Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Start of Something Wonderful” as Want to Read:
The Start of Something Wonderful
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Start of Something Wonderful

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  143 ratings  ·  56 reviews

Previously published as Learning to Fly

It’s never too late to follow your dreams…

Forty-year-old air stewardess, Emily Forsyth, thought she had everything a woman could wish for: a glamorous, jet-set lifestyle, a designer wardrobe and a dishy pilot boyfriend. Until he breaks up with her…

Catapulted into a mid-life crisis she wishes she’d had earlier, she decides to turn he

Kindle Edition, 364 pages
Published January 5th 2018 by HQ Digital (first published June 5th 2015)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Start of Something Wonderful, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Start of Something Wonderful

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  143 ratings  ·  56 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Start of Something Wonderful
Dash fan
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5☆ Mishaps and Mayhem, Starting Over!

(rounded up to 4☆ on Amazon & Goodreads)

The Start of Something wonderful is a book about starting over, new careers, friendship, finding potential romance.

Emily was an air hostess, well that was until she quit her job because of Nigel her ex pilot boyfriend.

Now jobless, homeless, no other job experience she sets out to find a temporary Job whilst trying to make it in the acting world.

It's a cut throat world In the acting business so Emily is on the look out
Whispering Stories
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book Reviewed by Stacey on

Emily Forsyth worked for Amy Air for most of her life, she had the beautiful apartment, flash car, enough designer items to open her own shop and a pilot boyfriend, Nigel, who she loved dearly.

When Nigel announces that he’s leaving, Emily takes the news badly. After some pet talking from her friends she realises that it’s the perfect time to follow her heart and have a go at being an actress, a job she has always wanted to do, before it’s too l
Nikki (Saturday Nite Reader)

At age 40, Emily breaks up with her long time love, Nigel, and takes it as an opportunity to re-evaluate her life. She dreamed of becoming an actress, so become an actress she will do. I enjoyed how the story is one of reclaiming your life, at any age.

It is a classic rom-com, chick-lit read: if you are looking for a beach read, or taking a short plane ride, this may be your jam.

I enjoyed the read, it was cute and fun. I did get a bit confused at the many references to the Italian and German lan
Nov 30, 2020 rated it liked it
I don’t usually listen to audiobooks but this time i decided to try something different. And i wasn’t disappointed as this novel has wonderful audio! Narration was done by author, Jane Lambert and it's masterpiece! She managed to give every character different accent and you can learn more about their characters by the way they talk. Also adding extra sounds and music made it even more pleasurable.

Emily life seems perfect. She has a good job, amazing apartment, expensive designer clothes and per
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Inspiring, humorous, and heartfelt!

The Start of Something Wonderful is a delightfully affecting tale that takes us on a journey into the life of Emily Forsyth as she courageously decides at forty to reinvent herself and give up all the luxuries she's become accustomed to and follow her life-long dream of becoming an actress.

The writing style is light and genuine. The characters are fun-loving, realistic, quirky, and likable. And the amusing plot is filled with hope, heartbreak, infidelity, frien
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This was such a refreshing read, maybe because the heroine isn’t your typical twenty something chick lit lead or maybe it was Lambert’s easy, flowy writing style, but whatever it is I wholeheartedly enjoyed this one and found it to be uplifting, inspiring and full of heart.

Emily is a forty year woman who decides it’s never too late to follow your dreams so she flips her life upside down to pursue an acting career. I really liked Em, she’s bright and bubbly and is willing to take risks, a quality
Donna Maguire

I really enjoyed this story, I loved that Emily was 40 and had a lot of life experience behind her - there are a lot of books in this genre that feature younger leads so this one was a refreshing change for me (and Emily is more my age)!

I thought that the story was great and I really enjoyed it, it is an impressive debut and I am definitely going to be looking put for more from this author after reading this, I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style and it r
Xiomara Canizales
Dec 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: arcs, 2017-read
Sadly I didn't like this book...
I was aware the story was going to be a cheesy, light, contemporary read however I was expecting a different thing! I though the story was going to deal with self-discoverment, the pursuing of a lost dream, work hard for that thing you want the most...
Instead of that I got a story with woman who has no idea what she wants, gossip everywhere, a amount of people I don't know where they come from and their presence didn't add anything to the story. Obviously she beca
Jan 10, 2018 rated it liked it
*Book provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

I loved the sound of this book from the start, because it includes theatre, the West End and much more.

The main character is Emma Forsyth, who is a forty-year-old stewardess, has everything and is happy with her pilot boyfriend. However, he breakes up with her and that’s when everything changes. She gets into a big crisis and needs a change. She finally follows her dreams and wants to become a successful actress, hopefully on the W
Zoé-lee O'farrell
Feb 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019

So to name a few things I liked about this audiobook was the fact that Jane herself narrated the book and she used her experience of the theatre entwined in her story was fab. I loved the added extras of the musical interludes thrown in the story, it did make me smile.

I did like Emily, I loved that it was a story of a 40-something woman, struggling with her current life plan, not where she wants to be, her partner leaving her and she leaves the big birds in the sky….to become an actress? Yeah th
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
I love audiobooks. I find them very useful, specially since I'm always looking for something to have as a companion during some tasks; in this case, I found that I quite enjoyed listening to this particular novel while making some painting in wooden. It was a fun story to listen too and not hard to follow.

In this novel, we follow Emily Forsythe, a forty-year-old air stewardess, as she goes on a self-discovery journey provoked by unexpected and heartbroken changes in her life. And that's life for
Linda Hill
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Nursing a broken heart and a desire to become an actress Emily throws in her airhostess career for a life of drama – in more ways than one.

The Start of Something Wonderful has been on my TBR for such a long time that I was almost afraid to read it. What if I didn’t like it? I needn’t have worried as I really, really enjoyed this book.

The Start of Something Wonderful is a delightfully effortless read because Jane Lambert’s style is so fluid and natural that it makes reading a pleasure. I loved th
Dec 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
I really wanted to like this book but the writing and story were just too messy for me. The plot was all over the place introducing new characters and bit characters all the time. One thing that bothered me is at one point in the story Emily mentions regretting having recently shaved off her hair (before playing a part as a mermaid?) but I went back through the book and the hair change is never mentioned prior to that scene. So how was the reader supposed to know that the character got cast as a ...more
Jan 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.

There's something sweet about this book and the tone. It's about taking second chances and finding yourself no matter the age. It was a cute, fast read but I just didn't love it. I found the storyline and writing to be a bit messy.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read the synopsis for this book and I immediately knew that I just had to read ‘The Start Of Something Wonderful’ as it sounded just my kind of read. Not only that but it would give me hope for my own career/ life as I am fast approaching the age of *whispers quietly* 40 and I have dreams of my own. I was not to be disappointed on both fronts. I absolutely loved ‘The Start Of Something Wonderful’ but more about that in a bit.
It took me a short while to warm to Emily Forsyth, as her initial man
Laura Nelson (Tangents and Tissues)
“Life doesn’t always go the way we plan, but some things happen for a reason.”

We all do it, don’t we? Envisage what our life will be like when ‘x’ happens. By the time we’re ‘y’ we’ll have ‘z’. But, try as we might, life likes to throw us curveballs when we least expect it; making us have to juggle x, y and z all over again.

This is exactly what happens to 40-year-old air stewardess, Emily Forsyth when she is unceremoniously dumped by her pilot boyfriend, Nigel. I have a few choice words for N
Katherine Hayward Pérez
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romantic-comedy
The Start of Something Wonderful by Jane Lambert is about how Emily, an air hostess, fights to change her life and get it back on track after her pilot boyfriend Nigel dumps her. Initially very alone and overwhelmed, Emily seeks help and advice from her friends Wendy, Céline, Rachel and Faye. Emily throws herself into working anywhere and everywhere, from cleaning jobs to acting auditions. Although acting is her passion, she realises it is a very competitive profession, and so, determined to kee ...more
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a lovely book! Emily, the main character, is a 40 yo woman who decides to change her carreer and starts following her dreams. She is very positive about all changes in her life (to the point when it sometimes feels a bit unbelievable as one would expect her to reach a breaking point and consider giving up a bit more often than portrayed) and somehow manages to fulfill her dreams. She is on a road of self rediscovery and learns how to rely on herself instead of relying on her man.
The book is
Kelly Lacey
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
You know that moment when you are sat at your desk but in your head your a million miles away living out your dreams? Well, Emily Forsyth, the main character in The Start of Something Wonderful is fed up of dreaming and decides to put them into practice. The bright lights have been calling her and she takes the leap to answer the call.

I thoroughly enjoyed this humorous adventure. Jane’s writing style flows effortlessly and the storyline is pure escapism. It makes you wonder if you are ever too o
Jeannie Zelos
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was ok

The Start of Something Wonderful,  Jane Lambert

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre: romance, women's fiction

Gah! Women's fiction – how I hate that we have a whole genre for women, why dismiss books as being of interest to men....what price equality when we segregate ourselves. Rant over ;-0

So, I really wanted to like this book, its got a lead character who's older, and as someone older myself that's always interesting to find. Choosing a huge career change too was going to be interestin
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.
The Start of Something Wonderful is a lovely novel that shows it is never too late to follow a dream. When Emily’s boyfriend breaks up with her it makes her realise that the job she had wasn’t what she wanted, despite giving her an often glamorous lifestyle. She decides to train to become an actress and this novel shows how hard but how rewarding her journey was.
At first she struggled, taking acting jobs that could be humiliating but were also w
Jan 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Emily Forsyth thought she had everything a woman could wish - she was a Flight Attendant, had a great boyfriend and did lots of traveling. But when she loses her boyfriend, she quits her job. She decides to follow her dream of being an actress. But can a forty-year-old woman break into the business?
It is a little farfetched that she could get parts - she had been away from the business for a long time. But the book was good. It did need a some editing but all in all a good book. Thank you, Net G
Peggy Jaeger
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Peggy by: I was given an arc from Netgalley for an honest review
When Emily Forsythe's long-term "man-friend" ( he's too old to be a boyfriend!) dumps her, the 40-year-old flight attendant takes a good look at her life and realizes she has nothing she ever dreamed of. No husband, no children, and the dream she had a girl to be an actress has gone by the wayside. Not anymore. When Nigel walks out of her life, Emily walks out her life as well. The call to be an actress ignites within her again and she goes for it. She chucks her boring, financially stable life ...more
Deborah J Miles
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blog-tour
I really enjoyed The Start of Something Wonderful, which was previously published under the title Learning to Fly!. I had an audiobook.

The story is professionally narrated by author Jane Lambert, and there are other sound effects and music which enhanced my experience.

The story is told from the perspective of Emily Forsyth, a forty-year-old, singleton, who has been recently dumped by her long-term boyfriend, Nigel. Having realised that life is not taking her in the direction she thought it was,
Kathleen Gray
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sigh. I admire Emily for opting to follow her heart and go for it as an actress but this would have great benefited from a strong edit to pull the strings together. The odds, btw, of Emily managing to get roles as a "mature" newcomer are slim so it's especially impressive that she achieves her goal. Of course there's a new romance with Francesco and new friends. There's some laughs too. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. This is a light fast read. ...more
B.R. Maycock
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the story of Emily, an air hostess who had the lifestyle she wanted, until it all fell apart. I settled into it easily and felt for her as she tried to figure out what to do next.

I was rooting for Emily as she went job hunting and tried not to giggle as door after door was slammed in her face. This book was choc full of inspiration and life lessons, as Emily decided to change everything up and study and work to become an actress. Her classes made me smile as did the characters that were
Melanie Farmer
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Emily is a glamorous 40 year old air stewardess who has everything - a beautiful home, an amazing lifestyle, a wardrobe any woman would be jealous of and a rather lovely pilot boyfriend.  What more could she possibly want?  Unfortunately she is forced to seriously consider this when that lovely pilot boyfriend blindsides her and dumps her.

At 40 years old she expected to be married with children.  Instead, she finds herself single and at a crossroads in her life.  What does she really want?  Whil
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wouldn't we all like to start over. To have the nerve and gumption to let go of the past and follow our dreams? Go on. You can admit it. I do. This is exactly what happens in The Start of Something Wonderful. We join unlucky in love Emily Forsyth just as she is about to leave behind her career with an international airline to follow her life long dream of appearing on the stage. It won't be easy and Emily knows that her dreams are stardom are as distant as a long haul flight to Melbourne, but it ...more
Jan 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Jane Lambert's THE START OF SOMETHING WONDERFUL is a quirky and fast paced tale of one woman's quest to follow her dreams.

What I Liked:

1. Emily (the main character) - Emily is representative of anyone who has ever felt "stuck" in their life, like somehow somewhere they got lost and ended up in the wrong place. When the book first begins she's unhappy. She's double thinking all of her life choices while also trying to figure out who she is as a newly single woman. I give her major props for goi
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
They’re calling it “a fantastically feel-good romantic comedy” – and so it is, but this is a book that will win the heart of every woman who has ever dreamed that their life could be different, a joyful affirmation that it’s never too late for a new start. Emily won my heart from the very beginning as she walked away from her former life (and love-rat Nigel), into her new home amid a landlady’s eccentric collection of knick-knacks, trying to make ends meet while attending the glorious Portia’s a ...more
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Stuck On You
  • My Great Ex-Scape
  • Aunt Daisy's Letter
  • Bridesmaids
  • #No Filter
  • The Plus One Pact
  • One Way or Another
  • The Summer House
  • Stockings and Cellulite
  • A Little Hotel in Cornwall
  • Honeymoon For One
  • It’s Pamela Rigby Actually
  • Good Will
  • My One Month Marriage
  • Love is a Battlefield (Seven Brides for Seven Mothers, #1)
  • Have You Seen Me?
  • Stealing Home (The Sweet Magnolias #1)
  • It’s Not Me, It’s You
See similar books…
Jane taught English in Vienna then travelled the world as cabin crew, before making the life-changing decision to become an actor in her mid-thirties. She has appeared in "Calendar Girls", "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" and "Deathtrap" in London's West End. "Learning to Fly" is her debut novel. ...more

News & Interviews

Some interesting news for book nerds: According to recent industry research, book sales spiked dramatically in 2020–otherwise a rather...
7 likes · 1 comments