After the sudden death of husband Finn, Nina finds out that the perfect wrapped-in-a-bubble life she thought they had wasn’t perfect after all. She is forced to give up her beautiful house and expensive things and move with her two sons back to the place Nina swore she would never return to - her hometown. With the help of her feisty sister Tiggy, she will try to find a job – although she has absolutely no work experience - and get her life back together.
This book focuses on families as Nina and her sons grow closer than they have ever been and she reconnects with her estranged sister. Although I found the plot interesting and relatable, it didn’t completely engage me or keep me captivated. The characters were not particularly likable and were a bit irritating, especially Nina who keeps repeating how she grew up poor and married rich and seems too naive and clueless. (NP)
This powerful novel explores the world of eating disorders and the impact they have not only on the individuals suffering from them but on their families and friends. Freya is a loving mother to two daughters, Charlotte and Lexi, and has enjoyed a wonderful marriage to her husband of nineteen years. But the family’s happiness and stability are threatened when Lexi develops anorexia. The frustration of having to cope with this complex mental illness quickly takes its toll on Freya and Lockie’s marriage as they disagree on the best way to help their daughter.
Amanda Prowse has successfully depicted the struggles surrounding eating disorders, and while Freya’s actions may sometimes seem illogical, one can certainly feel for parents who want nothing more than for their child to heal. The Food of Love is poignant and for anyone who has confronted similar issues, it will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading. (LB)
Romilly can hardly believe how lucky her life has been so far: she has a job she loves, a beautiful family home in the suburbs of Bristol, a loving and handsome husband in the form of David and, to top it all, their lovely daughter Celeste. Of course, life can be difficult at times, but there's nothing a glass of wine can't help with. Until that one glass of wine doesn't do the trick anymore and before she knows it, Romilly finds herself longing for alcohol for most parts of every single day. She loves her family more than she can put into words, but this other love is slowly taking over and Romilly starts to realise it's going to take a lot of strength and determination to turn her back on this new dangerous love.
Every single time I pick up a new Amanda Prowse novel, there is a tiny bit of doubt in mind, wondering whether I will end up enjoying this novel as much as I did her previous ones. However, I think I finally have to stop doubting and just accept the fact that Prowse is a consistent author who continues to amaze me with her emotional and intense stories. Another Love is another heart-breaking story that blew me away and will undoubtedly stay with me for quite some time to come. This time, the topic is alcoholism and Prowse has done a fantastic job portraying both sides of the story. The book is quite an emotional rollercoaster with a strong and authentic voice at its core. It’s a gripping, emotional and memorable novel that will make you feel all kinds of things, from anger to sadness to laughter; another great read by a great author. (JoH)
Jessica simply knows she and her new husband, Matthew, were meant to end up together. From the first moment she looked into his eyes, Jessica has been head over heels madly in love with Matthew, and luckily he feels the exact same way about her. When Jessica unexpectedly gets pregnant at the age of twenty-three, Matthew is over the moon and can't wait to go on this new adventure together. Yet, as soon as the baby is born after a complicated birth, Jessica can't seem to find the maternal feelings and strong love she is supposed to feel. Instead, she starts to feel worse and worse and she can't help but think about how her and Matthew's life was supposed to be and what she could possibly do to make things better.
This novel deals with a sensitive and quite controversial topic, namely post-natal depression. Amanda Prowse is a wonderful author and she deals with this subject in an incredibly realistic and touching way. Jessica is a heroine that really spoke to me; from the start it is obvious that she and Matthew make such a great couple and the love between them just warmed my heart. What they go through is told in an incredibly gripping and heartbreaking way, and I can't even imagine what it would be like to go through something like this. The story is told from the perspective of main protagonist Jessica, but in two different ways. On the one hand we see diary extracts from Jessica in the here and now, and on the other hand we get to see everything that has happened to Jessica in the past, mainly told from her own point of view. The switches between these different chapters is very strong and really shows the development of Jessica's character. This story really gripped me and I haven't been able to get it out of my head since I finished the book. If you're looking for a heart-wrenching, gripping and well-written women's fiction title, then A Mother's Story definitely won't disappoint. (JoH)
Poppy Day is a 32-year-old mother who is happily married to her husband Martin, who works in the army, and together they have two lovely children, Peg and Max. As a family, they have been through quite a lot and Poppy is incredibly happy to have Martin back home, safe and sound, for the time being. However, while Poppy is busy taking care of the kids and making sure Martin enjoys his time back at home, she forgets to take good care of herself and suddenly finds a lump growing on her breast. Their comfortable and familiar family life is suddenly turned upside down. Everyone knows that if there is one person strong enough to beat cancer it has to be Poppy, but what if the disease just doesn't want to be beaten?
Poppy first appeared in Prowse's Poppy Day, a book which I had not read before starting Will You Remember Me? Even though I did occasionally wonder about things that had happened to the group of characters in the past, you can definitely read this book as a stand-alone. Prowse is an amazing author and she really touched me with her writing. The emotions in this book are so raw and realistic and I think every reader will be able to imagine themselves in a situation like the one Poppy and her family find themselves in and imagine how horrible it would be. There's a simply wonderful cast of warm and easily loveable characters at the core of this book. Poppy and Martin make such an amazing couple and their two children are the cutest. I felt like a part of their little family and I don't think anyone would be able to read this novel without caring for and warming to these characters. This is a simply heartbreaking, well-written and incredibly emotional read; a book I definitely recommend, but make sure you have a box of tissues handy! (JoH)