The Things I Know
contemporary fiction, romance, women's literature
Lake Union Publishing
Pub Date 11 Jun 2019
From bestselling author Amanda Prowse comes a heartwarming tale of first impressions and lasting love. Thomasina ‘Hitch’ Waycott loves living and working on the remote family farm and B&B. But she also wants more. To see the world. To own her own home. To fall madly in love. But those are fairy tales, and if her life is a fairy tale, then she’s the ugly duckling. Her deformed lip, her crooked limbs and her weak heart have kept her from taking chances. But that’s about to change. When Grayson Potts comes to stay, he’s unlike anyone Thomasina has ever met. He’s aloof, eccentric and exceptionally kind. He’s also totally unconcerned with the physical flaws that have always defined Thomasina. The two form a bond that neither has had before. It’s possible that it could become something more, but Thomasina also wonders if it’s too good to be true. By putting her heart on the line, Thomasina may open herself to heartbreak. But she may also open herself to so much more.
This is the first book I’ve ever read
where I cried at the first chapters.
Hitch – Thomasina – is such a sad
character as the story opens, taking happiness in the very small things in her
Over-protected by her parents, her life
is kept small as her health, as a baby, was precarious, and he rparents hadn’t
realised how strong, physically and mentally, she had become.
The story is both sad and also uplifting.
It reminds us that happiness is in own hands and can be created from small
As we see Thomasina grow in self-belief,
we are shown possibilities. There is a strong underlying philosophy apparent in
this story that is developed empathetically and subtly with great style.
One of the best quotes from the book is:
‘I know that words are powerful things
and have great weight’.
Lies We Tell Mothers
Suzy K. Quinn
Family & Relationships, Breastfeeding, Family Humour
Lake Union Publishing
July 23, 2019
Bestselling author of the Bad Mother books Suzy K Quinn reveals the truth behind the lies we tell mothers, one sleepless night at a time. Suzy and Demi were carefree twenty-somethings. They had fun! They didn't have responsibilities! And then they decided to have a baby. Goodbye lazy weekends, hello sleepless nights, arguments and an addiction to industrial-strength hot chocolate. In the midst of this major life change, Suzy discovered that most parenting advice should be taken with a pinch of salt--or ten. For example: #1 Lie--Just go with your mother's instinct. But what if your instinct is telling you to hide under the stairs? #10 Lie--Your new baby will tell you what it needs. Not if it can't talk it won't. #23 Lie--You should never bribe your children. You will ALWAYS bribe your children. Follow Suzy on the ultimate make-over--from nervous-wreck new mother to happy families. In this hilarious and refreshingly honest account for parents who prefer the realistic to the utopian, Suzy debunks the myths and takes us all along for the (bumpy) ride.
This is by way of an autobiographical tour of Suzy’s first few years as a mother, explaining each chapter the Lie she was told as her reality proved it false.
I recognise many of those lies – as will many mothers. The lies about pregnancy and how the sickness is just in the morning and goes away, and how wonderful you will feel. The lies about birth – just breathe through your labour – no problem – and then along comes the caesarean. The ease of breastfeeding (and nothing about your nipples bleeding at all); how baby will like food (which is why he is spitting it out – or vomiting it up); baby will sleep through the night (when?); baby will tell you what he needs (just why is he still crying – not food, not teeth, not not not -and is it cruelty to through him out of the window to get some sleep?); baby will be easy to potty train (what about the stains on your precious carpets?); and so on…
So many lies told to new mothers, expectant mothers, and those thinking of getting pregnant, otherwise we wouldn’t start and the species would never reproduce.
A read to make mothers laugh but don’t give it to friends who are just thinking about getting pregnant – or they never will..
The Overdue Life of Amy Byler
Romantic Comedy, Love, Sex & Marriage Humour, Humorous Fiction
Lake Union Publishing
(1 May 2019)
Overworked and underappreciated, single mom Amy Byler needs a break. So when the guilt-ridden husband who abandoned her shows up and offers to take care of their kids for the summer, she accepts his offer and escapes rural Pennsylvania for New York City.
Usually grounded and mild mannered, Amy finally lets her hair down in the city that never sleeps. She discovers a life filled with culture, sophistication, and—with a little encouragement from her friends—a few blind dates. When one man in particular makes quick work of Amy’s heart, she risks losing herself completely in the unexpected escape, and as the summer comes to an end, Amy realizes too late that she must make an impossible decision: stay in this exciting new chapter of her life, or return to the life she left behind.
But before she can choose, a crisis forces the two worlds together, and Amy must stare down a future where she could lose both sides of herself, and every dream she’s ever nurtured, in the beat of a heart.
So after being a frazzled and broke
single mum for years Amy Byler is given
the gift of a momspringa – in the way that the US … sect give their children
a ..srpinga when they reach adulthood. A year off to discover who they are and
what they want to do with their lives.
This year of Amy’s is detailed by the
magazine that is sponsoring her – she is photographed and everything she does
is told in detail on social media. And it sets a trend amongst tired mums who
also want a #momspringa even if only for a few days!
I’m Fine and Neither are you
Lake Union Publishing
(1 April 2019)
Honesty is the best policy…except maybe when it comes to marriage in this brilliant novel about the high price of perfection from bestselling author Camille Pagán. Wife. Mother. Breadwinner. Penelope Ruiz-Kar is doing it all—and barely keeping it together. Meanwhile, her best friend, Jenny Sweet, appears to be sailing through life. As close as the two women are, Jenny’s passionate marriage, pristine house, and ultra-polite child stand in stark contrast to Penelope’s underemployed husband, Sanjay, their unruly brood, and the daily grind she calls a career. Then a shocking tragedy reveals that Jenny’s life is far from perfect. Reeling, Penelope vows to stop keeping the peace and finally deal with the issues in her relationship. So she and Sanjay agree to a radical proposal: both will write a list of changes they want each other to make—then commit to complete and total honesty. What seems like a smart idea quickly spirals out of control, revealing new rifts and even deeper secrets. As Penelope stares down the possible implosion of her marriage, she must ask herself: When it comes to love, is honesty really the best policy?
A very nice exposition of the strains
on a marriage of children and a partner working a really difficult, and for
her, stressful job.
As a reverse home-maker – ie house
husband – he quite clearly clearly is not as home-making as could be expected
as she has to come home and cook, do the washing and general tidy. But then he
claims to be a writer and working at his next big article – which never quite
gets published – and then there is the ‘book’. All of which prevents him from
getting up in the night to the children – as he is too tired. A husband who
lacks emotional sensitivity and understanding of what his role should have been
when she pulls in the big bucks that enable him to stay at home and ‘work’.
I enjoyed this story-line and thought
that the impact of lack of sleep and job stress were well told in a humorous
but also truthful manner – as we never got a full night’s sleep until our
oldest was over 5 years old and know so well the strain that that brings.
Livia's been planning her wedding to Jed for ages. Now, at the venue in beautiful Barcelona, with her dress pressed and the guests all on their way, she's only left one tiny detail until the last minute: letting the groom know he's about to get hitched. But as far as Jed's concerned, they've been bumping along just fine for ten years and even have a baby on the way, so why spoil things with an 'I do'? Especially when he'd really rather not. Meanwhile the guests are arriving with plenty of baggage of their own. Fading reality star Liam's still on the lookout for a plus-one; Rachel's has refused to come--and dumped her into the bargain; and divorcee Patrick's date is more of the 'mid-life crisis' variety. But as the ceremony approaches, and with no sign of Jed, there's only one thing on all of their minds: will there be a bride and groom at the wedding?
A fun novel with two storylines intertwined: the surprise wedding and the football mad partner who takes his girlfriend for granted.
Now, as this novel was written by a bloke you can tell he knows the football mad personage – and even the potential reaction of a man who thought all was well in his world being thrust into a secret wedding.
So we have the story of the woman, with whom I can empathise, who wants to get married before she gives birth – which is getting ever more imminent – and her partner isn’t taking the hints.
So she organises a secret proposal and wedding in Barcelona with even manages to bring along some guests without him being aware. One of whom has a partner who is totally football obsessed. And again, very unaware of what is going on in her mind.
Nicely written with enough humour and (stock) characters that you recognise.