My enormous thanks to the team at The Dome Press for sending me a copy of Life’s A Drag by Janie Millman in return for an honest review. I was particularly looking forward to reading Life’s A Drag as I used to babysit someone who is now a highly successful drag queen and I thought I might learn something!
Life’s A Drag
Roz and Jamie have moved to leafy Suffolk from London in search of a quiet life so it is a surprise to find that the village is embarking on its riotous annual drag competition. Fuelled by large quantities of alcohol and ubiquitous community spirit, they soon find themselves caught up in a battle for the identity of the village itself.
Meanwhile, in San Francisco, Drew is fighting his own battle to save his club and the livelihoods of his closest friends.
Though they seem worlds apart, it soon becomes clear that appearances are not everything and that sometimes human connections can surprise us.
A heartwarming, romantic comedy.
My Review of Life’s A Drag
With an eccentric drag queen competition in an English leafy Suffolk village and a struggling drag club in San Francisco, there’s more in common than might at first be thought.
I really enjoyed the opening to Life’s A Drag and then I struggled a bit with thirty pages or so as there seemed to be an overabundance of expletives and so many characters introduced at once I felt rather lost and confused.
However, once I had clear who was who and which male had which drag queen name I settled into the rhythm of the novel and thoroughly enjoyed it, actually feeling quite emotional at times and especially when it came to an end.
The characters are wide ranging and eclectic with someone for every reader to champion and care about. I especially liked Drew, Roz and Jamie who are the lynchpins of the story. Life’s A Drag is a witty commentary on modern life, being a fun and slightly over the top entertaining read and although I did feel that Vicki and Fergal were slightly clichéd, they were absolutely necessary to act as a foil to others in the Suffolk setting and I think they balanced the book really well.
Speaking of setting, I thought Janie Millman had it spot on. I am now desperate to visit San Fancisco for myself, having had a glimpse into the zany world that exists there, though I have a horrible feeling I wouldn’t experience it quite so dramatically as the characters in Life’s A Drag, sadly!
Although Life’s A Drag is humorous and I chuckled frequently, especially at some of the dialogue, there are some incredibly deep and important themes underpinning the action too so that I think Life’s A Drag can be enjoyed on many levels depending on the reader. The exploration of love in its various forms is wonderful. Society’s prejudices, family dynamics and what constitutes real friendship are woven throughout so that reading Life’s A Drag leaves the reader feeling good about life, positive and uplifted.
Life’s A Drag is by no means perfect, but it is a smashing read. It engaged and entertained me. I was completely convinced by the relationships and frequently had a smile on my face as I read so that I’d defy any reader to finish it and feel they hadn’t found a delightful escapist book.
About Janie Millman
Janie Millman is an actress, writer and co-owner of Chez Castillon.
She met Mickey, her husband, playing romantic leads in a summer season of comedies at The Little Theatre, Sheringham, on the Norfolk coast. Both actors for more than twenty years, their roles have ranged from Ninja turtles to acting in Olivier Award-winning stage productions and working on screen with Hollywood stars.
Although still acting, Janie is now concentrating on writing. Life’s A Drag is her debut novel.