Rejected Goddesses

Spending 6 years at an all-girls school was an incredibly intense crash course in the power of female friendship. On one hand I learnt early on how deeply destructive false sisterhood can be, with bickering, bullying and bitchiness all par for the course on any average day; on the other I saw first-hand how it could also be a nurturing and empowering force for good, giving me a safe space to work out who I really wanted to be.  The knowledge I gained from those teenage experiences has carried through into my adult life and I value nothing more than my female friends, who give me loyalty, support and love in unconditional bucketloads.  Rejected Goddesses is a romantic comedy about just this type of lasting solidarity between women and I defy anyone who reads this not to instantly want a Cat or Robyn by their side, fighting their corner. These girls are fierce.
Having returned to their childhood home of Mystic Oak from the bright lights of Boston, our heroines are settling into their lives.  Robyn is a journalist who has inherited her grandmother’s bakery and is giving a culinary career a whirl, whilst Cat is adjusting to working for a new boss at a local real estate firm.  Between dealing with their families, managing their careers and puzzling over the mysteriously inconsistent attention of the men they are attracted to, both girls have their hands full. How will Robyn’s bakery survive a terrible review by a local critic?  Will Cat go insane working for her unbelievably handsome but infuriating boss?  Will either of them ever find a man to truly appreciate their worth?  This is an often touching, consistently funny and well-written tale of female solidarity in an increasingly confusing modern world.
However the best thing about this book by far is that despite being marketed as “chick-lit” it doesn’t shy away from some really difficult issues, in particular sexual harassment by men on women in the workplace.  Neither Cat nor Robyn are your stereotypical rom-com heroines who wait for a man to save them – both are feisty, courageous and unafraid to fight their own battles – and they perfectly portray the challenges of being a woman in 2021, balancing the world’s expectations against their own needs and desires.  Most heart-warmingly of all, this book also brings us men who value women for more than just their looks and who are also beginning to challenge the misogyny around them in their own individual ways.  The back story around their retreat from Boston is hinted at frequently but never entirely revealed, which in many ways makes the protagonists even more real: they lived before we met them and will continue to do so once we leave.
With a cast of glorious characters brought to life so simply yet effectively (my favourite being Tonio, Cat’s mafia-esque brother) and a writing style that simply carries you delightfully though each and every page, this is a lovely novel that I found truly uplifting.  Yes the ending is a little clichéd, but like the best of this genre, the happy ending is a salve for an increasingly distressing real world – this is escapism at its best. This is a writing duo to watch out for, for sure – definitely one to slide into the TBR.

Author: Bookaholicbex

Book-nerd with a passion for all things literary. If only real life would stop getting in the way of reading...

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