Publisher's Blurb: With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter thinks she finally has it all: a wonderful new husband, Jonah, a successful career and the chance of a precious baby of her own. Life couldn’t be more perfect.
But becoming parents proves much harder to achieve than Lucy and Jonah imagined, and when Jonah’s teenage daughter Camille comes to stay with them, she becomes a constant reminder of what Lucy doesn’t have. Jonah’s love and support are unquestioning, but Lucy’s struggles with work and her own failing dreams begin to take their toll. With Camille’s presence straining the bonds of Lucy’s marriage even further, Lucy suddenly feels herself close to losing everything…
This heart-wrenchingly poignant family drama from bestselling author Amanda Prowse asks the question: in today’s hectic world, what does it mean to be a mother?
My Review: Although I have a number of Amanda Prowse books on my Kindle and I have been following her on Twitter for quite some time, this was the first time I have read one of her books - enticed to do so by reading her own stories of pregnancy loss, which inspired this book.
I know Amanda Prowse has a huge following because she connects so well with her readers through her heartfelt honesty and ability to get to the very emotional core of a story.
I knew this this would be both an emotional and at times difficult read. While I have, thankfully, never experienced a miscarriage, I had a few scares in my last pregnancy and was able to relate to that fear she spoke so poignantly of - the wait on the examining table and the fear of what the doctor may or may not find.
This is the story of Lucy, primarily, and her new husband Jonah - and their quest to start a family of their own. Lucy is a career woman who has built a very successful life for herself but has not, until her early 40s, met the right man for, With Jonah comes a whirlwind relationship, a marriage and a desire to become a mother - to solidify her family unit.
However, she and Jonah face very many trials and tribulations in their journey. Secrets unfold - pain from the past is resurrected, ripped open and events from Lucy's past threaten her present happiness.
The arrival of Jonah's teenage daughter, Camille, from France for the summer adds an extra dimension of tension to the book - and causes the reader to think about what it really takes to be a mother, what family is and how healing can come from the strangest of places.
This is a deeply moving read - and for some, I imagine it will be difficult.
Browse doesn't shy away from the realities of miscarriage, nor the strain it can put on a relationship.
For me, perhaps, the book was a little bit overly long - but I'm sure I would be in the minority thinking that - knowing the legion of fans Mrs Prowse so rightly has.
This book once again solidifies her as one of the best women's fiction writers in the UK - guaranteed to deliver an emotional read each and every time.
I will be digging into some of her other books which are sitting on my Kindle.
The Idea of You is published by Lake Union Publishing.
I received a review of copy of this book from the publishers, via Netgalley
What if you had to choose between your children?
Then: Madeleine lived for her children. She'd always believed she'd die for them, too. But on the morning of her twins' tenth birthday her love was put to the test when a killer knocked on their door and forced her to make a devastating choice: which child should live, and which should die - her son, or her daughter?
Now: Madeleine stands silent on the periphery of her now fractured family, trying desperately to unravel why her world was so suddenly blown apart. But while everyday life continues around her, memories of everything leading up to that tragic day return in agonising flashes.
And that's when she realises her family's life still hangs terrifyingly in the balance...
I had seen a bit of a buzz building about the debut novel from Samantha King - so was eager to see if it lived up to expectations.
It's fair to say, it exceeded them.
From the first chapter - where my jaw dropped at the powerful predicament mother of two Maddie found herself in - to the last, emotional page - this book grabbed my attention entirely. The premise of the book is every mother's worst nightmare.
A gunman storms into your house, grabs both your children, forces you to choose which one to save and which one to watch die. As the book begins, Maddie, traumatised deeply by her experience, struggles to come to terms with her choice - she struggles to connect with her husband, or her surviving child. She feels like a ghost on the edge of a life that was once so familiar - and feels as if she will never be able to recover from the awful trauma which visited her house on her twins' tenth birthday.
It's hard to review this book without giving away any twists and turns - because this book twists and turns like no other. Just when you think you have an idea of what's going on, or when you think one situation is resolved, things inevitably take another twist.
All the while, we are in the head of Maddie - a woman broken by her experience, who doesn't remember large chunks of her life before or after the shooting.
This book had me gripped entirely - forsaking TV viewing for two nights to gobble it up and find out what had happened and how Maddie would cope with what she has been through. While the thrust of this book is indeed a thriller - and one which Samantha King delivers in spades, it is her writing of a mother's love, and the daily interaction of Maddie and her children before the shooting that gives this book the real grip factor.
You are with her as she makes her decision. You are with her after. You see the love she made sure her babies never doubted and it grabs you by the heart and makes this an emotional rollercoaster of a read. I highly recommend this book - it is an exceptional debut and I'm very much looking forward to seeing Samantha King's career as a writer progress.
A first class, gripping triumph of a book.
The Choice will be published by Piatkus on April 20.
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley.
How far would you go to find THE ONE?
One simple mouth swab is all it takes. A quick DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for.
A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one other person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people meet their Match. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others...
A psychological thriller with a difference, this is a truly unique novel which is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.
My test of a good book is whether or not I find myself sneaking away from my family to read "just another few pages" - The One had me sneaking away - a lot.
With short, sharp chapters the story twisted and turned through the lives of four different couples, apparently matched by the Match DNA dating agency (a brilliant premise).
Nothing is ever quite as it seems for any of our characters - and the book makes the reader question nature over nurture and the power of suggestion.
Although some of the themes in this book are quite dark, it never strays into too serious or depressing a read.
In fact it is hugely entertaining and hugely enjoyable and you find yourself invested in the characters - even the seemingly deeply unpleasant ones!
This is one to watch in 2017.
The One will be released by Ebury on May 4.
I received an early review copy of this book from the publisher, via Netgalley.
For the love of books
A good writer must be an avid reader. I'll be posting reviews of some of the books I'm reading. Disclaimer: I'm not a book blogger - I'm just a reader. These are books I've chosen to read for fun.