Getting a life isn't always easy. And hanging on to it is even harder....
Jodi Taylor brings all her comic writing skills to this heartwarming tale of self-discovery.
Known as The Nothing Girl because of her severe stutter and chronically low self-confidence, Jenny Dove is only just prevented from ending it all by the sudden appearance of Thomas, a mystical golden horse only she can see. Under his guidance Jenny unexpectedly acquires a husband - the charming and chaotic Russell Checkland - and for her nothing will ever be the same again.With overprotective relatives on one hand and the world's most erratic spouse on the other, Jenny needs to become someone. And fast!
Fans of Jodi Taylor's best-selling Chronicles of St. Mary's series will adore the quirky humour in this new, contemporary novel. Jodi Taylor, International Woman of Mystery, spent some time working undercover for North Yorkshire County Library Service. Heavily disguised as the world's most incompetent facilities manager, she shifted dead dogs, fell out of mobile libraries, and spent far too much time in the gents' toilets. The idea to rewrite history first came to her while studying history A level at an evening class.
Just One Damned Thing After Another is her first novel and was originally self-published as an ebook; it was downloaded by more than 60,000 readers on Amazon.
©2014 Jodi Taylor (P)2015 Audible, Ltd
This is a light romance novel which I found charming and sufficiently suspense-inducing to make me listen to the end. I really enjoyed Jodi Taylor's St Mary's series. This is nothing like that, but is well written and entertaining. The misunderstandings between the characters are well crafted.
"So much better than I expected"
I bought the book with a certain amount of trepidation. I adore the St. Mary's time travel books by Jodi Taylor and wasn't sure I wanted to ruin it by reading something else by her which I wouldn't like as much. From the description, it sounded rather like a children's book, and I'm not particularly fond of kid lit.
"The Nothing Girl" is not a book for children. Nor is it fantasy, exactly. There's a bit of fantasy in it, enough to make the story sparkle with magic but it's really about people and their relationships -- wrapped around a mystery. Or two. And some really interesting animals.
It is witty, sometimes hilarious. Touching, enough to bring a tear to my eye. Perhaps the closest thing to a false note is the total naivete of the protagonist who always seems to be the last to figure out what's going on.
It's also a mystery, though its primary focus is always people. Growing up, learning to relate to others. Helping a partner grow. Saving yourself while saving others. Figuring out who to trust ...
If you have read Taylor's other books, you won't be disappointed. It's not the same characters or even the same universe, but they are memorable, one and all, good and bad. There are surprises. Mysteries to solve. Relationships to sort out. Even a bit of sex. Nothing sordid -- she's not that kind of writer -- but definitely sex.
Lucy Price-Lewis is an excellent narrator who makes you forget she's there. Which is exactly what a great narrator does.
If I had to sum it up, I'd call it a clever mystery with a dollop of magic. A beautifully-crafted children's book for grownups.
"Not To Be Missed!"
I have this book in both Kindle and Audible forms. I highly recommend it in either format.
I don't know how to classify this book, except that is so very worth reading. It will touch your heart. You will ache for Jenny, the Nothing Girl, cheer for her, laugh with her, and be so very gratified with how things work out. It has pathos, mystery, humor, great characters, surprises, love, and a Golden Horse named Thomas that only Jenny can see. Is Thomas imaginary? A guardian angel in horse form? A mystical but real creature?
Russell is the most important character next to Jenny. The development and growth of his character is no less fraught and important than the growth and development of Jenny. Two great characters you will come to treasure.
This story would work as a mystery, romance, character driven plot even without Thomas. But what Thomas does for Jenny is very important in how everything else develops.
Jodi Taylor has a wonderful imagination and way with words. If she writes it, I'll read it. The narration is perfect.
"An Unexpected 5-Star Delight!"
I always thought that if a book had even a whiff of romance in it, I'd run like hell. I thought it'd be contrived, it'd be predictable, it'd be toe-curlingly bad. So imagine how surprised I was to completely fall for "The Nothing Girl," where Jenny marries Russell to have a home of her own, and Russell marries Jenny to get money so he can restore said home. The entire book will be about them eventually falling in love, right?
It's about Jenny becoming a real person in her own right. With the help of Thomas, the golden horse. Yep. The horse makes total sense, really he does!
Jenny is shy, has a stutter, has been told her entire life that she's two steps away from being institutionalized. But through the world she and Russell create, one with animals, friends, misfits, she learns to stand up, to speak, to be herself.
Then there's the plot twists at the end that I'm not going to blow. And the touching parts. And, and, and soooo much more. This audiobook is brilliantly narrated, desperately moving, and you'll enjoy every minute of it. Credit-worthy!
"Not What You'd Expect But Better"
The Nothing Girl ranks as one of the best books I've listened to in a long time and I've listened to some very good ones lately, including others by this author. She is a top-notch storyteller.
Not only has the story several twists, some predictable but very rarely, gentle, tongue-in-cheek humour accompanies a rather serious plot. Just when you think you've got it figured out, you don't and something happens to make you wonder, 'What the hell?' so you plow on, unable to put the book down - or the earphones in this case.
This is the first time I've listened to one of Lucy Price-Lewis's performances and I've got to say I am impressed. She has the magic touch; making you forget the narrator entirely and immerse yourself in the story. I'll be looking for more books narrated by Lucy.
Several moments in the book had me on the edge of my seat wondering what happens next and all I'll say to avoid a spoiler is that my favourite moment(s) involve a personage named Marilyn.
I have read most of Jodi Taylor's books, waiting avidly for each next edition to come out. She has become my new favourite author. The Nothing Girl rates at the top of this list and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a really good read. Well done!
"Jodi Taylor does it again !"
I fell in love with the St Mary's Chronicles, & after I had read all the chronicles published so far ( including the novellas ) I was looking for other books by Taylor, & found Nothing Girl. Jodi keeps hitting home runs. She is a marvelous creative story teller , & has an amazing imagination. She must have been a Bard in a past life ;-)
"Laughter, Tears and a Golden Horse"
I discovered Jodi Taylor through Audible (St Mary's series) and quickly became a fan. Her charming wit coupled with her ability to deliver a sinister plot makes for a page-turner each time I read her. I completed this book in less than two days. If you've not tried this author: do.
"A Mystery, a Romance, NOT a Fantasy"
This is a terrific listen. It is one of those stories that makes you sit for a moment in quiet satisfaction and appreciation of its fine quality when it ends.
Jenny, the main character, is a tremendously sympathetic character. I instantly found myself rooting for her in spite of the fact that I usually loathe weak protagonists. Her growth throughout the narrative is a joy to behold. In the course of that growth there are a few moments of writing that are so magnificent they make you catch your breath in delight.
This story is like Jodi Taylor's St. Mary's series in that it contains moments of Taylor's wonderful wit. However, it is definitely not a science fiction or fantasy story regardless of the presence of an invisible talking horse - which is more of a psychological artifact than anything else. My only quibble with this tale is the presence of an enormous red herring which gives you no way to figure out that it is leading you astray as you try to predict where the story is going.
Lucy Price-Lewis provides a first class narration that contributes to making this fine book a great use of a credit.
"Really struck a chord"
I would definitely listen to The Nothing Girl again. In fact, I already have! As soon as I finished it, I started all over again. I really enjoyed the relationship between Jenny and Thomas: The laughter, support, mentor-ship, and of course, friendship, was really quite beautiful. I also enjoyed the humor and quirkiness of the other relationships Jenny discovers and explores throughout the book.
Lucy Price-Lewis did a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life with her accents and overall narration.
This was definitely a book I wanted to listen to all in one sitting and did . . . . twice within days of each other. That is a first for me. :-)
I have read Jodi Taylor's Chronicles of St. Mary and loved them, so I picked up this book as well. Honestly, I think it is even better than the St. Mary books. The narrator is wonderful, the story is fun, the characters are great. Don't hesitate to spend a credit on this one!!
"Not a Sci-Fi & Fantasy book !"
I didn’t love this book for a few reasons, the first is that I really was expecting some kind of a fantasy book anything supernatural other worldly or even just “out of the box” would have spiked my interest however with the exception of the golden horse (that have very little to do with the actual story) this is a very straight forward fiction story.
Second, while the writing is very fluent and the characters are well build and for the most part likable, the storyline is slow and Jodi will just have you roll your eyes, there is something unbelievable in this character who just seems to accept her situation not asking any questions or trying at any time to take control of her life.
The ending too was predictable and disappointing and all in all it just seemed to have all been pointless.
"A wonderful book"
Jodi Taylor is rapidly becoming my favourite author. I bought this book on the back of her brilliant St Mary's series and was expecting the usual let down......writer moves away from the norm and fails miserably. However, I was so pleased that this book grabbed me from the start.
It's a fairytale for adults. A large golden imaginary horse, wicked step-parents, baddies, goodies, plots, twists, it's got it all! Fabulous book! (And if you haven't yet discovered the St Mary's Chronicles - do! You won't be disappointed)
I really loved this book. The story was lovely, sweet, sad, thoughtful and still gave an element of surprise. Loved the narrator too and the characters were great. Just downloaded 'Little Donkey' a short follow up but I could have carried on for hours more listening to the lives of Jenny, Russell Checkland and Thomas! More please :-)
"A stunning story"
I kinda liked the St Mary stories so thought I'd give this a go. I was unprepared for just how beautiful and magical this story was. I cannot thank Ms Taylor enough for sharing this with us and Ms Price-Lewis for her heartfelt and perfectly pitched narration.
As a bloke I would normally avoid "beautiful " stories but don't. Try it.
"A great story, well read"
Russel Checkland is a self-absorbed, bumbling idiot, who does not deserve Jenny's support or patience. And yet,he is kind and brave and compassionate and loyal. Taylor has managed to create such wonderful characters, real people, with flaws and yet more redeeming qualities than they deserve. I tried to convince myself to dislike Russel but found myself, instead, liking him more and more as a result of his stubborn refusal to let the Kingdoms rule Jenny's life.
With an inept Russel, the wonderful Thomases and the Checkland household, Jenny makes the transformation from 'Nothing Girl' to confident woman, facing the many challenges that come with a 'normal' life.
A masterfully manipulated plot twist that will knock you off your feet. I did not see the suspense filled ending come but found myself suddenly nervous about the revelation.
Just another reason why Jodi Taylor is on a very short list of authors whose every series I make an effort to read.
I love all of Jodi Taylor's work, but this book seems to have something uber special about it! Laughter, tears and a sort of 'grown-up' fairy story vibe! Loved it, and all it's characters, so much that I started listening to it all over again, once I had, very reluctantly, finished it! Beautifully read, too, by the way
Whimsy and skill making a wonderful story, I loved the combination and what a readable lady Jodi Taylor is.
"Believable Fairytale for Adults"
So what if it's obviously fictitious involving a talking horse invisible to everyone else except the main character? This is a wonderful book about triumph over personal tragedy, speech difficulties and manipulation/abuse. It is also a love story set within complex circumstances and few unexpected twists that make it appealing to adults looking for a feel-good book with a little suspense. It's perfect for reading in front of a log fire in winter, or for reading on a 'duvet day'.
I personally found it difficult to put down this book and I had a few good giggles arising from good 'ol British sarcasm, from the horse!! I'd definitely make this into a film - it's the kind of story that'd do well as a Disney animated film as well as an ordinary British film drama!!
"Lovely book by Jodie Taylor"
I thought this was a lovely book - heart-warming and beautifully narrated. Jodi Taylor weaves another tale that makes you feel like you're friends with the characters - including a little donkey and golden horse :)
"Sweet, funny warm"
Having listened to Jodi Taylor's 'St. Mary's' series (also very good) I hoped this would be just as enjoyable.,I wasn't disa
What a heart warming and lovely story , full of humour and feeling . Made me cry and laugh aloud ! Would highly recommend , very well read and a excellent performance.
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