Kat Jumps the Shark
Antonia Acott for The New Daily says: Fairfax TV critic Melinda Houston has delved into the chick-literature world with a novel on love, loss and the realities of television. Hero Kat starts the book seemingly with all her ducks in a row – rich boyfriend, gorgeous step-daughter, great job as location scout for big TV show. As to be expected from most light-hearted fictional tales, everything falls apart and Kat is left alone, sad and jobless, while having to pick up the pieces of her life. What’s notable about Houston’s debut novel is that rather than overwhelming the reader with a million twists and turns as Kat struggles to sort out her life, this novel takes a clear-eyed look at one woman’s vulnerabilities and resilience, and chronicles the challenges of finding love after 40 and choosing what’s right for you.
Thuy On for the Sydney Morning Herald says: Kat Kelly is a likeable everywoman whose life at first seems rose-hued. Her relationships with her boyfriend and stepdaughter are going along swimmingly, as is her job scouting locations for a TV production company. Until, bit by bit, everything falls apart. Luckily, to help her collect the pieces and re-configure a new life are her best friend and a cute bartender. Set in Melbourne, this novel is a pleasant, light read, with easily recognisable characters and an insightful behind-the- scenes look at reality television.
Chris Gordon for Readings says: There are no hidden plots in this novel or sage advice for recently single women out there, rather, this is a rollicking journey of local streetscapes told with humour, and directed pointedly at our modern television viewing. Certainly Houston is writing from an insider’s perspective: her day job is as a TV reviewer and I imagine she has witnessed the very best, and worst, of celebrity culture. An escapist read, if you enjoy the writings of Anita Heiss or Toni Jordan, pick this one up too.