Reviews

  • "Shelf Life is whip-smart, slyly heartbreaking, and I felt the truth of it in my bones. Franchini dissects ideas of love, dating and identity in a way that feels both ruthless and humane. I loved it."

    Sophie Mackintosh, author of 'The Water Cure'
  • "This is a beautiful novel. The scene with the mother and the chicken is one of the most rigorous, affecting, strange scenes I have read in a while and it's still haunting me. It was funny, and sad, and I devoured it. It reminded me of Convenience Store Woman. I absolutely loved it."

    Susannah Dickey, author of 'Tennis Lessons'
  • "Livia Franchini has delivered an impressive, Sally Rooney-esque debut novel."

    New Statesman
  • "Shelf Life is so intimate. It's like riding the bus home with a friend as she confides her secret hopes and fears. Each raw emotion is carefully delivered. Franchini has created a protagonist who feels achingly real. I wanted to cancel all my plans and just read this book."

    Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of 'Harmless Like You'
  • "Shelf Life feels like a Bridget Jones for cynical souls. Franchini captures perfectly the mundane devastation of heartbreak and the utter impossibility of knowing and being known. Sweet, funny, odd and achingly perceptive, this seemingly small tale asks some terrifyingly big questions about love, loss, identity and existence. I couldn’t put it down."

    Natasha Bell, author of 'His Perfect Wife'
  • "This is a book that should not be missed: a beautifully executed contribution to the discussion of toxic masculine behaviour and the patterns of socialisation that enable it."

    The Guardian
  • "A novel that explores the precarities, fragilities and tendernesses of modern life — it scintillates."

    Eley Williams, author of 'Attrib: and other stories'
  • "Shelf Life is dark and disarming. It wryly explores hunger and denial and the play between pleasure and power in an honest portrayal of the complexities of desire. Franchini's voice is sharp and clever and her debut novel tells us truths about how and why we love."

    Jessica Andrews, author of 'Saltwater'
  • "Shelf Life is a truly unique read; a book so thoughtfully and articulately written it draws the reader deep into the painful heart of a fracturing relationship. Ruth, the novel's central character is crafted in such a believable way, I felt every one of her disappointments keenly. I was rooting for her throughout. By the final page I felt like we'd been through something monumental together."

    Jan Carson, author of 'The Fire Starters'
  • "I absolutely loved this - really moving and powerful"

    Rebecca Reid, author of 'Perfect Liars'