DiscoverChick Lit

The Tale of Miss Berta London


Worth reading 😎

When Miss Berta finds her life crumbling, she hones her skills to start life all over again. It's a reminder that we can all start again.

        This book opens with a busy scene. We are introduced to Miss Berta quickly and realize that she is a diligent, posh, but inspired leader of a magazine. While she takes pleasure and inspiration from the small things around her, she also tends to push people away. We learn that she came from a repressed fashion family that discouraged her from pursuing what she loved. This character is the center of change, and that works well for the plot of the novel as a whole. Miss Berta is a strong character and tries to work through her past in order to be successful and return to glory after a crisis occurs.

              One thing that struck me was the casual mention of OCD. I really think writers need to start thinking about the ways they are appropriating and misrepresenting mental health – particularly since this book is specifically meant for YA readers. It’s a small thing, but it makes a big impact in the ways mental health is represented across different forums. Other than that, I found that jumps in time were awkward and took me out of the story until I realized where the writer dove back in.

              Structurally, the use of flashbacks are an effective way to recognize the ways Miss Berta grew up and the circumstances that led her to be who she is now. It creates a connection to her present time that makes readers understand what motivates her decisions. I did notice a lot of errors with the writing of the dialogue, so if that’s something that bothers readers, I would not suggest this book.

              Ultimately, this is a story of someone that finds herself facing new challenges and then finds ways to persevere. I would give this to young readers because it highlights an important lesson in transference of skills and that it is never too late to start over. Readers also learn the importance of networking and pushing yourself.  We get to see some of the nastiness of the fashion industry as well as the ways in which people from different backgrounds relate to the world. This is a lovely story for young readers. 

Reviewed by

I have been a reader forever. I still hold the record for reading the most books in Grade 1, and I have maintained that momentum. Now, I have a degree in English Literature and share my passion as an English teacher. I also have a blog where I occasionally post book reviews.

Who Is Miss Berta?

About the author

Jihan Latimer is an inspirational writer, who has always taken a passion for the written word. Ever since grade school, she took it upon herself to keep a journal at her side, and write whatever she thought, making up her own adventures as she went along. view profile

Published on July 10, 2020

150000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Chick Lit

Reviewed by