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How to Be Second Best

Narrated by: Michala Banas
Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (150 ratings)

Non-member price: $22.06

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Publisher's Summary

A hilarious and heartwarming debut that captures the dramas, delights, and delirium of modern parenting. This is Marian Keyes meets Allison Pearson, with a dash of Caitlin Moran.

Going from one child to two is never all that easy for a family, but when Emma's husband simultaneously fathers a third child, three doors up the street, things get very tricky, very fast.

No longer is it enough for Emma to be the best wife and mother - now she's trying to be the best ex-wife and the best part-time parent to her ex's love child, and that's before she even thinks about adding a new bloke to the mix.

Set in an upwardly mobile, ultra-competitive suburb, this is a funny, biting, heartwarming modern comedy that looks at the roles we play, how we compete, and what happens when we dare to strive for second-best.

"Hilarious, heartwarming [and] all too relatable.... Ultimate summer read." (Herald Sun)

"Sharp and crisp and funny. I was dazzled." (Mia Freedman)

"A refreshing and honest depiction of the delirium of modern family life...while it is undeniably laugh-out-loud funny, it is also incredibly heartwarming and real." (Better Reading)

"Heartwarming yet biting" (Sunday Telegraph)

"Full of funny moments, this debut takes a wry look at parenthood, divorce and the messy reality of blended families." (Who Weekly)

"Jessica Dettmann is a fine comic writer. She has an eye for the small details, irritations and inspirations of life which coupled with a truly original turn of phrase and great way with a gag makes for sparkling and heartwarming reading." (Ben Elton)

©2019 HarperCollins Publishers Australia Pty Limited (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers Australia Pty Limited

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Light and funny. I didn't want it to end.

I really loved this book and demolished it over two days. Michala Banas was brilliant as the narrator and a perfect choice. I couldn't help but picture her as Emma. Knowing her mannerisms and looks it was easy for me to picture her as Emma.

Jessica Dettmann is clearly a Mum and had the whole mum scene and life down pat. It made me smile and laugh knowing I had been through so many of the scenarios with my own kids.

My only wish was that this was a TV show that I could watch each week.

Brilliant. Loved it. Not necessarily deep or cliff hanging, but totally enjoyable.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Love it, Down to earth.

Was a warmly written book, easy to listen to and great story line. Down to earth and relatable with a few been there , thought that moments. Thank you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Super enjoyable

Loved the story and the narration :)
A wonderful escape into a world with complexities and joy

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Absolute Gem

Being a parent of a young child, I generally like to listen to audiobooks about any other subject... but this book had me hooked from start to finish. Light and funny, but so very entertaining. Michaela Banas narration was spot on!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Easy to listen to

Easy to listen to, new author for me. Fun, passes the time during daily commute.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Aussie author

A unique story, cleverly written with Aussie humour! The narrator was first rate, great voice, speed and Aussie diction that brought the story to life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A uniquely entertaining must-read story

This book was not my usual preference of novel, but I took a chance and now I'm terribly sad it's finished. Filled with dry humour, this story has been added to a very short list of favourites in my heart.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A great easy listen

I really enjoyed this! Normally I find it takes me ages to get into a new book but I was hooked on this one from the start.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Certainly NOT Second Best

A fabulous book to listen to, Michala Banas brought the characters to life. I kept thinking about the main Character Emma and how does she do it! She was flawed and so human completely relatable I didnt want it to end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Amazing book! Laugh out loud!

A very funny and engaging tale depicting a modern day family ! With a humorous look at the most simple tasks very entertaining!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful