Reputation by Sarah Vaughan

Reputation by Sarah Vaughan

Emma Webster is a Labour MP for Portsmouth South and single mum to Flora (14). But after doing an interview with the Guardian Weekend, which causes some controversy, she begins receiving hate mail and threats, both online and in person.

Meanwhile, Flora is being bullied by girls at school, especially Leah, her former best friend. But a rash and desperate act on Flora’s behalf may bring things crashing down, for both her and her mother.

The situation increasingly gets worse and Emma is soon fighting to protect her life, her freedom, her reputation. …

This book was written after Jo Cox’s death in 2016, but before Sir David Amess was murdered last October. It really shows how much risk the MPs put themselves in for the job. The character of Emma Webster MP holds her Saturday surgery in her constituency, making sure her car is ready for her getaway and she has enough water near her to pour over herself, in the event of an acid attack.

It was also interesting seeing things from Flora’s view, as I don’t think I have ever seen or read an interview from a real teenage child of a high-profile MP, yet Flora’s thoughts show how difficult it must be at times, and how frightening. So it’s a very thought-provoking book too.

It is an easy book to get into, it draws you into the story straight away and you want to keep reading to find out what happens. I really sympathised with Emma – and it reinforced my belief that I could never go into politics, because of all the fear and threat around being a public figure. It also shows you how quickly things can spiral out of control – a wrong decision made, an impulsive reaction and life changes irrevocably.

Part Three of the book deals with Emma’s trial and this section is also very well-written and compelling. It comes across as realistic and authentic and I enjoyed this part too. It is good to follow the trial on a day-by-day basis as if you are there in the court.

There are shocks and surprises throughout this book, even in the last chapter and it is so well done. Really a very clever and entertaining read.

9 out of 10

Published by karenlouisehollis

52, lives in Lincoln, England. Published writer, bookblogger and reviewer, mum, grandma, cat owner, vegetarian. Loves reading and sewing.

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