SECOND OPINION: The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse

Review published on May 3, 2017.

We’re provided with a curious prologue featuring Lucy’s childhood. Her dad has died and, following the incident, her mum puts Lucy in her place. She consequently forms a closer relationship with her nan. But what has actually happened??

As an adult, Lucy has split from Richard, who has strayed and then married her cousin. Acutely aware of being nearly 40 and single, she definitely feels behind the curve when it comes to settling down and having children. Moreover, she yearns badly to be a mother.

The split from Richard did her good and she excels in her career, enjoying the desire to be good and succeed more and more. But in truth she is lonely. At a christening, she meets the warm John Carpenter. He is seven years older, but they are smitten and soon marry. This is Jonah’s second marriage. He has a feisty ex-wife who lives in France and a 16-year-old daughter, Camille, who he rarely sees, although this will change somewhat.

Things look up when Lucy becomes pregnant, but she struggles to carry a baby through to term and has to deal with the raw emotions of this and a spell being a step-mum to the not so easy going Camille.

This is a story about the emotional roller coaster of Lucy’s life, how she tries to be do the right thing, be the good daughter, sister, wife and step-mum, as well as holding down a successful career. Struggling with achieving the most important thing in the world her – the desire for motherhood – is a painful and crisply conveyed experience. It is about loss and the need to rebuild yourself, despite reminders of what you think you will never have and how this impacts upon those around you. The emotions are raw and the angst palpable. You root for Lucy to have some better times. You ride the emotional roller coaster with her and re-live a few skeletons buried in the closest. You absolutely connect with the character and welcome green shoots. All in all, a very immersive contemporary read.

Sara Garland 5/4

The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse
Lake Union Publishing 9781503942332 pbk Mar 2017

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