In Real Life is a witty but cautionary tale about relationships, social expectation and miscommunication in the age of the Internet.
The story switches between the characters of Lauren, Paul and Ian who met at university, beginning with Lauren’s sudden split from Paul in 2004. We can sympathise with Lauren’s grievances: Paul is a would-be writer who works in a bar, doesn't pay his way and has off-putting habits. When Lauren joins a friend travelling to Canada, she begins a warm and promising email correspondence with Ian, a musician and ex-flatmate of Paul’s.
Flicking forward to 2014 we find that Lauren, Paul and Ian have lost touch and for each of them, life has become a little messy. Is there any chance Paul can write another novel to match his earlier success, and can he be honest with his girlfriend? Will Ian find a new job, reclaim his pawned guitar or meet up with Lauren to sort out their unfinished business? Will Lauren ever meet Mr Right or manage to keep the staff happy at the charity shop she manages?
In Real Life will have you groaning at the online faux pas its characters make and remind you that posting statuses on Facebook while drunk is not a good idea. It’s a fun, bright, easy read on the one hand and a pithy snapshot of Generation Y on the other. This is Chris Killen’s second book and is definitely a novel for our time.
Posted by JAM
Catalogue link: In Real Life