We Were On A Break by Lindsey Kelk

A review by Lynne Larby

Liv and Adam are on holiday. Liv’s best friend Cassie told her Adam is going to propose and it’s the last night. Everything goes wrong. They have a fight on the plane home then Adam says he wants a break from Liv.

Liv sees Adam kissing another girl. Liv’s besties set her up on Tinder: cue diabolical engagement with social media and explanations of accepted behavior for those of us who’ve never used the platform. Also cue hilarity in the farcical manner consistent with Friends.

However, if you’re expecting Ross and Rachel, you’ll be surprised. This is better. Ross and Rachel aren’t very nice people although Rachel’s request for a break was completely justified and Ross was a total douche. I prefer Monica and Chandler. Just sayin’. Ahem. I digress.

Liv and Adam are both likeable characters stuck in fairly normal circumstances although not everyone is a vet inheriting her dad’s business and a carpenter striking out as an independent.

The story is told mainly from Liv’s point of view, bringing We Were On A Break to a more-than-passing-grade for the Bechdel Test. Adam’s point of view adds a he-says-she-says perspective while affirming his likeability but I still wanted to smack him.

Liv’s best friend, Cassie, is Chinese. This is communicated discretely by describing her long black hair and why her family wants to impose seclusion on her after the birth of her baby. After talking to Maxine Beneba Clarke on Twitter about representation of people of color, I suspect We Were On A Break would get a passing grade from her, too.

Liv assumes Cassie wants to return to work after the birth of her baby. Cassie’s partner, Tom, isn’t too happy about Cassie wanting to stay at home. Meanwhile Liv is confronted with clients who won’t acknowledge her as a capable vet because she’s a woman. Discussion of women’s roles intersects naturally, presenting diverse expectations and the struggle to be accepted as individuals.

We Were On A Break is Friends with misunderstandings and hilarity wrapped up in a feminist romance. I’d love to see this novel as a rom-com movie.

And I want the sequel: one of Liv’s friends has a crush on another of her friends. I need closure. Is Lindsey Kelk the new Marian Keyes? I loved Keyes’s series about the sisters and We Were On A Break feels like it could be in that line.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
ISBN: 9780007582419
ISBN 10: 0007582412
Format: paperback, 416 pages
Imprint: HarperCollins
We Were On A Break — a megaphone shouts at the top while a woman walks away below the title