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I am Ella Buy Me (2014)

Ella David is a copywriter at CBA, a top advertising agency in Soho. It's the 1980s - and Ella is bright, articulate and good at her job. Yet she is a woman working in a man's world. Constantly undermined by her lecherous boss Peter and fending off his unwanted attentions and cruel putdowns, Ella battles daily in this chauvinist world. Ella has sacrificed much for her career; fuelled by her broken childhood, she supports her divorced mother, feeling she is to blame for her parents' break-up. Ella's personal life is also tumultuous; she becomes involved with Tom Tyler, a would-be rock star on the path to fame. Ella cannot believe her luck with Tom but her womanly intuition suspects he is only using her for a place to stay or to get his hands on her flat. Yet desperate for love and tainted by the damage her estranged father has left on her psyche, she ignores her own gut feelings and turns the blinkers on. Yet Ella's life changes forever when she attends a teambuilding session organised by her work; here she has an epiphany and her life changes irrevocably. Ella finally learns that although much in life comes with a price, sometimes the things that matter are not for sale. This book offers a realistic depiction of the chauvinistic world in which Ella struggles to survive. Ella is a very empathetic, if lost character. She has many demons in her past which she never really faced. Ella finds she cannot turn to her parents for the reassurance and guidance she needs but thankfully has two friends - Adam and Wal - who help her through life. As the story progresses Ella begins to realise what is important in life and how fickle the environment she is in. Her epiphany enables her to realise her own true worth and live her life on her own terms. Well written and played out with an array of interesting characters, this is a novel which will strike a chord in all those who have ever had an unpredictable boss or unsuitable boyfriend. It shows that sometimes happiness comes from where we least expect it and how sometimes it is only when we confront our past and take control of our lives that we can grow and move forward. (LP)

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