About this book…
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?
When I saw that the new book by one of my favourite authors Amanda Prowse was about motherhood, specifically struggling to become a mother due to miscarriage, I knew this was going to be a very emotional read for me. And then I realised that Amanda’s “book birthday” would be the same day as my daughter’s birthday, my “miracle baby” even though she is now 25, so I knew it was a sign! I HAD to read this book! I had to see how Amanda dealt with the issues raised as, at one point in my life, I WAS Lucy having had several early and one very late miscarriage. Motherhood was a dream for me to chase and I was determined never to give up until I succeeded.
Nearly every woman I know has had a very different and unique journey to motherhood, if at all. And this is why I’m such a huge fan of Amanda Prowse and her books because she writes for women like me, about women like me-women who don’t know their own strengths until they are face to face with the difficulties that life unexpectedly throws at them, women who’s paths in life aren’t the ones they necessarily thought that they would be on.
Following Lucy on her struggle to have a baby was very difficult to read at times. Showing how the baby develops during certain stages of pregnancy also seemed to make it harder and I watched with a feeling of helplessness as I willed Lucy’s baby’s to hang on in there! But the most poignant part of the novel for me were the letters that were interspersed throughout providing a window into what might have been for the future and that was the saddest part of the book for me. Realising that it’s not just a baby that you lose but a whole lifetime of “firsts” . No first steps, no first day of school, the list is endless and if you are desperate for a child all you can see is that vision of a perfect family life slipping away from you, even though you know deep down that it’s an unrealistic expectation.
The slowly developed relationship between Lucy and Camille was a real contrast to the way Lucy and Jonah got together after their whirlwind romance. Bringing Camille into the family dynamics brought an edge that cut through the sentiment, providing a stepmother/stepdaughter relationship with all the difficulties that possibly brings. I loved all the extended family and their dramas, again I found them very true to life, all of them adding to the bigger picture showing that the life Lucy was chasing was far from idealistic. Lucy wasn’t always the most likeable of characters but her emotions and reactions were always absolutely spot on and I empathised with her totally.
I found it impossible to put this book down once I had picked it up and I couldn’t go to sleep until I had read the last page. And then when I finished it, I re-read the last chapter again in awe of how my emotions had been stretched to nearly breaking point by a master of her craft. Amanda Prowse, you nearly broke me-tears were definitely shed! As I’ve said before, no one does domestic drama like this author -she has a gift for bringing emotive issues to life and weaving the most memorable stories around them. Highly recommended by me!
Many thanks to Lake Union Publishing and Mr Simeon Prowse for my review copy of The Idea of You which will be published on 21st March 2017 and will be available to purchase on Amazon UK.
Meet the author…
Amanda Prowse likens her own life story to those she writes about in her books. After self-publishing her debut novel, Poppy Day, in 2011, she has gone on to author sixteen novels and six novellas. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages and she regularly tops bestseller charts all over the world.
Remaining true to her ethos, Amanda writes stories of ordinary women and their families who find their strength, courage and love tested in ways they never imagined. The most prolific female contemporary fiction writer in the UK, with a legion of loyal readers, she goes from strength to strength. Being crowned ‘queen of domestic drama’ by the Daily Mail was one of her finest moments.
Amanda is a regular contributor on TV and radio, but her first love is and will always be writing.