About The Rest of Me
Alex Fox knows there are lots of things she should be.
She should be the perfect wife to her chronically ill husband Sam, and the perfect mother to their two daughters. She should be excelling in her high-stress job. And she should be completing the demanding to-do lists she makes to keep herself on track.
Even if, just sometimes, she doesn't have time to breathe.
When Sam's condition worsens and Alex donates a kidney to save his life, her carefully scheduled existence starts to unravel - eventually forcing her to face up to a past that she has buried for years.
As the family she has fought so hard for threatens to fall apart, can Alex finally confront the mistakes that have shaped her - and rediscover what is most important in life?
My review of The Rest of Me
What an absolute delight this book was to read. I was so sad to finish this book as I had connected so strongly to Alex and her lovely family. This book really does have it all. It's a modern family drama dealing with real life issues, such as bullying, the work life balance and raising children. It's an emotional and joyous read.
At the beginning of the novel we are introduced to Alex, who has just donated a kidney to her husband, Sam. They have two children, and on the surface they seem like any other 'normal' family, but what we find is a family slowly unravelling. I couldn't put this book down from the moment I read the first word I was hooked. I believed in Alex and Sam and their family unit. What would happen to them?
I love any book that deals with medical issues, but this book was special to me as it dealt with kidney transplant. I worked as a renal nurse for many years and so this book brought back some happy memories of patients and their families, that I cared for. It was also very authentic, in that the donor always has a longer recovery post surgery than the recipient. It highlighted the many issues surrounding kidney domafion, both mentally and psychologically, and what happens afterwards.
What I also particularly liked about this book was of how it focussed upon Alex and her role as carer, before the transplant. The fact that her identity and role within the family unit changed as a result of caring for her sick husband. The role is then reversed once she has donated her kidney. Throughout the story Alex is in search of her new identity, she needs to find herself again, and to realise that it's okay to show weakness. But can she change? Alex is a wonderful character and I completely immersed myself in her story. I understood her completely.
The Rest of Me really is the perfect summer read. It's a story about the strength of family, about love and relationships and about being a parent. It's a life affirming read with so much heart and soul. It's a beautiful book.
With thanks to the publisher and Bookbridgr for the Advanced paperback copy.
The Rest of Me is published by Hodder on 26 July.