The Helpline #BookReview #Simon&Schuster #NetGalley

Written by Katherine Collette


150 hrt


Office life can be a minefield …

Germaine Johnson likes suduko, biscuits, maths and Chinese food. She’s less sure about the complexities of social interaction and her tendency to just say what she thinks often lands her in hot water. Unfortunately, after ‘the incident’ at Wallace Insurance, she finds herself unemployed.

When her cousin suggests a job at the local council, manning the Senior Citizens Helpline, Germaine really doesn’t have any other option than to say yes. It’s still social interaction, but at a safe distance. However, it turns out Mayor Verity Bainbridge has something more interesting in mind for her.

A secret project to stop ‘the troublemakers’ at the senior citizens centre and their feud with the golf club next door. Germaine believes she is the no-nonsense woman for the job – until when she’s forced to get to know the troublemakers and things get more complicated.








Superbly Entertaining!    Stars 5


As promised, this is witty and entertaining – but it’s so much more too!

Germaine Johnson lives a fairly regimented life – just the kind that suits her. She is good at the things she likes, but has problems with anything else life throws her way. Losing her job leaves Germaine with no focus and no daily routine, so when her cousin offers to set her up with a job at the council, she is in no position to refuse. However, the ‘boring’ position takes on a new impetus when the mayor involves Germaine in her very own private project, but it’s not as straightforward as it first seems . . .

A wonderful read! With Germaine displaying the characteristics of autism, a lot of things appear in black and white to her; a bit of a loner, she has never really had any real friends, falling prey to those who tend to use her for their own ends. Author Katherine Collette follows in the footsteps of Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Project) and Gail Honeyman (Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine) in displaying a thorough understanding of those who society regards as ‘different’ and does great justice to them with her understanding – beautifully conveyed in this fabulous story. The characters all come alive, jumping off the page and making this a solid read, as well as a damn good one! A book which shows you that morality is alive and well, and life is exactly what you make of it! For me, this was one with double layers; superbly entertaining and well worth all the five stars I’m happy to give it.

My thanks to publisher Simon & Schuster for my copy via NetGalley. All opinions given are, of course, entirely my own.


Tags: contemporary literary fiction
  • Format: ebook, paperback, hardcover, audio
  • Size: 305 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication Date: 30 July 2019
  • Purchase Links: Google Play
  •                                 Barnes & Noble
  •                                 Kobo
  •                                 Waterstones
  •                                 amazon




Meet the Author




Katherine Collette is a Melbourne-based writer and sewage engineer (the “dark side,” as they call it). She once worked at a senior citizens council and her experience there informed The Helpline, her debut novel.



Social Media

Twitter: @kecollette

Facebook: @katherinecollettewriter




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