Hi guys. Today Sarah Long’s blog tour is stopping by on my blog and I have a review of “Invisible Women”. Way back in April, when the book was published as ebook only (now it’s also out in paperback!), there was also a blog tour organized and I shared a great guest post with you – you can read it here here again!
Invisible Women by Sarah Long
Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre
Publishing Date: 5th October 2017
Source: Received from the publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!
Number of pages: 400
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Literature/Fiction (Adult)
Isn’t it about time we talked about YOU?
Tessa, Sandra and Harriet have been best friends through first crushes, careers, marriage and the trials of motherhood. After twenty years of taking care of everyone else’s every need, they’ve found themselves hitting the big 5-0 and suddenly asking themselves: ‘what about me?!’
Sandra has a sordid secret, and Harriet is landed with her ailing mother-in-law. Tessa is looking for something to fill the gaping hole left by her youngest daughter’s departure for uni, where it seems she’s now engaged in all sorts of unsavoury activities, if Tessa’s obsessive late-night Facebook stalking is anything to go by.
When Tessa impulsively responds to an online message from an old flame, she soon finds herself waiting at Heathrow Airport for The One That Got Away.
But what will the plane from New York bring her? The man of her dreams, or a whole heap of trouble?
And could this be the long-awaited moment for Tessa to seize her life, for herself, with both hands?
I’ve heard many really good things about “Invisible Women” by Sarah Long, so I was truly excited when my review copy arrived. I love the cover of this book – it’s sparkly and beautiful, the kind of cover that just appeals to me, is warm and inviting and makes me want to read the book even more. And well, the synopsis is great, it sounds just like real life, and I adore books about friends.
And here in this story we have three – Tessa, Sandra and Harriett. They have all reached the big 5-0, they all have families and happy marriages – or, at least, they think they are happy. The children have mostly flown from the nest and so they start to evaluate and re – evaluate their lives. The three women know each other as long as they can remember, they were always there for each other and they have seen many important life events of each other. Each of them has a secret that makes them realise that instead of looking after everybody in their lives, they should start to take care of themselves.
I truly liked the female characters, while the male characters were so, so irritating and annoying, especially Tessa’s husband Matt, with all of his remarks and undermining her and I SO wanted to punch him in the face! I’m guessing the author has deliberately written him in this way but really, I can’t remember such annoying supporting character. Actually, all of the husbands didn’t take any notice of the women, their wives, they took them for granted, it was just so obvious that they’re there. It’s not a wonder then that the three girls start to eventually feel they deserve so much from life – though I would say it took them too much time to realise this. The three main characters Tessa, Sandra and Harriet are very realistic. They make mistakes, they have secrets, they have faults but this only makes them much more realistic, and deep down they are really good people. They are at the crossroads, physically and emotionally, and the author has done a great job of capturing those feelings. Tessa is dealing with money and status – obsessed disinterested husband, Sandra’s husband has had a mental breakdown and Harriet is a carer of her husband’s mother and his own needs. I may not agree with the way they deal with some of the things in their lives but I must admit that they are well developed and they sound genuine.
This is a story that left me really, really torn. I was sure I was going to love it – and I liked it, but not as much as I thought I would. I can’t really put my finger on the problem – it was different to what I was expecting it to be, I was hoping for something more optimistic. Maybe it was because it took the characters so long to realise that they are so much more worth than they think, and that there is so much more to life than only living the lives of your children and husbands. I think I was missing more personality from all of them, more ambition and aspiration. Also, there were parts of this story that felt so long and repetitive, I had a feeling that the characters are all the time complaining, and there was too little doing, happening. But of course the book has its moments as well, moments that were funny and emotional, moments that many of us can relate to, which only made the story realistic and likely. The writing style, while rich and fluent and also funny and poignant when necessary, was somehow heavy for me. Some stories just fly when you read them, and sometimes it is really hard to get through them, and I had this problem when reading “Invisible Women”. I had some problems to get into this book, and till the very end I didn’t feel a part of this story. Sometimes you read the first sentence and you are already in, at the heart of the book, and sometimes you just can’t get through, and sadly it was the case this time. I couldn’t fully relate with the characters because I just couldn’t understand their actions, the way they forgot about themselves. However, the author has really well captured the voice of the characters, of women who finally want to fight for themselves, who longs for so much more.
Altogether, “Invisible Women” was an emotional and down – to – earth journey of finding yourself afresh, about realising that living a routine is not the best possible way to live your life. It was about some really serious issues that not everyone would dare to write about, such as ageism or mental health problems, and the author has dealt with them in a great way. It was also full of loving friendship, natural banter, emotions and understanding, sharp observed and realistic. Already looking towards Sarah Long’s other novels.
FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR: