I just got off the phone to Ruth Leigh and she is a genuinely lovely, down to earth person, not at all like her protagonist Isabella M Smugge! She is positively reeling with the thrill of being newly published and still has to pinch herself in order to check that it is all real and it certainly is. In just under 3 weeks, Ruth has sold 350 copies of her debut novel, The Diary of Isabella M Smugge, and it is not even yet on the shelves!
An easy to read page turner, one becomes lost in the world of Isabella M Smugge, the hugely successful influential social media guru, who shares her flawless life with thousands of followers. Perfect shots of her children, her uber healthy recipes and her immaculate house are posted each day, and life could not be better. Or could it? As Isabella’s life unravels we are shown a less perfect world, and one which is probably far more real and a little like our own. Written as a diary we share Isabella’s year and discover this rather unlikable, irritating show-off is actually a loveable human being. She just doesn’t know it yet.
Ruth has cleverly woven a story that is both absorbing and poignant and invites us to ask ourselves some quite searching questions. However, it is all bound up with a good sense of humour and there are many laugh-out-loud moments!
How It All Started
One month into the first lockdown of 2020, Ruth was determined to write a blog post to raise spirits and decided she wanted to write something funny. During her whole writing career, she had never yet had the opportunity to write ‘funny’ and set about imagining a character who was – and she quotes – “opposite to myself, a famous online writer with a huge Georgian House and perfect children.” She captured the imagination of her readers, and a commissioning editor, suggesting the premise would make a great novel, asked for two chapters.
Aware of the adverse impact social media can have on people constantly reminding them they don’t come up to scratch, Ruth decided to incorporate this theme into her novel giving it a slightly serious slant. The backdrop of village life coupled with the myriad of characters provides a brilliantly constructed enjoyable read. #youneedtoreadthisfabulousbook, #Iloveditsoi’msureyouwill
You can purchase a signed copy of Ruth’s book by contacting her on Facebook or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can pre-order a copy at Waterstones, Woodbridge Emporium – Independent Bookshop Suffolk or Amazon. Ruth mentioned Woodbridge Emporium may even have a few copies in stock now!