About this book…
It’s no secret that I’m a HUGE Amanda Prowse fan and look forward to reading her newest book as soon as I physically can! This latest release came out on 11th June but I was lucky enough to have a signed copy waiting for me when I got back from my daughters wedding and so I managed to read it a few days before publication. And I have to say firstly, HOW THE HELL DOES SHE DO IT?! Every book she brings out covers a subject that we can relate to (And always something for me personally weirdly enough which is why I’m such a big supporter!!) but this beautifully crafted relationship between Thomasina “Hitch” Waycott and Grayson Potts really did tug unexpectedly at my heartstrings! I went on a journey with these two characters that I became so invested in, I didn’t want it to end! And then when it did, I felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest, wrung dry and then shoved back in again upside down! So be prepared for the emotional path Amanda Prowse waves you off on and remember to pack those tissues!
Hitch is a young woman still living at home with her parents but gazing hopefully at the outside world just waiting for her time to shine in it. She’s kept there by a sense of duty towards her family due to their farm and B&B business plus her brother has already defected to another life in the USA making her the sole sibling left to help their parents. She also feels her physical disabilities exclude her from having a “normal” relationship but she lives in hope of escaping the farm one day to find love and see the amazing world that exists outside its walls. Although to be honest, I’d have been quite happy to STAY there myself! The farmhouse is just so beautifully crafted and intrinsically placed within the storyline that it’s pretty much a character of its own standing. I don’t think I would ever have wanted to stray from its quirky characteristics and the history that seeped through the pores of each and every room and it’s contents. And let’s not forget that amazing cooked farmhouse breakfast that had me drooling with the descriptions of locally sourced produce including freshly laid eggs from “the girls”.
But for Hitch, it wasn’t enough. I felt so sorry for her, not because of her physical appearance or disabilities but because of the way she was treated by everyone! Hitch may have been a nickname but once I found out the origin of it, I was completely shocked that even her own parents used it! And in the absence of her brother, who has gone off to live the American Dream, her parents have recruited her bullying cousin to come and help them run the farm. He was NOT a nice man! But it didn’t seem to matter what Hitch did, no one took the chance to find out what SHE wanted from life until Grayson Potts turned up and pulled the rug from under her feet. When Grayson appears on her doorstep, an unlikely friendship is formed but do they both have the courage to move forward together?
It was refreshing to meet characters that weren’t considered to be “the norm” and the moment Hitch realises that Grayson is going to be someone very special in her life was just spectacular to read! He is obviously on the spectrum, he has a very literal take on life, but he is the perfect person to launch Hitch off on her voyage of self discovery. Both of these characters were fully fleshed out so that we developed an affection and affinity for them very quickly. I was utterly transfixed by their relationship as it felt realistic and uplifting so I was very sad to be torn from them at the end of the book. They are certainly a couple I would welcome returning to at sometime in the future to find out how they are and what they are doing now!
The Things I Know is a beautifully written book about family, relationships and never giving up on your dreams. The feelings I had as a teenage girl that I was never the most popular, the prettiest or the cleverest were rekindled for me whilst reading “the things” that Hitch knew. It was a brilliant way of expressing the hopes and dreams that Hitch had for her future-a future she never gave up believing in.
Highly recommended by me!
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 twenty-one 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.