Usually, I do not agree with the categorisation of any book as Women’s fiction solely because it is emotional. I actually saw one recently that was about a man and his relationship with his father labelled as such, which stunned me for a while. This, however, can be categorised as such with no qualms. Although others who do not identify as women could appreciate it, someone who has passed through one or many of the phases described here will take far more away with them than any others.
If this book had been shorter, I would have given it a full five stars. The length felt a little unnecessary given the feelings that were aptly conjured up in brief packed instances. There are many relationships under the microscope here. We have mothers of different ages, situations and children with varying relationships to those mothers. There is a prologue which gives us a window into a situation where one woman in three is revealing some information. Then we are introduced to the cast of characters. First, we have a woman who after several years is finally in a relationship which makes her happy, and her two children have their own thoughts on the situation which involves this semi-blended family to holiday together for two weeks. The second house is rented by a woman who has used her daughter as a shield against the world and now the daughter is embarrassed by her and wants to keep a distance. The (sort of) last is a newer mother who feels woefully unprepared for her life and lack of time to herself makes her go a little crazy. We also have a mother who lost her son years ago, but the role is something she will forever cherish. It has so many tenuous connections made, mistakes which range from silly to downright stupid but at the end of the day, it was very, very realistic.
The tale may be written lightly but has a lot of significant realisations and emotional changes that each one makes. It is not for someone on the lookout for a light read. The reader needs to be prepared for partial soul searching (probably your own relationships with daughter or mother) and tears of both joy and sadness.
I highly recommend this book to readers of the genre and to whosoever finds this review even remotely intriguing.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers. The review is entirely based on my own reading experience, and the only bias in this situation would be my being a woman may have helped me ‘enjoy’ the book more(although that might not be a necessity).