Book Review - Dutch Courage

by Paige Nick (Penguin) ISBN: 9781415200703

‘Dutch courage’ is an interesting idiom, generally accepted to mean giving oneself false confidence by drinking alcohol before one does something awfully stupid or stupidly awful. Paige Nick’s newest protagonist, Grace, becomes the epitome of this, through a series of bad decisions that find her performing as a Rihanna impersonator…in a strip club…in the red light district…in Amsterdam…travelling on her sister’s passport. 

Paige Nick applies her signature biting wit and plays it for the comedy, creating a crazy romp filled with hilarious caricatures and Grace’s inner running commentary. Under that innocent exterior, Grace has a survivor-instinct, which mercifully protects her from some of the darker aspects of the situation she’s got herself into. Sadly, though, she has blinkers when it comes to her manipulative sister and controlling boyfriend. 

It’s a fun read, with lots of laughs and cynical commentary. Paige Nick fans will love it. I found it all a little superficial – a series of cameo performances, amusing scenes and dramatic moments floating aimlessly around an empty heart. 

Judy Ward


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