The Diary of a Porter Girl, a book to put a smile on your face

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This book by Lucy Brazier follows the adventures of a former police woman who takes a job as Deputy Head Porter at Old college hoping for a cushy job full of fine lunches however fate has older ideas as a deadly mystery unfolds.

What I didn’t like;

The book has the feel of being unfinished, don’t get the wrong idea there is a lot to commend it however it would have greatly benefited from a structural edit.

The first third the heroine talks a lot about the sexism she faces but the author never showed any of it. She could have had a lot of fun with this, having old and infirm professors insisting on carrying heavy objects because she is a lady. Collage processions disrupted because of people hold a door they should be passing through in order. There are also the times when she would have face the ‘But you’re a girl reaction!’

Unused sub plots; Not a lot really happens in the first half of the book, a lot of amusing incidence about college life but very little adds to the plot. It would have benefited from a few interesting and juicy sub plots. There were several times when you start to think this looks interesting then in comes to nothing. I daren’t give any examples because I don’t want to give and spoilers. But a little more mystery would have brought this book up to another level.

Unused characters; this follows on from my last point there is a cast of very colourful characters that are not always used to their full potential, I want to know more about quite a few of them but was left disappointed.

I am guessing the author is planning more books, which I hope she does but I would advise against writing the current book with too much put in for the benefit of the sequel it leaves the reader feeling slightly cheated.

The prologue; nice story but reads like people pretending and then occasionally forgetting they are medieval!

What I did like;

I liked a lot about this book, I hope what I said in the first section doesn’t put you off.
The writing style; The author has an excellent writing style, it’s light and whimsical never taking herself to seriously it makes the book a pleasant read. Reminded me a little bit of Terry Pratchett
The characters, she has written some wonderfully colourful characters although slightly over the top they still worked well with the style of the book.

Refereeing to the characters by their titles and not names, this added authenticity and quirkiness again reminiscent of Terry Pratchett, I half expected the senior Wrangler to turn up.

The Plot; it could have had a little more depth and few extra twists and turns but still a good one!

Summary

It’s a good book with quite a few flaws. Despite its problems it left me slightly happier for reading it and I would recommend it as a good light read. I’m only going to give it 3 ½ stars but feel mean for doing so. I would have loved to say it’s a 5-star book which so nearly could have been.

UK amazon link
Link to Lucy blog read about the Porter Girl for free

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9 thoughts on “The Diary of a Porter Girl, a book to put a smile on your face

  1. I think this is a very fair and accurate review of my book – which is why it is currently being completely rewritten and re-released this summer! The re-write addresses the problems of structure, sub plots and unused characters – what can I say, I was very inexperienced when I wrote it and now, with a professional publisher and editing team on board, I know it can be much, much better. So I would maybe advise people not to buy this one, enjoy the blog for now and please have a look at the new and improved version in the coming months.
    Thank you Eric for taking the time to read and review my book – the comparison to Pratchett is, of course, the greatest homour ever 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m glad you liked the review I was a bit worried positing it. Don’t be to hard on yourself it is a good book I enjoyed reading it. As you are going to re-release it I will not post this anywhere else. If you don’t mind me asking who are you working with on it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey, I appreciate your honesty and the fact that you enjoyed it, over all, is brilliant. But I agree – it could be much, much better. I am working with Kensington Publishing for the next three books, the first one being a re-working of this one.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh, boy!!! Brother…. Eric… she is being very kind with you… even though she is seething and waiting to give your book a “fair and accurate review of YOUR book” in turn… 😀

    Just kidding.. but I am satisfied that you are indeed fair and balanced. But, if you need to LIVE in this literary world, learn quickly to be a bullshitter.. you scratch my back and I scratch yours is what works best. If you want to be idealistic and propah, then also be prepared to be savaged and ripped apart when your turn comes.

    You know what is sad, Eric? Honesty does not pay, ever. The modern world is so used to bullshitting that the stench is normal now. When it stinks, they think it is perfectly alright. So if I send you a book to review, you are expected to go into orgasmic Oohs and Aahs, never mind the content, but there is this nice guy who has written a “great” book… so go on buy this fella’s book. That is how it works these days. Rip apart people at your own peril or do so when that person is too talented, so that he/she never writes another word to challenge you ever. I am cynical, I know. But, trust me, that is how it operates now.. sleazy, shitty world of literary criticism and commercial publication interests.

    Last words? Learn to be a bullshitter.. tell them how much you loved everything.. never point out technical flaws. Tell people that there is magic even in their mistakes “She has written it so well, that even the flaws in Chapter 13 when she makes a logical mistake about the character and misses the chronology/timeline, it is so delightful as to be forgotten and forgiven at once”… see? That bullshit will come naturally to you in due course 😀

    As a friend? Never lose your honesty, dear brother… never.. the world be damned..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If I have to lie then I’m not going to bother writing reviews. The first review I wrote I was much more critical than this one and it has lead to me becoming friends with the author and I’m currently editing his current book, so sometimes honesty does pay! I hope none of my comments come over as nasty I have tried to be constructive and offer advice but also acknowledge it is just my opinion.

      I have had my work torn to shreds, I have an author friend who has helped me with mine and she has not spared my feelings, however this has helped me I hope to write a better book and is far more useful than been told how fantastic my work is. When I finish my book I was planning to send a copy to you for an honest opinion and you can see I much prefer honesty than fawning praise! If I have upset Lucy then I am sorry but if you want to become a great author and I believe she will than you have be able to take criticism if you want to rise above the crowd of average books.

      Thanks for commenting I love it when you do you always know how to get the debate going!

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Hehe, that is about all I am good for these days, Eric – starting debates and then running out of steam. But, regardez, mois last line… never ever change.. the world be damned, I said. Never change. I am honoured to be counted as your friend. Really.. and no cynicism here. I hope you change the world, at least the literary world 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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