How To Be Second Best by Jessica Dettmann. (2019).
**4.5 out of 5 stars**
Emma has just given birth to her second child when she finds out her husband has also just fathered a newborn with another woman. Things get tricky fast when he leaves her for the woman and then they soon move in three doors down. It’s a convenient but lopsided co-parenting arrangement with Emma doing most of the caring for her two as well as their half-sibling. Three years later and Emma is trying to be the best at everything that she does. She’s the topic of some neighbourhood gossip and that’s before she even thinks about dating a new man.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I read it while on holiday, and I would definitely recommend as a summer read (or anytime of year really haha). Emma was so relatable, even if she was in a bit of a strange relationship with her ex and his new wife. But hey, whatever works! Although a major plot point of this story is that it isn’t really working for Emma and she is clearly being taken advantage of by her ex and his wife in caring for their daughter a lot along with the full time care of her own two kids…
I liked being along for the ride as Emma tried to work out the best way to deal with that, while also considering getting back in the dating game and changing/getting more involved in her career. It’s an interesting journey for Emma as she realises that being the best at everything might not actually be the best thing for her. This book was well-written, witty and a clever concept; I’d call it a great debut novel for the author.