The Mum Who Got Her Life Back by Fiona Gibson / Blog Tour

The Mum Who Got Her Life Back by Fiona Gibson

 

41841567Publisher: Avon

Publishing Date: 7th March 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 400

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

Synopsis:

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.

Rating: four-stars

 

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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The Mum Who’d Had Enough by Fiona Gibson (Blog Tour)

The Mum Who’d Had Enough by Fiona Gibson

 

35886922Publisher: Avon

Publishing Date: 14th June 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 384

Genre: General Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

Synopsis:

After sixteen years of marriage, Nate and Sinead Turner have a nice life. They like their jobs, they like their house and they love their son Flynn. Yes, it’s a very nice life.

Or, at least Nate thinks so. Until, one morning, he wakes to find Sinead gone and a note lying on the kitchen table listing all the things he does wrong or doesn’t do at all.

Nate needs to show Sinead he can be a better husband – fast. But as he works through Sinead’s list, his life changes in unexpected ways. And he starts to wonder whether he wants them to go back to normal after all. Could there be more to life than nice?

Rating: four-stars

Other than usually, when it is woman thinking that her marriage is working perfectly well and then felling off their high horse, this time it is Nate that is perfectly happy with his life, his wife, son and job as a driving examiner. However, one day he gets up and instead of a cup of hot coffee he finds the kitchen empty but a note listing all his faults, left by his wife Sinead. Who, as it seems, has just left him. Nate absolutely doesn’t know what to do – with the note, with his life, with their son Flynn who stayed with him – basically, he can’t believe, and won’t believe, that his marriage is over. Is he going to win Sinead back? Is it really so simple, to change and fix all the faults, or is it something bigger, deeper?

The author has a great way with words and she writes about serious things also with a pinch of salt – the balance between seriousness and humour works pretty well in this book. Thanks to Ms Gibson’s light and welcoming writing style you will immediately feel a part of this story and you’ll be quickly drawn into it. What I also liked in this novel is that it wasn’t over – done, too sugary, that it was realistic and down – to – earth and it showed also the darkest sides of life, in a very accessible and not disheartening way.

What I missed was Sinead’s perspective. Yes, she has written the list where she listed the problems but so truly, deeply I really had no idea what her problem was. The book was told mostly from Nate’s point of view and honestly, so as he told this, they led a normal partnership, a marriage. If she wanted something different – well, it just wasn’t made clear enough in this story, or maybe it was, but it was not motivated, explained. Sinead really came across as bored and as one who didn’t know what she really wants. She sounded so unhappy and honestly guys, instead of having this overwhelming feeling that I’d love to hug her and console her, I just couldn’t completely warm to her. She’s just left her husband, leaving only a list of his faults – where did it come from??? Yes, she was taken for granted, I admit, she’s always put her husband and their son before herself and I totally get it that she’s had enough, who of us doesn’t have such feelings as well, but I think she should have approached the matter differently – I think this is this list thing that is just bugging me. She’s finally realised it’s time to put herself first, and I’m the first to give her the standing ovation, it’s just the way she has chosen to do so that simply doesn’t work for me. I really get the poor Nate and his confusion when out of the blue his wife leaves him. He lived in obliviousness for so long and I am not defending him, oh no, but how could he realise that something is wrong when Sinead didn’t talk with him? We all know that women are from Venus and men are from Mars and they need simple words to explain what we feel. I just couldn’t help the feeling that Sinead’s part in the collapse of her marriage was as significant as Nate’s.
Tanzie’s perspective has added so much freshness and humour and sunshine.

I’m giving 3 stars to the plot that was not developed enough for my liking – I mean, the idea was there, the potential was there but it was not delivered – and 5 stars for the characters of Nate and Tanzie and the brilliant writing style and the very few best in the world one – liners. Altogether, “The Mum Who’d Had Enough” was a heart – warming and “ringing the bell” story of a broken marriage, about relationships, family dynamics, second chances and friendship. It also has one of the most gorgeous covers ever, this bright and shiny yellow is simply beautiful and it has this brilliant summery vibe to it. Fans of Fiona Gibson are going to adore this book, that’s for sure, and the new readers will certainly fall in love with this author and her writing. Recommended!

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The Woman Who Met Her Match by Fiona Gibson

The Woman Who Met Her Match by Fiona Gibson

 

33229356Publisher: Avon

Publishing Date: 20th April  2017

Source:  Received from the publisher in return for an honest review!

Number of pages: 400

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

Synopsis:

What if your first love came back on the scene . . . 30 years later?

After yet another disaster, Lorrie is calling time on online dating. She might be single in her forties, but she’s got a good job, wonderful children and she’s happy. This, Lorrie decides, is going to have to be enough.

That is, until she receives a very unexpected request from France. Antoine Rousseau, who had once turned a lonely French exchange trip into a summer of romance, wants to see her – after thirty years.

But Lorrie is a responsible woman. She can’t exactly run off to Nice with the man who broke her teenage heart . . . can she?

A wonderfully funny novel, perfect for fans of Jill Mansell, Joanna Bolouri and Milly Johnson.

Rating: 4/5

What a great book “The Woman Who Met Her Match” was! After the last two books by Fiona Gibson that were enjoyable but not as much as I’d loved them to be, the author is back with a great story like “Take Mum Out” or “Mum on the Run” and it makes me incredibly happy because I was already worried what’s happening and when am I going to get the brilliant Fiona Gibson again? No worries guys, here she is, with “The Woman Who Met Her Match”!

I felt immediately at home with this story. It was so warm and welcoming, full of dry humour – just what I like best – the things happening in the story were so down – to – earth and I am sure so many of us can relate to Lorrie. I liked her from the very beginning, as a young girl and then as a mature woman with two teenagers – great kids, BTW! She works hard as a manager at a cosmetic counter in a department store and she loves her job – her passion was palpable through the pages, she was the right person on the right place, guys. She had a big heart, was full of understanding, loved her family and altogether, was happy with her life and those were her children that signed her up on the dating website. My only regret is that there were only few of the dates – you know how much I love reading about disastrous dates and I would SO love to read more about Lorrie meeting those guys because those few that we got were hilarious!

Fiona Gibson has written her characters in the best possible way, they were more than realistic, they just felt like real people with real problems, because – of course! – there were some troubles heading Lorrie’s way, just like Antoine, her teenage crush getting in touch out of the blue, or a big company buying the beauty brand Lorrie was working for and going all young on her – and the author has just brought all the things so easily and effortlessly to life. There were many subplots in this story, but they were all done in a perfect way, and no matter what I was reading about, if it was Lorrie’s job or her mother’s upcoming wedding (oh my word. Lorrie’s mum was frustrating. Frustrating. I’ve no idea how she could bear up with her), I did enjoy them all, and because of this diversity this book was even more brilliant. Lorrie had a lot on her plate but all she did and said just rang true and I just couldn’t help but kept everything crossed for her and her family.

I am only not sure who Lorrie’s match was but oh well, I can live with this. I’m guessing it must be Stu and let’s stop for a moment here. Stu is Lorrie’s best friend and a lodger who’s running one of the best business you can imagine, namely his company Parsley Force delivers things for people who have forgotten to buy them! Or are too lazy to go out and buy them, whatever, but the idea is brilliant, just imagine – it’s snowing or raining, and you fancy a bag of crisps, you call and they bring them to you! Clever, no? However, I don’t know, I don’t want to spoil the reading for you so I’m not going to elaborate about this, but the end to this story and to Lorrie and Stu’s thread was so sudden and well, yes, I did expect it, it was just my gut feeling telling me that it’s going to end this way as there was really nothing indicating that there could be more between those characters. Especially Lorrie, she has treated Stu as best friend and those sudden confessions of love at the end made me roll my eyes to be honest. And I also am not sure what was it about Lorrie’s son and what’s it all for? A nice touch, yes, but only few lines and nothing more, so why?

“The Woman who Met Her Match” is a lovely read touching about many issues, such like grief, marriage, friendship, bringing your children up alone, family bonds and dynamics, showing that there is always time for love and that it can come in a very unexpected way. A story about second chances, illusions, about memories, and this all hidden between gorgeous cover – don’t you think it’s beautiful? It was a very easy and very enjoyable read and I am really glad to have the good Fiona Gibson back. She writes about the truth with honesty, she creates down – to – earth and normal situations but she gives “normal” a face – lifting and altogether, I can only highly recommend this lovely, comfortable read.

The Woman Who Upped and Left by Fiona Gibson

The Woman Who Upped and Left

by Fiona Gibson

 

Publisher: Avon

Publishing Date: 25th February 2016

Source:  Copy provided by the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 400

Genre: Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 Synopsis:

**The laugh-out-loud bestseller is back with the only book to buy this Mother’s Day. Perfect for fans of ‘Outnumbered’ and Carole Matthews, Fiona writes about life as it really is.**

Forget about having it all. Sometimes you just want to leave it all behind.

Audrey is often seized by the urge to walk out of her house without looking back – but she can’t possibly do that.

She is a single parent. She is needed. She has a job, a home, responsibilities…and a slothful teenage son’s pants to pick up.

But no one likes being taken for granted – Audrey least of all – so the time has come for drastic action. And no one’s going to stand in her way…

 Rating: 3/5

 

Every year I am impatiently waiting for Fiona Gibson’s new release – I fell in love with her down – to – earth, normal heroines, with down – to – earth stories that are about everyday life and yet that are incredibly funny and uplifting. I also think that Fiona’s covers are the most beautiful ones, and this time it’s the same – it is colourful and optimistic, and I also immediately fell in love with the title of this book – it’s brilliant! Also, the tagline on the cover: „Have you ever wanted to escape it all?” had me hooked, as I think that most of us wanted once or twice to leave everything behind, stop thinking and just go away. So with this brilliant, promising synopsis I started to read the book as soon as it hit on my doorstep. (But in the meantime I have cooked with Fiona :) ).

However, sadly, this time the book didn’t deliver this what I am always expecting from this author. I loved the idea of the woman who upped and left and I thought we are for exciting adventures and changes generally speaking, and I’ve just imagined something different to this flat, lifeless heroine who was undermining herself and who was a servant to her son. I get it, this with Morgan was probably supposed to be funny, but for me it was more like a farce, and as much as I appreciate that present teenagers live with their parents till they’re thirty and don’t go to work, Fiona Gibson has taken Morgan to totally different level.
Sure, I think there is not a single mother who wasn’t at least once like Audrey, thinking about leaving and doing something for herself only and not fretting over what she’s left behind, and this was brilliantly described. However, having the title in mind, I was expecting Audrey to leave literally everything and go on the adventure of her life, and not only on a one week course in a French cuisine, only to come back home to the same old life – to her über – lazy son and picking up his pants. She was too passive with everything in my opinion, and I though that when she once more says „dear” or „love” to her son, I’m going to start to shout.

I am really sorry, but I am a little disappointed with this story, I have expected much more from this author and in my opinion it is her weakest book. But of course there are also some great things, first of all, Fiona’s ability into getting in the characters’ heads stayed the same. And it was like this with Audrey, I really felt I know her totally and yes, I liked her – apart from her being flat and lifeless, fussing about her lazy git of a son. I mean, I am also a mum, OK, my daughter is a little one, but I can’t imagine me behaving like Audrey. NO way, sorry Sophie, you’re going to be an independent, self – reliant person in the future. Audrey always tried to make best out of the situations she found herself in and she felt really realistic, with all her flaws. Like other characters in this story as well. But I think that a lot of women can identify and relate with Audrey and it’s going to be one of the strength of this book. She has appreciated the smallest things and this made her really charming person. I also liked her normality, the fact that she was having two jobs just to make the ends meet, and she was great in both of them, which shows how brilliant she was around people and that she really, truly cared about them. She was also so honest and genuine in all her reactions, she was enthusiastic and yes, sometimes she just wanted to disappear under the pillow, but it only made her even more authentic.

The author also tried to add some humour through Audrey’s affair with Stevie, though right now, in retrospective, I’m not sure if I should laugh or cry at our heroine, chucking everything the moment Stevie let her know he’s available and they can meet – somewhere in the motel on the motorway. I mean, can a person be so desperate? But I really appreciate the fact that the romance aspect has not dominated the whole story, and forgetting about being desperate or not, it brought some great, hilarious and funny scenes to the story. The „second romance”, well, this I’ve seen coming, but I liked how Fiona Gibson managed this subplot – not too much, not too less, and very charming – although I must admit that the author has muddled me up a little, as according to all indications Audrey was interested in someone else.

Altogether, „The Woman Who Upped and Left” was a light and relatively quick read. I liked that even though there is food in the story, it didn’t overwhelm the whole plot, and I truly enjoyed Audrey’s stay at the hotel, together with her mania of hiding all the chocolate truffles for her friends and with her obsession with the mini – bar. The interactions between Audrey and Morgan felt really realistic, it was just like watching a Wimbledon final, as the ball was once on Audrey’s, and the second moment on Morgan’s side. There is also this cosy feeling in this story that – brushing aside all the problems that I had with it – made the book a hilarious comedy of errors and I enjoyed Audrey’s journey to finally, eventually find herself.

The Woman Who Upped and Left by Fiona Gibson

Oh, guys! I am so excited to be kicking off Blog Tour for Fiona Gibson’s brand new shiny novel, „The Woman Who Upped and Left„. And what a brilliant Blog Tour it is! There will be cooking, baking, talking about the book… Just sit back comfortably, enjoy and follow the blog tour!

When the lovely Helena asked people if they want to join the Blog Tour, I didn’t hesitate – I love Fiona Gibson and her novels. But this time the lovely Helena also asked if people want to do something different – namely, the main character in the book, Audrey, goes on a cooking course, and not any normal cooking course, but in French cuisine. The course is supposed to change her life – did it? Well, you must read the book and see! Nevertheless, there are some lovely recipes in the story, and the idea was that the bloggers will cook them. I thought, oh hell, why not, lovely Helena, send me my recipe before I change my mind (I thought, mmmm, maybe some delicious lemon tarte? But NO MUSSELS. NO MUSSELS please. Though knowing my luck those were going to be mussels that I should cook). But then my recipe came. Those were NOT MUSSELS. Here is what I cooked.

Soupe à l’oignon

Everyone knows cheese and onion are made for each other . . .

Ingredients

90g unsalted butter

8 onions, finely sliced

2 tbsp plain flour

6 tbsp red wine

150ml white wine

1 tsp sugar

4 slices baguette

2 tbsp olive oil

150g cheese, grated

Method

• Melt the butter in a saucepan and gently sauté the onions until soft and translucent.

• In a heatproof jug, mix the wines and 1.5 litres of boiling water.

• Sprinkle the onions with flour and stir, then pour the liquid over the onions and stir again.

• Simmer gently for 15–20 minutes, skimming any impurities from the surface. Add a little more boiling water if your soup is looking too thick. Add the sugar and season to taste.

• To make the croutons, rub one side of the baguette slices with olive oil and sprinkle with grated cheese. Grill until bubbling.

• Pour the soup into bowls, float the croutons on top and enjoy.

I have never before cooked or ate onion soup, so I was a little sceptical. Nevertheless, I prepared everything and started cooking. And guys, believe me, it was one of the easiest recipes in my life (I love cooking. And baking), and the soup tasted delicious! (PS. Aren’t those images GEORGEOUS??? Aren’t they? And they are made by Fiona Gibson herself! I love them!).

Of course I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t change something, but it is cooking, not baking, where you must follow the recipe exactly, and even with my changes the soup was brilliant. Très bon! And voilà!