Waiting to Begin by Amanda Prowse @rararesources @MrsAmandaProwse

From the bestselling author of The Girl in the Corner comes a story that asks: what would you risk for a shot at happiness?

1984. Bessie is a confident sixteen-year-old girl with the world at her feet, dreaming of what life will bring and what she’ll bring to this life. Then everything comes crashing down. Her bright and trusting smile is lost, banished by shame—and a secret she’ll carry with her for the rest of her life.

2021. The last thirty-seven years have not been easy for Bess. At fifty-three she is visibly weary, and her marriage to Mario is in tatters. Watching her son in newlywed bliss—the hope, the trust, the joy—Bess knows it is time to face her own demons, and try to save her relationship. But she’ll have to throw off the burden of shame if she is to honour that sixteen-year-old girl whose dreams lie frozen in time.

Can Bess face her past, finally come clean to Mario, and claim the love she has longed to fully experience all these years?

OMG Amanda Prowse has done it again!! How the hell does she constantly delivered the most intuitive and expressive women’s fiction that leaves me feeling like a wrung out dishcloth?! This amazing author just “gets” women and Waiting to Begin is once again an insightful and involving book that struck such an emotional chord with me. I devoured it in just one afternoon-then mentally kicked myself as I then wanted to go back to before I’d read it so I could enjoy it for the first time once more!

I loved the way in which this book was formatted with it covering a birthday for Bess in both 1984 and in 2021. Both birthdays were dramatic and life changing for her in more ways that one but I was completely shocked by some of the outcomes. I felt so sorry for Bess, your birthday is supposed to be a happy day that is all about YOU, with no bad news or drama but on the day she turns 16, Bess has the worst day of her life so far…and it has far reaching consequences that are still affecting her life on her 53rd birthday.

The 80s sprung to life off the pages of Waiting To Begin with it bright colours, leg warmers and musical memories. The whole “school disco” awkwardness and exam results hell refreshed themselves in my own mind as the memories of that decade flooded back, sparked by Amanda’s beautifully evocative writing. She understands family life instinctively and is able to translate it to her own fictional world so well that these women and their families feel like they really exist. Bess is one of my favourite character creations so far-I just loved her vulnerability and her angst as she makes decisions that affect her life-some good and some not so great! She is portrayed convincingly and I felt as though she could be a good friend…

Amanda Prowse can’t put a foot wrong in my eyes-she has an enviable gift for giving her readers storylines they will relate to and characters they will want to have a cuppa and a chat with. I sobbed my eyes out on the last page of Waiting To Begin and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Amanda Prowse is an international bestselling author of twenty-seven novels published in dozens of languages. Her chart-topping titles What Have I Done?Perfect DaughterMy Husband’s WifeThe Coordinates of LossThe Girl in the Corner and The Things I Know have sold millions of copies around the world.

Other novels by Amanda Prowse include A Mother’s Story, which won the coveted Sainsbury’s eBook of the Year Award. Perfect Daughter was selected as a World Book Night title in 2016. She has been described by the Daily Mail as ‘the queen of family drama’.

Amanda is the most prolific writer of bestselling contemporary fiction in the UK today. Her titles consistently score the highest online review approval ratings across several genres.

A popular TV and radio personality, Amanda is a regular panellist on Channel 5’s Jeremy Vine show, as well as featuring on numerous daytime ITV programmes. She also makes countless guest appearances on national and independent radio stations, including LBC and talkRADIO, where she is well known for her insightful observations and infectious humour.

Amanda’s ambition is to create stories that keep people from turning off the bedside lamp at night, that ensure you walk every step with her great characters, and tales that fill your head so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades…

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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.