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The good mother by Sinead Moriarty
Kate has been through the fire with her three children. Having been left devastated and homeless after her husband's affair and the break-up of their family, somehow she has pulled through. Though times are still tough, she's beginning to see the start of a new life. But when twelve-year-old Jesssica is diagnosed with cancer, Kate's resilience is put to the ultimate test. She has an eighteen-year-old son consumed with hatred of his father, a seven-year-old who is bewildered and acting up and an exhusband who won't face up to his responsibilities. And in the middle of it a beloved child who is trying to be brave but is getting sicker by the day. Kate knows she must put to one side her own fear and heartbreak and do right by her children, particularly Jessica. But maybe doing the right thing means doing the unthinkable?
An emotional story reminiscent of 'Me before you'. Being a parent, there is no worse fear than the thought of losing a child, and this well written novel really takes you into Kate's world as the family struggle to make Jessica their priority. Funny and heartbreaking - have the box of tissues ready!
Somebody I used to know by Wendy Mitchell
When Wendy Mitchell was diagnosed with dementia at the age of fifty-eight, she had to say goodbye to the woman she once was. Her career in the NHS, her ability to drive, cook and run - the various shades of her independence - were suddenly gone. Yet Wendy was determined not to give in. She was, and still is, propelled by a need to live in the moment, never knowing which version of herself might surface tomorrow. In this phenomenal memoir - the first of its kind - Wendy grapples with questions most of us have never had to consider. What do you value when loss of memory reframes what you have, how you have lived and what you stand to lose? What happens when you can no longer recognise your own daughters, or even, on the foggiest of days, yourself? Philosophical, intensely personal and ultimately hopeful, Somebody I Used to Know gets to the very heart of what it means to be human. It is both a heartrending tribute to the woman Wendy used to be, and a brave affirmation of the woman dementia has seen her become.
Wendy Mitchell is truly inspiring. I loved that she states she is 'living with dementia', not suffering from it. And live she does. She is a strong, courageous woman who shows us, honestly, what it is like to live out your life with dementia.
The seven deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed--again. She's been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden's only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle's murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend--but nothing and no one are quite what they seem.
The plot for this book is really quite unique, in that the main character relives the same day eight times, but in a different body. However, it can get confusing at times so definitely needs to be read with attention.
She's not there by Tasmin Grey
When Jonah and Raff wake up on Monday, their mother Lucy isn’t there. Although Jonah is only nine, he is the big brother, and knows enough about the world to keep her absence a secret. If anyone found out she’d left them alone, it could be disastrous for him and Raff; and she'll be back, he’s nearly sure. With growing unease, he puzzles over the clues she’s left behind. Who sent her the flowers? Why are all her shoes still in the house? Why is her phone buried in a plant pot? And who, in their diverse south London community, might know more about her than he does?
A heartwrenching story of two young brothers who wake up to find their mother is missing. The story is set over a week and tells of them trying to figure out where their mother has gone and their struggles to manage on their own rather than hand the problem over to adults, the social services, and granny. A fantastic debut novel.
Beauty in the Broken Places: A memoir of love, faith and resilience by Allison Pataki
Five months pregnant, on a flight to their “babymoon,” Allison Pataki turned to her husband when he asked if his eye looked strange, and watched him suddenly lose consciousness. After an emergency landing, she discovered that Dave—a healthy thirty-year-old athlete and surgical resident—had suffered a rare and life-threatening stroke. Next thing Allison knew, she was sitting alone in the ER in Fargo, North Dakota, waiting to hear if her husband would survive the night. When Dave woke up, he could not carry memories from hour to hour, much less from one day to the next. Allison lost the Dave she knew and loved when he lost consciousness on the plane.
A poignant story which quickly reminds you not to take life or your loved ones for granted.