BOOK REVIEW: Him Downstairs by Sherill Turner

What do you do when the ex you still have feelings for lives directly below you?

It's a tricky situation for Lucy Jenkins in Him Downstairs, the debut novel from actress Sherill Turner (check out her Q&A!). If you're a fan of hilarious British chick-lit then this is a perfect novel to add to your to-read list.

Life is going generally okay for thirty-something Lucy; okay, she's single, and she has to take on more than one job to be able to afford the mortgage on her much-loved flat. But with her fun and slightly wacky friends and family around her, Lucy is heading through life positively.

However, things change when the flat below hers becomes occupied by the handsome Tom; a fellow singleton who's moved in after separating from his wife. Tom and Lucy are great together, however it isn't long before the challenges arise, such as the acceptance of Tom's two young sons, and the pressure from his soon-to-be-ex wife.

When there seem to me more downsides than upsides to their relationship, Tom and Lucy call it off - leaving Lucy with the unfortunate realisation that she will have to get over a man who lives right below her. It's hard enough getting over a relationship, but when you can hear your ex all day (even going to the toilet)? Nothing can prepare you for that...

With the help of her friends, and along with some hilarious dating disasters and mishaps, Lucy must focus on getting the man from the downstairs flat out of her life.

Him Downstairs is a fantastic read, one which I struggled to put down as I found myself relating to Lucy so much, cheering her on throughout the novel. Sherill Turner is a very funny writer, and the book is hilarious all the way through; it's brilliantly witty British chick-lit, the kind that I'm personally always on the lookout for. I will say that at the beginning of this book, there was perhaps a bit too much rambling - HOWEVER, as I read on, I didn't mind this, and it actually made me enjoy it more. It felt as though Lucy had become a close friend, and that I'd been invited even further into her life and the story.

I'm going to applaud the author for bringing us a book that focuses on a real, genuine relationship. Yes, this is considered chick-lit, but if you're looking for a sugary-sweet romance, Him Downstairs probably isn't for you. I won't go into too much detail, but this story explores the (often harsh) realities and issues that come with thirty-something dating, especially when there are ex-partners and children involved. It's refreshing, as it's something that isn't usually explored in mainstream chick-lit, as there tends to be a heavy focus on the happily-ever-after. This book is about Lucy's journey, and what she learns from it.

Him Downstairs is a wonderful debut with plenty of humour, a relatable heroine and fab characters. I hope Sherill writes more novels in the future!

Rating: 5/5

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