Review: People Person by Candice Carty-Williams

Dimple Pennington knew of her half siblings, but she didn’t really know them. Five people who don’t have anything in common except for faint memories of being driven through Brixton in their dad’s gold jeep, and some pretty complex abandonment issues.

Dimple has bigger things to think about. She’s thirty, and her life isn’t really going anywhere. An aspiring lifestyle influencer with a terrible and wayward boyfriend, Dimple’s life has shrunk to the size of a phone screen. And despite a small but loyal following, she’s never felt more alone.

That is, until a catastrophic event brings her half siblings Nikisha, Danny, Lizzie and Prynce crashing back into her life. And when they’re all forced to reconnect with Cyril Pennington, the absent father they never really knew, things get even more complicated.

Fans of Queenie know it’s been a long and eager wait for Carty-Williams next outing, and People Person was so worth the wait. 

People Person is a very emotional book wrapped up in an entertaining tale of five siblings, who are essentially strangers, coming together in unexpected circumstances. The book explores feelings of self-worth, self-discovery and the bonds of family; from sibling dynamics to generational legacies and origins, all of which Carty-Williams writes with razor sharp observations of the world we live in, especially with respect to social media. 

The Pennington siblings were all interesting and shrewdly developed. They were messy, sarcastic, naive and occasionally annoying, but they were genuine. They perfectly encapsulated flawed and meaningful people doing their best to understand themselves and each other, which in turn, perfectly captured the growing pains of (later in life) sibling relationships. And for the patriarch responsible for the brood… I really appreciated Carty-Williams summing it up as “it is what it is” when it comes to an absentee parent, with every turbulent emotion involved in processing that. 

People Person primarily unfolds through the middle sibling, Dimple. Dimple’s character captures the experience many people have of living their life through social media, navigating the waters of trying to achieve “influencer” status. Her performing persona and desperation were portrayed flawlessly; illuminating a typically overlooked consequence of social media and people’s subsequent obsession of reaching the standards involved in virtual success and appeal. I can only applaud Carty-Williams for this scathing yet tender consideration.

Emotive, a little dark in its tone with laugh out loud hilarious moments, People Person may be a little far fetched here and there, nevertheless it was extremely entertaining and undoubtedly packed a punch in its sleek social commentary. I really enjoyed it.  
If you loved Queenie or the familial dynamics found in Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Malibu Rising or perhaps even The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, then People Person is not to be missed. 

Thank you kindly to the publishers for providing me with a copy in exchange for this honest review.

Buy It Now

To view my review of Carty-Williams debut ‘Queenie’, click here.


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