In The Simple Life, Rosie Drum writes about her life in Scotland, the highlight of which is a tossup between appearing on the BBC’s The Weakest Link and having the Queen of England smile at her during a garden party.
Despite growing up in the 1960s, Drum was far removed from Beatles mania, man’s first trip to the moon, Vietnam protests, the radical rage of the day’s youth and any of the myriad other events that highlighted the decade. Instead, the reader hears about Drum’s life as a proper young school girl in Edinburgh, including her struggles in sewing class, her days as an equally proper single woman building a secretarial career while moonlighting on a local radio broadcast, and her life as a newlywed and eventual mother of two, during which time she appeared on the quiz show The Weakest Link and lasted a couple rounds before being ousted. Soon after, she developed gout, which is in no way connected to The Weakest Link, but perfectly illustrates one of the problems with this book.
Not only is Drum’s life just too “simple” to warrant a full-length book, but her scattershot storytelling has the reader bouncing from one topic to the next with little logical connection. Her stories also lack interest to those who don’t know her personally. For instance, will readers at large really care that she’s allergic to penicillin? Also off-putting is the combination of first- and third-person writing. And it’s hard to embrace the people in Drum’s life when she refers to them as “The Man,” “Daughter Number One,” “Italian Friend” and the like.
For those who grew up in Scotland, perhaps The Simple Life will bring back fond memories. For the rest of us, well, maybe we just had to be there.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.