Being Shelley

Shelley Jacobsen is in her forties with three-year-old twins and feels trapped in her life. She thought returning to the working world would provide some excitement but the coffee and décor shop that she opened with her bestie Di is proving to be another gilded cage. To make matters worse, Jerry, her husband, is consumed with Jewish guilt since having the twins, which reminds Shelley that she will always be a Shiksa in his family’s eyes.

Then she meets Wayde Smith, a sexy twenty-two-yearold surfer who smells like a Pina Colada Coconut Vanilla Dessert. She hires him as the shop’s new barista and he offers to surf coach her kids. Why can’t a woman be friends with a young male employee? Shelley is tired of fighting with Jerry; she just wants some fun. But will the fun stay harmless, or is Shelley heading for a total wipeout?

Being Shelley is a mix of light and dark as it touches on female ageing, sexual harassment, long-term marriage, motherhood, and evolving female friendships.



Publish date:



Kewla Books
November 15, 2019

Book type:





Book Club Questions

  1. What are the key themes in this novel? Did any resonate with you?
  2. Did you like Shelley? What did you like or dislike most about her?
  3. What did you think of Shelley and Harry’s relationship?
  4. Could you relate to the uses (and failings!) of WhatsApp chat in this novel?
  5. Do you think that Shelley sexually harassed Wayde?
  6. How do you feel about relationships between a younger man and an older woman? And between a younger woman and an older man?
  7. What did you think of Shelley’s attitude towards Harry’s family?
  8. Could you relate to the blow-out in Muizenberg between Shelley, Kari, Lily and Di?
  9. Did you enjoy the different Cape Town settings in the novel? Did you have any favourites?
  10. Do you think that Shelley and Harry will overcome their issues and have a happy relationship?


Thank you for reading! I would love to hear your thoughts so please email or contact me on social media if you would like to share.

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