Sad Girl Novel

Pip Finkemeyer

Sad Girl Novel
Ultimo Press
7 June 2023

Sad Girl Novel

Pip Finkemeyer

A young woman tries to figure out if she’s the best (a creative genius) or if she’s maybe just the worst (completely delusional).

I’d be in heaven but on the edge of a deeper misery than ever, I’d be on top of the world and then they’d ask me, Did you make the right choice Kim? Are you currently, still, making the right choices Kimberly Mueller?

Over the course of a year in Berlin, an aspiring novelist, Kim, and her historian best friend, Bel, confront their twin acts of creation.

Kim is becoming a writer, and is determined to write a bestseller. She's been convinced of this idea by Matthew, an American literary agent who is as emotionally unavailable as he is handsome (very). Kim lives in her own carefully constructed reality, which her imagination is constantly pumping full of hot air. As she attempts to buoy herself using other people for external motivation, they poke holes in her fantasies, leading her to wonder if she’s going to come crashing down or somehow stay afloat.

Meanwhile, Bel is becoming a mother, and gives birth, certain it will fulfil her in ways her career does not seem to. Kim and Bel support and deceive each other as only the best of friends can.

In the face of probable failure, how do we convince ourselves to try and become something anyway? And how do we live with the choices we make?


Set in Berlin, we meet two best friends, Kim and Bel, who lead very different lives. Kim is an aspiring author, already planning the world tours, the book signings, and awards won for her novel, even though she’s rewritten the first sentence of her chapter about 10 times now. Bel is a new mother, and has put her career as an historian on hold to adjust to life with her baby. As much as they try to support each other, Kim and Bel just can’t help but envy each other’s lives. Is the grass really greener on the other side? Would they finally feel a sense of fulfilment in life if they had what the other has?

Sad Girl Novel explores the struggles and expectations of womanhood in the modern world, and the complexities of female friendship. Kim and Bel are funny, relatable, and loyal, yet also jealous and petty, providing insight into the mindset of people watching someone they love succeed at life more than themselves (or so they might think).

Told through Kim’s perspective, we watch her become obsessed with an emotionally unavailable man, jealous of her best friend, and stressed with the expectation that she should have her life sorted out by now. She has big dreams, but the reality of what it takes to achieve them seems daunting and so far out of her reach. She makes mistakes and says the wrong thing, which we, as the reader, scream at her not to do. But is Kim a chaotic mess, or just an adult in her 20s trying to figure life out?

Pip Finkemeyer’s debut is a humorous, heartfelt novel about finding one’s identity and purpose, the expectations held against you, and following your dreams even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone.

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