Thursday, 6 April 2017
The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse
Published by: Lake Union Publishing
Purchase from Amazon here
With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter thinks she finally has it all: a wonderful new husband, Jonah, a successful career and the chance of a precious baby of her own. Life couldn’t be more perfect.
But becoming parents proves much harder to achieve than Lucy and Jonah imagined, and when Jonah’s teenage daughter Camille comes to stay with them, she becomes a constant reminder of what Lucy doesn’t have. Jonah’s love and support are unquestioning, but Lucy’s struggles with work and her own failing dreams begin to take their toll. With Camille’s presence straining the bonds of Lucy’s marriage even further, Lucy suddenly feels herself close to losing everything…
This heart-wrenchingly poignant family drama from bestselling author Amanda Prowse asks the question: in today’s hectic world, what does it mean to be a mother?
I have heard so many wonderful things about Amanda’s work, but The Idea of You is the first book I have read by her, and I promise you this – it will not be my last! Wow!! What a heart wrenching, emotional, beautiful book this is.
Exploring the struggle to conceive and have a child is something that affects so many people each and every day, and one that whilst we empathise, we have little understanding of how it must feel unless we have been through it. Miscarriage or the inability to conceive is often given the ‘aww’ sympathy reaction but not thought of as a catastrophic loss, which it can be.
The Idea of You explores the impact that this can have both on Lucy personally, but also on the relationship between her and Jonah. That overwhelming urge to be able to carry a baby and become a parent, the secrecy and feeling of failure that you keep from others.
It is further complicated that Jonah already has a teenage daughter Camille who doesn’t make things easy for Lucy, despite her best efforts to make Camille feel welcome. Can they overcome this, especially as Lucy’s urge for motherhood becomes stronger and Camille’s rebellion becomes harder?
This is such a moving book and written with such depth and well developed characters it felt very precious and as I was reading it I could feel my mannerism becoming soft and protective, and I wanted to nurture and honour it. I think this is because Amanda has produced a book so full of reality and realism that it felt like I could be reading someone’s true story and it deserved respect and understanding.
Thank you Amanda for writing a book which will only increase understanding and empathy for the people who have been in this situation, and for writing a book with characters that as a reader I came to care about. They will stay with me in time to come.