ShortBookandScribes #PublicationDay #BookReview – Piglet by Lottie Hazell

Piglet by Lottie Hazell is published by Doubleday today in hardcover, eBook and audiobook. Congratulations! My thanks to Izzie Ghaffari-Parker for the proof copy (those doughnuts! 🤤).

For Piglet – an unshakable childhood nickname – getting married is her opportunity to reinvent. Together, Kit and Piglet are the picture of domestic bliss – effortless hosts, planning a covetable wedding … But if a life looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Thirteen days before they are due to be married, Kit reveals an awful truth, cracking the façade Piglet has created. It has the power to strip her of the life she has so carefully built, so smugly shared. To do something about it would be to self-destruct. But what will it cost her to do nothing?

As the hours count down to their wedding, Piglet is torn between a growing appetite and the desire to follow the recipe, follow the rules. Surely, with her husband, she could be herself again. Wouldn’t it be a waste for everything to curdle now?

Piglet is the searing, unforgettable and original debut which is set to take readers by storm in 2024.

Piglet is the eponymous character in this book. It’s a nickname of course, but one which has negative connotations, especially when her family casually and familiarly shorten it to Pig. From a humble background, Piglet feels that she has risen up. I didn’t see her as a snob, but she’s certainly embarrassed by her beginnings and now she’s marrying Kit, who is from rather more moneyed roots. The perfect home, job, marriage, life beckons but when Kit tells her of his indiscretion two weeks before the wedding it derails everything and Piglet goes into a downward spiral.

The tagline of this book is “her life is so full, so why is she hungry?”. That hunger I guess is a metaphor for Piglet’s life in which she has so much but it’s not quite enough. The hunger manifests itself in the book as real hunger for food, and sometimes Piglet is gluttonous as her insatiable desires tip over into inexorable greed. There were many occasions where I cringed at what was occurring but I couldn’t look away. I was fascinated and a bit horrified by it.

It’s a relatable story in many ways and I didn’t want to put it down. This is an intelligent and brilliantly observed book, and such an amazing debut from Lottie Hazell. I loved all the descriptions of Piglet’s cooking and the feasts she consumed, so delectably described that I felt like eating foods I don’t even like. There’s such a lot to take away from this novel, a lot that is inferred which means it really got me thinking, some wry and uncomfortable humour, and some real squirm-inducing moments about class and the façade we present to others. Scrumptious!

Lottie Hazell is a writer, contemporary literature scholar, and board game designer living in Warwickshire. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Loughborough University and her research considers food writing in twenty-first century fiction. Piglet is her first novel.

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