As a reviewer I have praised books for plot, for characterisations and for descriptions of surroundings, this book made me realise that I needed to add another category: emotion.
The author had me right from the start as she described exactly how it would feel to lose a beloved husband, then watch, as the life you thought was yours, splintered before your eyes, until you weren't even sure you knew that husband at all. Unfortunately though, Nina McCarrick couldn't just hide under the covers, she had two very sad boys to bring through this catastrophe with her.
I really felt for Nina at every turn and Ms Prowse perfectly describes the dilemma between Nina's own emotions and her love for her boys, who needed her support more than ever. She is forced to return to a downtrodden area of Southampton and struggle to do everything she could to restart their lives together.
Her sons, Connor, who's 15, and 10 year old Declan, are great kids (thankfully) and Declan, in particular, has an upbeat attitude and a quirky sense of humour:
'I don't mind where we live, Mum, but I don't want to go anywhere really cold, like the North Pole.' (loc 1906).
The boys must make the difficult move from a private school to the state system. I know someone who did this and it's not easy.
My one criticism of this book would be the portrayal of the wealthy people who had children at the private school were Connor and Declan had studied since early childhood. Some wealthy people are very nice, honestly. But Nina's circle were the meanest, self serving people I've ever come across!
I actually read this book without looking at the synopsis, which in my opinion, gives too much away. Of the three Amanda Prowse books I've read, this was definitely my favourite.
The Food of Love (4.5 stars)
Poppy Day (4 stars)