Book review: It’s Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake by Claire Christian

It's been a pleasure noni blake Claire Christian

It’s Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake by Claire Christian tells a story you’ll wish would never end. Noni Blake’s life is spectacularly ordinary. Since the end of her decade long relationship with now ex-girlfriend Joan, eighteen months ago, nothing much is happening for Noni. Life at thirty-six is stagnant, so something needs to change. 

Work as a school teacher fills her days. Time with her best friend Lindell, his husband and kids keeps her entertained. But nothing seems to be happening to bring her any great joy. There is no passion, no adventures, no romance and least of all, no sex.

However, a one-night fling with a sexy firefighter changes everything, in the most unexpected ways. Weeks later the local paper announces the death of the woman Noni had recently enjoyed the night with, triggering a change she never saw coming.

Pondering over a glass of wine with Lindell, they create their ‘should have’ list of all the people they wished they’d slept with and didn’t. Staring out of the page at her one name resonates.


The special one. The one that got away.

Molly and Noni had chemistry, they had potential.

But Molly now lives on the other side of the world.

So begins Noni’s journey to shake up her life, to build her self-confidence and find Molly to see if there was something she missed.

What follows is a heartwarming quest that goes in all the directions you never expect. From London to Scotland Noni’s pleasure quest takes her across the world doing the things and the people that make her feel good.

Laugh out loud moments

Her story is full of literal laugh out loud moments. From an unfortunate accident with a trumpet to an unexpected appearance of anal beads, the laughs will catch you off guard and leave you smiling for hours. Her sexual encounters are intense, passionate and sometimes embarrassing. But the new Noni is out to take chances, to stop listening to her voices of self-doubt. She will be bold, assertive and fabulous.

But will Noni find her joy and will she find it with Molly?

Well-structured characters make this story unforgettable and vibrant as they surround Noni on her quest. Overly enthusiastic Lindell punctuates the story perfectly as Noni’s lifeline while abroad. Meanwhile larger than life Naz guides her through the UK with enough energy for ten people. Noni herself is endearing, blunt and beautiful in equal parts. She wears her heart on her sleeve and brings the reader into her world as she carries you with her across the world.

There’s something special about Noni Blake that will leave you wishing the story could never end.

It’s Been A Pleasure Noni Blake is the second book by Brisbane Author Claire Christian. Her previous book Beautiful Mess won the Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing in 2016. Claire was also the author of the 2018 La Boite Theatre production Lysa And The Freeborn Dames.

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