Many thanks for NetGalley for my advance copy of this book in return for an honest review.
At the end of her book, in a note to her readers, Amanda Prowse claims that she creates characters that she herself would like to sit and have coffee with, and she hopes that her readers feel the same way. There’s actually no better way to describe the women in her books than the way that Amanda herself has described them here! She writes about people who are so very real, they could be standing behind us in line at the supermarket.
Rosie Tipcott is firmly ensconced in her cosy village life in Wollacombe, Devon; she always has been and has never envisaged herself being anywhere else. Happy with her husband Phil, who works in his dad’s family building business, her two boisterous little girls, a job cleaning caravans, and regularly meeting best friend Mel at the local café for a jacket potato and a chat, everything in her little world is just as it should be. She adores her in-laws Mo and Keith, who’ve always made her feel safe and secure, ever since her best friend Kev, Phil’s brother, brought her home to them when they were in their early teens, providing her with something her own home always lacked.
When Rosie was just a few days old, her own mother walked out, leaving Rosie to be brought up by her father. He did the best he could, but a man is not a mother and now Rosie is proud that she’s managed to create a complete, loving family, something she never had while she was growing up.
But then, seemingly out of the blue, Phil tells her he’s leaving her! Rosie’s picture-perfect world is shattered. Did she miss the warning signs? She must have, because she wasn’t aware that she was supposed to be looking for them. Piece by piece her comfortable life falls apart and her security blanket is cruelly ripped from her and left in shreds. Rosie realises how very naïve she really is, and how unprepared she is for any other type of life than the one she always expected to be living.
Who can she turn to? Who can she trust? Who is she if she’s not her husband’s wife?
Amanda Prowse’s gifts lie in her character depiction and her accurate portrayal of relationships, whether it’s between husband and wife, father and daughter or mother and child. She is adept at describing her protagonists in their entirety, revealing their strengths and flaws at just the right times in order for them to either endear themselves to us, or make us dislike them as and when we’re supposed to (often before their fellow players realise the negative role they’re playing)!
There are strong themes running through this book: friendship, loyalty, strength, family ties, most of all, the importance of self-belief and how imperative it is to be your own person and not only to see your own worth through being someone’s partner or parent.