Publication Date: April 10, 2015
In Million Dollar Question by Ellie Campbell, Rosie is a single mother of twins working as a teaching assistant and facing redundancy when she wins one million pounds. Olivia is a high rolling workaholic engaged to one of Time Magazine’s Most Eligible Bachelors when she discovers her boss is a criminal and her world falls apart. Can these two women who have nothing in common on the surface survive the extremes of life?
The author, Ellie Campbell, gave me a copy of this work in exchange for my review.
Ellie Campbell brings women a strong sense of empowerment in one woman who feels as though she’s lost it all and another who really had little left to lose. Rosie and Olivia are both strong in ways that they don’t see within themselves but that readers will embrace and likely identify.
Readers meet Rosie at her lowest. Her husband has left her and she’s on her own with twins. She had a comfortable life with Charlie but now that he’s gone, she’s living on a Council Estate while he lives the high life paying child support only when the whim strikes. Readers will bond with a woman who struggles with the choice of donating her last five-pound note in a “whip-round” for a co-worker and the inevitable surprise expenses that come up when you have children. Winning one million pounds seems like the answer to all of her problems but, of course, it brings up a very new set of problems with which Rosie struggles. Not all problems are solved with money which might seem an obvious answer kind of message but the unique way with which Rosie deals with her new found wealth makes her quite entertaining to read.
Olivia is living the high life attending a charity event when we meet her. She appears to flow through her life concealing a manic nature under the surface. When she loses the money, power and relationship she held in high esteem upon learning that her boss has scammed everyone, she discovers how truly out of touch with her life she’s become. She doesn’t realize that her beloved aunt has been relocated to a nursing home or the key changes in her childhood best friend’s life. As the best friend points out, even at her lowest if she had anywhere else to be, she wouldn’t be with them.
Campbell’s characters are well developed and fully realized. All of the background characters and people that Olivia and Rosie meet in their lives are fleshed out and developed so that each scene is wholly integral to the overall effect of the work. As in life, there are people who are simply very self-absorbed and while Campbell doesn’t shy away from self-involvement, the sister team of authors makes those characters real to the readers. There are no twirling mustaches or wicked witch laughs. The characters all have a healthy balance of people we meet in our lives written in a masterful way that draws interest from the every day.
Having been a fan of the Campbells for a while, there is a common seamlessness in the way the sister team writes that is perfected in Million Dollar Question. Technically very cleanly written, the setting is clearly English but all slang used will be recognizable to US and Canadian readers. Million Dollar Question is a down to earth and intelligent kind of story. While encouraging women to look at the bigger picture of life it also urges us to seek the strength from within.
Entertaining and humorous, Million Dollar Question is a story with a message that all women should hear.
Read an excerpt and pick up Million Dollar Question by Ellie Campbell on