up. If only she could get its brilliant, but distracted, co-founder Laura to engage.
Event planner Claire is left to salvage the start-up’s annual conference after her colleague Emily fails to return to work. She’s determined to get a promotion out of it, but her boss isn’t playing ball.
As the women’s paths intertwine, the insidious discrimination they each face comes to light. Emboldened by Emily’s tragic experience, they join forces to plot the downfall of all those who’ve wronged them.
But with emotions running high, will the punishments fit the crimes?
Sometimes it is hard to write a review and do the book the justice it deserves, to find the right words to sum up how it made you feel and why others should read it. It is often a gut reaction that is hard to put into words! But I’m going to give it a go, because the writer deserves recognition for a book that is both a fabulous read and a clarion call to all living in the ‘Me to era.’
Stay Mad, Sweetheart is a book of its time, it is defined by the quality of the story and the way it sums up how generations of women have felt over many, many years.
It takes the premise of three women who become friends and sisters-in-arms, when a young women becomes the victim of vicious and targeted cyber bullying. It is part thriller, part social commentary on the subject of consent and best of all the celebration of the power of women to take control of their own lives.
When I first started this book, is wasn’t sure, but as the pages turned, I became addicted to the storyline and like another reviewer, the lovely Sharon Bairden said so eloquently on her blog, Chapterinmylife, I was fist pumping the air as Laura, Suki and Claire rose up and sort justice for all the wrongs they had faced.
It was exhilarating and also liberating to read a story that had three remarkable and powerful female leads. I loved that the writer that given us a story that called out to women of all ages and said, you don’t have to be the supporting cast member in own life and you certainly don’t have to be in literature of any kind.
People often ask me why I still love Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, citing it as portraying women in an age where they had such little power over their own lives? I was a teenager when I read it and fell in love with this determined brave heroine. Bronte had given us a female lead with an indomitable spirit, who courage knew no bounds. Stay Mad, Sweetheart especially in the female characters, gives us a engrossing thriller, with twists and turns that keep you reading, cheering them on, at the same time provides readers the same type of female character that Jane Eyre championed, determined, passionate and brave. It’s the type of literature I want my god daughters and niece to grow up and read, because it gives a voice to women that refuse to be silenced or side-lined and does it within an exciting, thrilling story.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this novel to any reader.
Many thanks to the author and publisher for the ARC of this book in return for an honest review.
About the author
Throughout her life, Heleen Kist has been fondled, patronised and ordered to smile by random men. So she wrote ‘Stay Mad, Sweetheart’, a feminist tale of revenge, out November 19th 2019.Whilst her professional knowledge of technology start-ups fed the novel’s setting, its theme of insidious harassment and discrimination required no research: it is familiar to all women.
Heleen was chosen as an up and coming new author at Bloody Scotland 2018. Her first novel, ‘In Servitude’ won the silver medal for Best European Fiction at the Independent Publishers Book Awards in the USA and was shortlisted for The Selfies awarded at London Book Fair.
A Dutch strategy consultant living in Glasgow and married to a Scotsman, she’s raising their son to be a good man and their daughter to kick ass.
Heleen hopes you enjoy her writing, and would love to hear from you on twitter (@hkist), Faceboook (@heleenkistauthor) or Goodreads. You can also sign up to her newsletter on http://www.heleenkist.com.