Breaking up is hard to do… Or the best thing that could happen to you!
It’s Elissa’s birthday, but her boyfriend hasn’t really noticed – and she’s accidentally scheduled herself a cervical smear instead of celebration drinks. Great.
Then there’s her borderline-psychotic boss, the fact she’s not making but losing money at work, and her sinking feeling she’s about to be dumped.
But Elissa will soon find out that being single doesn’t have to be lonely… And with a little help from her friends, even a girl with minus £1,000 in her account can have a lot of fun.
Hilarious and moving, this is a book you’ll want to share with all your friends. The perfect read for fans of Marian Keyes, Sophie Ranald and Holly Bourne.
Shortlisted for a 2019 Comedy Women in Print Prize
The Lonely Fajita by Abigail Mann was shortlisted for the 2019 Comedy Women in fiction price in 2019 and having read it I can see why. Funny, tender and uplifting, it is a story about finding your place in the world, friendship and kindness. Witty throughout, littered with laugh out loud moments, it tells the story of Elissa whose life is about to enter freefall, but from this comes the hope of much better times ahead.
What I loved about Elissa and her story is that I could identify with it from chapter one. Seriously I laughed hard and forgot events around me. One of the best moments is how she talks about the jobs she had when at university, those at which she was decidedly average, overstuffing baguettes, whereas I worked in a discount shop, where they never priced the stock and you had to memorise the prices. Eek, I just guessed and I swear the manager was very relieved when I left! It’s what makes her such a fabulous character, she is part me, part you, parts of all of us, at our most vulnerable. Elissa is funny, caring, insecure, full of self doubt and in The Lonely Fajita she is going on a journey of discover and some days that just goes better than others! It’s what gives the character such heart, such warmth and frankly makes her a joy to read about. Because like me she doubts her contributions to most things, she felt all the more real to me and I ended up really wanting her to find a better life.
As for the story it’s all about finding her best life and how it’s not the life she had expected. Abigail Mann lit her narrative up with writing that radiated warmth and care and acknowledged that humour can come even from life’s mundane moments, from our lowest points. The humour comes from everyday occasions and we laugh with her, not at her and that makes it charming. I laughed at the mishaps she encounters, many of whom we have all lived through and that is refreshing when so much comedy is based around taking the micky out of others, making it feel cruel, whereas this feels congenial! I mean, booking her smear test on her birthday, that is so me and it made me giggle.
One of the best things about the story, is when she meets Annie and how it opens them both up to friendships and a life lived full of possibilities. They are to me each others lifelines and it makes The Lonely Fajita one of the best feel good books of 2020, just at a time when we all need that.
I would like to thank the publisher and the author for the ARC in return for an honest review.
About the author
Abigail Mann is a comedy writer living in London and surviving on a diet of three-shot coffee, bourbons, and vegetarian sausage rolls. She was born and brought up in Norfolk, which she says is to blame for the sardonic humour that runs through her novels. Abigail was the runner-up in 2019’s Comedy Women in Print award for The Lonely Fajita: her first novel.
You can find out lots more about her from her Author Website (www.abigailemann.com) or her Facebook page (@abigailmannauthor), Instagram (@abigailemann) or on Twitter (@abigailemann).
About the Comedy Women in Print Prize
The Comedy Women In Print (CWIP) prize was set up by actress, writer and comedian Helen Lederer and is a new comedy literary award now into its 2nd year. Open to published authors and unpublished writers alike, with a new category for published, self-published or micro-published graphic novels this year, it looks for evidence of wit ranging from irony to absurdity offering laugh out loud moments and a sense of connection, truth and recognition to the reader. The 2020 shortlist will be announced on 8 June.
For more on CWIP, visit the CWIP website (comedywomeninprint.co.uk), our Facebook Page (@CWIPprize), or find us on Instagram (@CWIPprize) or on Twitter (@CWIPprize).
About Helen Lederer
Helen Lederer is a much-loved actor, author and comedian who has appeared in the BBC comedy Naked Video, Saturday Night Live, The Young Ones, French and Saunders and Bottom with Rik Mayall. She’s perhaps best known as Catriona ‒ the dippy journo in the TV series of Absolutely Fabulous and more recently the movie, Rich Aunt Ruby in the Horrid Henry movie, midwife Mariam Andrews in Hollyoaks and Celebrity Big Brother where she almost appeared normal. Her comedy novel Losing it was nominated for the PG Wodehouse comedy literary award. Last year Helen set up the Comedy Women in Print prize in response to the lack of exposure for female comedy writing, and as a way of celebrating fresh and established talent.
For more, visit Helen’s Website or Facebook Page, or find her on Instagram or on Twitter.