Thank you to Kate @oneworldpublications who kindly sent this to me. It did just the trick to get me out of my reading slump.
Described as ‘Eleanor Oliphant on acid’, Pretend I’m Dead tells the story of Mona, a cleaner who volunteers for a needle exchange programme, where she meets (and falls for) a man who she calls Mr Disgusting. As you can imagine, things don’t quite go to plan when you fall for someone who regularly attends a clinic to get clean needles, and the ensuing drama and heartbreak leads Mona to Taos, New Mexico. Here she meets a cast of larger than life characters who inadvertently lead her to reflect on her own life and the past she’s left behind.
The author herself wrote the book after cleaning houses for 5 years. When cleaning, she often composed self-portraits of herself in other people’s homes - a detail which makes it into the book. Apparently she also amassed a collection of vacuum cleaners - another similarity with Mona.
This book is gritty, funny, honest, shocking, and above all, an entertaining story, which is exactly what I needed. Plus I’ve just found out that a sequel is expected to be published next year, which I’m already looking forward to.