One Night Only – Sue Welfare

Helen Redford is someone everyone once knew. She used to be a soap star on a well known soap but lately she has faded back into the distance of the general public’s minds. For some people though she has remained in the forefront in the hope that she well never return to her roots.

To reintroduce herself, Helen decides to go on the television programme called Roots which deals with exactly that – the roots of Helen Redford, her family, her name, her home town and how it all began. Think Who Do You Think You Are merged with a copy of OK magazine.

Unsure, Helen makes that first step back and we begin to see what Helen gave up and left behind when she found fame and fortune. She was on her own back then, she is on her own now as she goes back. Feeling vulnerable and unsure of everything, Helen is really looking for one answer why her mother left her all those years ago?

The answer Helen finds throws turmoil into more than her own life and past loves and friends all collide and it is all being captured on television. Should such revelations be made so public when they only concern a few? Has the media always got an ulterior motive no matter whether the answer is morally correct or not? Sue Welfare actually raises these points rather cleverly in this novel weaved both in the story based in the present and the story of Helens past – of her roots.

A novel that goes along between past and present with ease and you are charmed with the storyline when all of a sudden this bombshell is dropped into the characters lives it also shocked me, I did not see it coming and that was a good thing. This is not a fluffy and happy ever after type of book, reading between the lines it makes many wry observations on the way fame is dealt with at the beginning and right through a career. It might not necessarily be all it is cracked up to be.

A good light read with meaning.

This is the second Sue Welfare novel I have read in as many months. This is her latest novel and whilst I did enjoy it, personally I preferred The Surprise Party.

Just reading back I notice that I have made a similar comment on this book as I did the other – “not as light and fluffy as you may have initally thought”. I also use the word “bombshell” as well. What does all this mean I wonder? Well they are two completely different plots but I think here I can see the techniques that Sue Welfare is using to capture the readers attention. 

Both novels went along at a nice pace and I was not wishing for something to happen as you turned that page and trying to flick a few pages forward to see when the story line actually got going. Then just when you think you may have cracked the story this plot “bombshell” arrives and then everything is picked up again and the reader settles back to see what happens. 

I wonder if perhaps I have picked this up because I have read the books fairly close together? Perhaps a break from reading Sue Welfare (would certainly like to read more) and see if I come up with the same adjectives again. 

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