Pink Champagne
  “a real page turner and I could relate absolutely to Angie, a girl after my heart, spirited and with guts."

Margaret Gill, writer

Pink Champagne and Apple Juice - Reviews

  • 'As I started reading this with my good ol’ cuppa joe on a lovely Saturday morning, Pink Champagne and Apple Juice was probably the first ebook that had me chuckling every two minutes. Anne Brooke must be a comedian at heart because right from the start you have the main girl, Angie Howard, running from her own mother to get on the train to find her Uncle John. Trouble and mishaps followed her nonstop. Angie wanted to have her own life and not have a sheltered life with her overprotective mother. Angie’s character is so easy to like and anyone can relate to her because all she wants is to have her freedom and live life to the fullest. She really does when she finally arrives at her Uncle John’s home, which is rather a racy nightclub with cross dressers and gay people relaxing and being themselves. As fun as it was for Angie to partake in Uncle John’s The Den, every vibrant character worked against her. She had to go through challenges and learn about her own flaws, as well as the family tension between her mother and her uncle. The ugly truth later rears its ugly head, but the endless twists kept me wondering how the story will end. This lively story was amazing in descriptions and situations, so it was very easy to play the story in my head like a movie. It fondly reminded me of the movie called The Birdcage, and the transvestite uncle John was very much like the one and only Nathan Lane, but was set in England and with raunchier innuendo. The French waiter gave Angie the time of her life, while the yelling German chef constantly fought with her due to his passion of cooking. Never diss the mushroom ice cream! Her uncle John was constantly the proverbial keeper of secrets and seemed to hide behind his cross dressing personality, Jolene. John/Jolene often caused trouble for Angie and the twists he caused kept me on my toes. This story had other twists, so much that I got caught up in all of them and was wowed by the final twist. It floored me and I kept saying ‘wow!’ when I finished. Anne Brooke truly mastered the art of keeping her readers drawn in and distracted so the ending isn’t predictable and boring. Her imagination was totally endless and hilarious. The only drawback in this story was some of the British words. It took me a moment to figure out what she meant, but the general idea was caught on. It was easy to follow for the most part. Overall, Pink Champagne and Apple Juice was a great, laid back story with many twists to keep you laughing. The fast paced flow of the wacky story was undeniably fun. I say that if on a rainy day or just when you need to laugh in a ‘The Birdcage’ feel, this book is for you. I recommend for anyone to read this book, and also the mushroom ice cream done by the German chef. He was a riot! Rated 5 Delightful Divas & Recommended Read.' (A 5 Diva review by Karen at Dark Diva Reviews)

  • 'Pink Champagne and Apple Juice is a rollicking roller-coaster of a ride from the moment we first encounter Angie, legging it along Platform One, her mother in hot pursuit. She just makes it onto the train to the big city, leaving her mum "either gesticulating or waving on the platform. ‘There, I’ve done it,’ she said to herself. ‘I’ve finally left home.’ It was only then she realized she’d forgotten to pack any knickers." The knickers turn up again – in fact knickers both actual and metaphorical pop up (and down) fairly frequently before the end of the story. All the ingredients needed for a few hours escape from the mundane are here: there’s John, Angie’s transvestite uncle, concealing more than his sexuality beneath the paint and feathers; a gorgeous French waiter called Philippe; Heinrich, an intimidating German chef and the colourful staff and clientele of The Den Nightclub, as well as Angie herself, trying her wings for size and creating chaos in the process. But nothing and nobody in this novel, except possibly Angie herself, are quite what they seem. There are lessons to be learned, family secrets to be uncovered and a way to be made in the big wide world that’s so different from the quiet Essex village she’s abandoned. The writing carried me along at a cracking pace, and I laughed aloud more than once. Anne Brooke makes it look so easy. An enjoyable and light-hearted read and the perfect holiday novel or pick-me-up for a grey day. I couldn’t put it down and finished it in a single sitting. Pure escapism!' (A review by Nell Grey, writer and artist)

  • '"Mad, bad and dangerous to know" was Lady Caroline Lamb's assessment of Lord Byron, but it might equally apply to Angie's Uncle John. Owner operator of one of the wildest clubs in Muswell Hill, he opens Angie's eyes to a whole different world from the one she is used to. In keeping with its title, Anne Brooke's novel is a joyous and frothy romp in which an innocent girl from Essex runs away from home only to run into a North London gay club. As an innocent abroad Angie makes quite a few unexpected discoveries but also, ultimately, finds her feet.' (A review on Amazon.)

  • 'This is the odyssey of a young girl running away from her Essex home to big bad London, where she finds temporary accommodation with black sheep of the family, Uncle John, who is enjoying a successful career as the drag queen and night club proprietor "Jolene" in (of all places) Muswell Hill. She goes through a series of adventures, romantic and otherwise, in pursuit of her dream of running a sophisticated cafe/restaurant, and we watch her personal unfolding brought about by the process. The opening chapters seem light and amusing, and are written in a style so straightforward and conversational as to seem almost artless. This is not however a criticism, because it ensures that the author doesn't intrude into what is in fact a very involving and quite touching rite of passage story about growing up and pursuing your dreams in the adult world. Although the early chapters are played almost entirely for laughs, as the story progresses many extra layers emerge (and it becomes a little raunchy), but the lightness of touch is never lost. Angie and Uncle John turn into far more human and engaging characters than we might have expected, with emotional lives that the reader can no longer dismiss as comic hyperbole. This is in fact a much better and more serious book than it seems at first. It deals with the struggle of a young girl to break away from home and become a person in her own right who is then strong enough to take on the task of mending her damaged relationship with her mother and finding emotional anchors in a new world away from home. Few of us will fail to see something of our own story in Angie's. Most of all though, it's great entertainment, and you'll find yourself wanting to read it as quickly as you can to find out what happens next. This would be a perfect book to give to a teenage girl who isn't much interested in reading. The author seems completely at ease with her teens/twenties heroine and presents her with affection and understanding and without a whiff of condescension or disapproval. As a result, we like her too and care about what happens to her and how her plans pan out. For a light but not brain-dead summer read, you won't go far wrong with this one.' (A review by David Gardiner of Gold Dust Magazine.)

  • 'Pink Champagne and Apple Juice is a book full of larger than life, intriguing characters. Anne Brooke has the capacity to create the kind of bizarre characters that have such a unique flavour they will, I'm sure, enter the realm of classic characters. I loved the flamboyant "Uncle John" and the moody Heinrich who turns out to be pure gold in the end. I warmed to the kind of philosophy that lies behind much of Anne's writing and which encourages us to be whatever we want to be, to be that bravely and spiritedly, and to be damned as to what others think.' (An Amazon review from Megsl.)

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