Book Review: Instant Karma by Donna Marie Oldfield

instantkarmaDo you believe in karma? Materialistic, selfish estate agent Siena Robinson doesn’t – until she hits a disastrous run of bad luck that makes her wonder if she has brought it upon herself.

In Instant Karma, Siena moves to the quiet village of Fenville, where the locals are opposing a development that will see a beloved hall and library replaced by new flats and shops. What her neighbours don’t know is that she is one of the developers and stands to make millions from the deal.

But then Siena discovers that her high-school sweetheart, Aiden, is leading the protest and she finds herself acting as a double agent who is torn between her neighbours’ plight and making lots of money.

Will Siena betray her new friends and let greed ruin a second chance with Aiden? And will she ever find out who or what is behind her run of bad karma?

Given to me by the author in exchange for a review. Author website here.

Siena is working for an Estate Agents, and she has brought and moved into a house in Fenville, partly in the expectation she will be the project manager for a new development that replaces a library and old house with new shops and flats.

However, things dont quite go according to plan – the house starts falling apart as soon as she moves in, and her car is totalled within days. She meets her ex-flame Aiden, only to find that he is the leader of the opposition to the planning.  She agrees with her colleagues that she will go undercover to see what likely things will slow things down.

As the story progresses, we get to understand Siena a little better – she was ditched by her fiancée days before the wedding; her parents died less than a year before, leaving her with a large inheritance; that this inheritance has contributed to allowing Siena to be the 60% stakeholder in the development plans.

With all the bad things happening to her, and remembering her love of writing and Aiden years before, she comes to see herself through Aiden’s eyes and she realises that she doesn’t like herself any more. Meanwhile her next door neighbour, Mrs North, has some disturbing news for her that will ultimately change her life.

The “bad karma” Siena experiences is almost farcical as it ramps up and you might just laugh if it happened to you. It does mean that it can be difficult to take the book too seriously at times. Siena’s behaviour now does make you wonder what Aiden saw in her before, but you could understand why he wants nothing to do with her now.

It’s a novel about getting your just deserts, how your behaviour can affect the things that happen to you – surround yourself with vile people, and you will become just like them (lay down with dogs and you get up with fleas). I didnt hate the book, but I didnt love it either, and I’m not entirely sure why. Siena is not a particularly nice person – I think that’s the point – and being written in the first person it means that much of the book is as shallow as Siena is. Perhaps some of the backstory could have been expanded out a little more to evoke some more sympathy? The fact she got dumped by the man she cheated on Aiden with elicits little “poor me” reactions but had her relationship with her parents been expanded out…? Or perhaps the fact they weren’t was to indicate how shallow Siena had become in that she could apparently wipe them away so blithely…..

Additional Resources

Interview With the Author over at Woman On The Edge of Reality

Review over at Lost in A Good Book

Review over at Readers’ Muse

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