The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse #BookReview @MrsAmandaProwse

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?

My review…

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

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.

You can find her online at http://www.amandaprowse.com, on Twitter at @MrsAmandaProwse and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/amandaprowsenogreaterlove.

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The Food Of Love by Amanda Prowse #BlogTour @MrsAmandaProwse

Today I am absolutely delighted, but also still a little emotional, to be on the blog tour for The Food of Love by the gorgeous (both inside and out!) Amanda Prowse. Her books are always the highlight of my reading year and I’m thrilled to bring you my review today.


About this book…

A loving mother. A perfect family. A shock wave that could shatter everything.

Freya Braithwaite knows she is lucky. Nineteen years of marriage to a man who still warms her soul and two beautiful teenage daughters to show for it: confident Charlotte and thoughtful Lexi. Her home is filled with love and laughter.

But when Lexi’s struggles with weight take control of her life, everything Freya once took for granted falls apart, leaving the whole family with a sense of helplessness that can only be confronted with understanding, unity and, above all, love.

In this compelling and heart-wrenching new work by bestselling author Amanda Prowse, one ordinary family tackles unexpected difficulties and discovers that love can find its way through life’s darkest moments.

My review…

Oh my goodness! I had to leave the room after reading this as I got very emotional and yes, just a little bit tearful, when I finished the last few gut wrenching pages. I’d spent a lazy Sunday afternoon on the sofa reading and once I had finished, I needed to just catch my breath so I went into the kitchen to do what I always do if I need some time to think and relax-I cooked. But after reading such a strongly structured book about a family struggling to cope with one of their daughters having an eating disorder, being in my kitchen actually made me think MORE about this book and didn’t take my mind off it one little bit. I realised that in my family food plays such an enormous part in who we are and how we interact with each other. I looked at the huge dining table we have that’s now old and scratched but I love it so much because of the memories of our Sunday lunches, birthday teas and Christmas dinners which started as just us and our girls but now includes their partners and children as well. To us family is food! The girls still come into the kitchen to talk to me as I cook and bake, stealing corners of still warm banana bread or munching on cheese and crackers while I’m whizzing up some homemade soup for lunch. And that’s what made me feel so sad as I read this book because it made me realise just how lucky we all are.

My mum has always used the Eleanor Roosevelt quote “A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water” and that was the first thing that popped into my head when I met Freya in The Food of Love. She is happily married (possibly even a smug happily married!) to Lockie with teenage daughters Charlotte and Lexie. Being a mum to teenage girls is a tough job (I know!!!) but the unexpected horror of discovering Lexie is anorexic comes as a HUGE shock to all the family. Amanda Prowse doesn’t shrink away from showing this awful condition in its shocking entirety, stripping away the layers of romanticism of what people assume is just a desire to be slim. It’s such a misunderstand mental health issue and I hope this book will bring some clarity to a very difficult to raise subject. She shows a family desperate to understand what is happening to their child and their utter helplessness in a situation that is totally beyond their control. As a mother, you would assume that the character I empathised with most would be Freya but my heart went out to Charlotte, who was forced to take a back seat in her family while her parents put their entire focus onto Lexie and getting her “better”. I didn’t like the way Lockie behaved throughout certain events that happened but think it was a brilliant illustration of how many men struggle to deal with this type of family dilemma.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, nobody does domestic drama like Amanda Prowse. She writes about characters who could be any one of our friends or family….or even us. She has a gift for understanding family dynamics and making her fictional families feel like real people. I always feel like an emotionally wrung out wreck after finishing her books-I don’t know how she does it!

This is another triumph for Amanda Prowse. From the moment I saw that breathtakingly beautiful cover I knew this was going to be one of the most heartbreaking and emotive portraits of a normal family thrown into turmoil that I have ever read. I think this is by far one of her most powerful books to date so be prepared for a wave of emotions that will stay with you long after you’ve put it down.

Many thanks to Simeon Prowse for my review copy of The Food of Love and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

The Food of Love was published on 1st December by Lake Union Publishing and is available here at Amazon UK.

Meet the author…

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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 twelve 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.

You can find her online at http://www.amandaprowse.com, on Twitter @MrsAmandaProwse, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/amandaprowsenogreaterlove.

My Husband’s Wife by Amanda Prowse

About this book…

Once a week, Rosie Tipcott counts her blessings.

She goes to sit on her favourite bench on the north Devon cliffs, and thanks her lucky stars for her wonderful husband, her mischievous young daughters, and her neat little house by the sea. She vows to dedicate every waking hour to making her family happy.

But then her husband unexpectedly leaves her for another woman and takes the children. Now she must ask the question: what is left in her life? Can Rosie find the strength to rebuild herself? More importantly, does she even want to?

My review…

Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, does domestic drama like Amanda Prowse and with My Husband’s Wife she has given us an emotional but life affirming journey into the aftermath of a collapsed marriage.

Rosie could be anyone that you know-your sister, your friend or your neighbour. She is married, she’s a mum, she’s happy. Yes things can be difficult but that’s just life isn’t it? She knows that sometimes couples are too tired for sex and we all have money problems sometimes, don’t we? But Rosie’s world and all her quiet contentment is about to come crashing down on her when her husband reveals he is leaving her for another woman. And I just want to say that I loved the way that Rosie handled this because it was real!! She cried, she begged, she promised she would change (she didn’t need to we all know that!!!) She did what any one of us would do, she went to pieces and then all those little pieces collapsed around her when one by one she starts to lose everything and everyone else that she hold dear as well….but surely not her girls?!

I just hoovered up every single word of this wonderfully tense and heartbreaking journey for Rosie. I just wanted to be there for her, to be that mother that she didn’t have and never even knew. In fact, I spent most of this book in a high state of indignant rage, how dare they all treat Rosie like that! I felt utterly helpless!

Every character is well drawn here and the whole scenario well written and thought through. Amanda Prowse really does understand what real people do and feel. Her insights into family life are just so on point that I actually felt as if I was reading about a real family. There are just little phrases and sayings dotted about in there that are brilliantly descriptive in their very normality, like trying to cheer someone up at Christmas by letting them have first pick in the Quality Street tin! And everyone laughs when my girls and I describe people’s hair as “bouffy” so I’m glad to see I’m not alone in using that description!

I have always loved Amanda’s books but this one really did speak to me more than others, probably as I AM Rosie, or the Rosie at the start of the book at least. And I think most women will find something here that plays a personal chord within them too. Hopefully, like me, they will also find My Husband’s Wife a thought-provoking, insightful look into modern day extended family relationships brilliantly written and ultimately uplifting. I physically couldn’t put it down!

Many thanks to Simeon Prowse for providing an advanced review copy of My Husband’s Wife in return for an unbiased review.

My Husband’s Wife (No Greater Courage) is published on 14th July 2016 and is available to buy at Amazon UK

About Amanda Prowse…

61FHH7kmR+L._SY100_Amanda has always obsessively crafted short stories and scribbled notes for potential books. Six years ago, she quit her job as a management consultant and began writing full time. Her first book, Poppy Day is a contemporary novel following an army wife whose incredible love for her husband gives her the courage to set out to rescue him after he was taken hostage in Afghanistan. Originally self-published in October 2011, Poppy Day quickly became a bestseller and Amanda joined the prestigious Head of Zeus publishing house.

The second in the No Greater Love series, ‘What Have I Done?’ was an eBook sensation where women worldwide identified with the theme of domestic abuse in middle class households and it was subsequently voted a ‘Best Book of 2013’ by Amazon Kindle. Amanda followed this by joining the team of the ITV This Morning show as their resident author in 2013.All of Amanda’s books in the No Greater Love series share one common theme – the main characters are ordinary women who find themselves in extraordinary situations where their strength, resourcefulness and determination is tested to their very limits.

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

Follow Amanda on Twitter @MrsAmandaProwse, or become friends with Amanda on Facebook. For more information on Amanda’s books see http://www.amandaprowse.com