When was the last time you put yourself first?
Thirty-eight-year-old divorcee Courtney Downey has no idea who she is any more. She has devoted her life to bringing up her beloved 15-year-old daughter Susan, but Courtney just doesn’t get the celebrity-obsessed, Snapchat-filtered teenage world Susan is part of, and they’re growing apart. When Susan announces she wants to live with her dad and his new, younger girlfriend, Courtney is devastated. But could the end of one life be the beginning of another?
When Courtney is offered a job in beautiful, sun-kissed Cornwall, she and her vivacious best friend Claire follow their hearts and leave their problems behind for a summer of sand, sea and second chances. And when she meets sexy but infuriating builder Tony, Courtney rediscovers her passions for life, for cooking and for love.
But just as Courtney is finally looking to the future, a crisis with Susan pulls her back to Dublin, and back into old habits. Will she ever be able to let go of the past and embrace the importance of being herself?
This is a book every woman - and especially every mum - should read - possibly several times.
It's a book for every woman who has ever felt taken for granted by her family - mostly especially her children (and let's face it, children have a habit of being terribly selfish creatures), or who has felt a yearning to rediscover her identity, or felt under-appreciated in work or finds herself unexpectedly single a little bit later in life and wondering whether it is worth the effort of even thinking about starting again.
Caroline Grace Cassidy is very skilled at cutting through the noise to get to the heart of a story - a story that will no doubt resonate with many women (as did her previous novels, especially her last book 'The Week I Ruined My Life' ).
She tells the story of Courtney Downey - newly single, desperate to cling on to the 'love of her life' (Her 15 year old daughter) and wondering how she lost her joie de vivre along the way - brilliantly. The addition of her quirky but vulnerable friend Claire adds to this brilliantly - as both women face personal crises in their lives.
It would be easy for a book such as this to slip into maudlin rhetoric littered with inspirational quotes and cliches - but what Caroline does in this book is interject the serious moments with laugh out loud humour, with stunning surroundings, and with much talk of mouth watering-ly delicious meals. (Can I be chief dessert taster, thank you very much?).
The women are real - flawed and funny and the story is a balm for the soul.
This book hits of a few punches along the way but remains gloriously predictable in that you just now our heroine is going to find herself and her happy ending - making this the perfect, uplifting summer read.
Do yourself a favour and pack this in your holiday case - and enjoy every deliciously crafted word.
The Importance of Being Me is published by Black & White
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher, via Netgalley