Jane O’Connor is a former primary school teacher turned academic and writer. She grew up in Surrey and lived in London until she moved to the West Midlands in her mid-thirties. Jane’s PhD was about child stars and she is now a Reader at Birmingham City University where she researches children’s experiences of celebrity, media and everyday life. Jane lives in Sutton Coldfield with her husband and two young sons in a house full of pirates, dinosaurs, superheroes and lots of books. She really likes all animals, especially hedgehogs.


Time to come out of hibernation…

Sylvia Penton has been hibernating for years, it’s no wonder she’s a little prickly…

Sylvia lives alone, dedicating herself to her job at the local university. On weekends, she helps out at a local hedgehog sanctuary because it gives her something to talk about on Mondays – and it makes people think she’s nicer than she is.

Only Sylvia has a secret: she’s been in love with her boss, Professor Lomax, for over a decade now, and she’s sure he’s just waiting for the right time to leave his wife. Meanwhile she stores every crumb of his affection and covertly makes trouble for anyone she feels gets in his way.

But when a bright new PhD candidate catches the Professor’s eye, Sylvia’s dreams of the fairy tale ending she has craved for so long, are soon in tatters, driving her to increasingly desperate measures and an uncertain future.

Sylvia might have been sleep walking through her life but things are about to change now she’s woken up…

WHAT DID I THINK? I thought this was really well written and full of so many things, I particularly liked the pages of hedgehog knowledge as it made this book different from the rest. This secret love became an obsession for poor Sylvia but as much as I wanted to feel sorry for her I also wanted to shake some sense into her.

Family becomes a distant memory for her and she misses all it entails even though it was all her fault. I thought it was good the way a child/teenager managed in the end to pull them all back together.

I felt like a lot was in this book but it all read and flowed through so well. Thank you Ebury and Netgalley for the chance to read and review this book and it really does deserve a big five stars even more so because this is a first book for Jane O’Connor, looking forward to your next one now.




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