Monday, 27 March 2017

The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse



About The Idea of You

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 of The Idea of You
 
 

This book is described as a "heart-wrenchingly poignant family drama" and this is exactly what this book is about. I loved it, as I knew I would. Amanda Prowse is able to write about normal women, undergoing daily life in an incredibly beautiful, poignant and insightful way. The Idea of You, is yet again another compelling read from this very talented author.
 
The Idea of You focusses upon the character of Lucy Carpenter, a woman who seems to have been given a second chance in life, having met her now husband, Jonah, at a friend's Christening. Lucy had been reeling at the breakup of her relationship, and the discovery that her ex fiancé had married her cousin and that the couple were expecting a baby. So, Lucy has had a lot of challenges in her life, and when she meets Jonah and falls madly in love with him, her future seems incredibly bright. But life is never that easy.
 
Firstly, there is the sadness of Lucy having several miscarriages and the longing that she has to have a baby with Jonah. These passages in the book were written with empathy and a thorough knowledge of what women have to go through when having to endure medical procedures during early miscarriage. These passages were difficult to read, as the book is entirely from Lucy's point of view, and I felt and completely understood what she was going though. Trying to conceive and to then keep the baby is a huge part of this novel. This is what Lucy yearns for, and which she believes will make her whole. Jonah, is a wonderful character and I loved him. He is supportive of Lucy and, although we do not get to read his thoughts, I knew that he too was enduring his own inner battle and grieving for his lost babies.
 
Life is also difficult because of the arrival of Camille, Jonah's teenage daughter from his previous marriage. With her arrival comes the issues of being a step mother, a friend and of trying to fit in to a new family dynamic, for everyone involved. This aspect of the story I found fascinating and I kept asking myself, what must it be like for this young girl to move from her home in France and live with her father, whom she has spent very little with, and his new wife?  Camille must feel scared, overwhelmed and very much like an outsider. She really was an interesting character, and one that I grew to love.
 
This book asks the very important questions, of what is motherhood? What makes a woman a mother? What makes a family? I loved the fact that the issues of creating a family and then adapting to life as a new family unit where at the heart of this story. All of the characters were fully engaging, but my favourite by far was Lucy. I truly bonded with her.

If you enjoy reading women's contemporary fiction, and haven't yet read an Amanda Prowse novel, then I highly recommend The Idea of You. Whether or not you are a mother, or indeed maternal,  doesn't really matter. This is a book about women for women, that talks about the issues of motherhood and what it means to be a mother in a straightforward and empathetic manner. It also discusses what it means to be a woman in the 21st century, with all of the associated demands and pressures placed upon women.
 
I thoroughly enjoyed it.

With thanks to Amanda Prowse, publisher, Lake Union, and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy.

The Idea of You is published on March 21 by Lake Union and is available to buy from Amazon here.

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

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