The Mum Who Got Her Life Back by Fiona Gibson
Publishing Date: 7th March 2019
Source: Received from the publisher, thank you!
Number of pages: 400
Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction
The laugh-out-loud Sunday Times bestseller is back and funnier than ever! Perfect for fans of WHY MUMMY DRINKS.
When her 18-year-old twins leave for university, single mum Nadia’s life changes in ways she never expected: her Glasgow flat feels suddenly huge, laundry doesn’t take up half her week, and she no longer has to buy ‘the Big Milk’. After almost two decades of putting everyone else first, Nadia is finally taking care of herself. And with a budding romance with new boyfriend Jack, She’s never felt more alive.
That is, until her son Alfie drops out of university, and Nadia finds her empty nest is empty no more. With a heartbroken teenager to contend with, Nadia has to ask herself: is it ever possible for a mother to get her own life back? And can Jack and Nadia’s relationship survive having a sulky teenager around?
A gloriously funny and uplifting new book perfect for fans of Gill Sims and Jill Mansell.
Nadia is embracing the HEN – Happy Empty Nester – after her twins left for University. And then she meets the fabulous, funny and warm Jack – and they hit it off immediately. Going from full on parenting to a feeling of being a desired woman again is a change that Nadia enjoys very much – and of course uses the situation, the freedom of an empty house and dating again. But then Alfie comes back home earlier as expected and it turns out he’s dropped out of uni – and now Nadia has to juggle her role as a girlfriend and a mother and find a balance and a happy medium. But things don’t go too smoothly.
Nadia was great – in her early 50s and doing nude modelling for an art class and an illustrator and I really liked her life approach. I know, Nadia’s attitude towards Alfie was sometimes soooo overblown – the way she was treating her son like a baby was getting on the nerves, but on the other hand I could absolutely understand her, the desire to help him, to save him the troubles was ringing the bell – I mean, my daughter is only 7, so I have some time still, but oh my god, I’m sure you know this feeling when you simply want to do things for your child just for the sake of it, for some serenity, and because you just cant watch how they’re doing it, right? And Alfie was just such a typical teenager, you want to hug him and in the next second to bang his head on the wall. Really well developed and described, feeling like an adult but deep inside still a child relying on his mum. The ways Nadia would go to defend him only showed that no matter how old our kids are, the inner lioness is going to wake up and simply kill the ones who dare to criticise her kids – you, as mum, are allowed to do this, but not other people, don’t forget it 🙂
Jack was also brilliant – working in a charity shop, divorced and raising his daughter together with his ex, trying to be a good dad and – in my opinion – doing a great job on this front, looking after his work colleagues as well. There was something that happened in his past that he didn’t want to talk about, something really sad and difficult.
The story is told from Nadia and Jack’s points of view and it was great to see their perspective on the same things – that often, as it usually happens, was different. I really liked the romantic aspect, from the very beginning to the end. It was lovely, and warm, and didn’t run smooth, with some tricky moments and sharp turns. There were no silly games between the characters, however they also had problems to communicate sometimes – usually when it came to their families! It was realistically painted, showing what it actually looks like, and feels like – for all involved – when single parents meets someone.
This was a totally nice and relatable book. The pace was only right, the amount of desperation I felt towards Alfie and Nadia as well, and it felt so refreshingly honest and genuine. It’s for sure going to resonate with any parent, not only those whose kids have left home – we were all teenagers, so we know how the wind blows.
“The Mum Who Got Her Life Back” is a down – to – earth story, tackling some real life problems and struggles but without being too depressive, too serious. It touches upon relationships, new and old, and their dynamics, everyday life and problems that it brings and this all written in a very accessible, light writing style. It is full of humour mixed with bittersweet moments and families and characters that will make you smile and also desperate and showing you that you’re not alone here, that we all have to balance the needs of our children, family, friends, sometimes ex – partners and eventually our own. Recommended!
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