My grateful thanks to the author Amanda Prowse for an advanced reader copy of The Idea of You in return for an honest review.
It’s no secret to regular readers of Linda’s Book Bag that I love Amanda Prowse’s writing (she’s also a pretty wonderful person too – what other author would send your Mum a signed book to cheer her up?). I have been privileged to interview Amanda here, and to review My Husband’s Wife here, Another Love here and The Food of Love here. Indeed, two of Amanda’s books made it onto my favourite reads of 2016 (see here)!
The Idea of You is published today, 21st March 2017, and is available for purchase in ebook and paperback here.
The Idea of You
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?
My Review of The Idea of You
A desperate desire for a baby leads Lucy to reassess her whole life and relationships as miscarriages blight her attempts at creating a family.
Anyone who knows me also knows that I am the least maternal person in the universe so it it testament to the outstanding quality of Amanda Prowse’s writing that I found The Idea of You a heart rending read, and was frequently and deeply moved by the emotions presented. I didn’t always like Lucy, but she had every ounce of my empathy and sympathy as she is such a fabulous, human creation. As I read The Idea of You it felt like looking into the soul of another person and I understood her completely.
And it is not just Lucy who is so realistic. Every character felt real to me. I think I most sympathised with Camille who struggles to adjust to the life her parents have, in effect, created for her.
In essence, the plot is simple, but the themes covered are so naturally presented and so brilliantly woven together that reading The Idea of You is an altogether satisfying experience. I think what I enjoy so much about Amanda Prowse’s writing is that she seems able to convey EXACTLY what any human might think and feel without sentimentality or cloying banality. Her words always reflect the truth in a manner that any reader can identify with. Relationships between parents and children, siblings, partners, friends and workmates alongside themes of marriage, family, trust, hope and despair all combine to afford a fantastic reading experience for any reader in The Idea of You – even those for whom the main topic initially might appear to have no resonance. The exploration of what makes a family in modern society is stunning.
I also loved the element of mystery presented throughout. The first person passages gradually reveal another story that enhances the main narrative and brings greater understanding to the reader. Similarly, I thought the factual aspects of foetal development and the sensitive presentation of the frequently inexplicable reasons for miscarriage would be of comfort to many.
I thought I might find The Idea of You too remote from my own feelings and experiences but as ever with Amanda Prowse, it is a masterclass in emotional writing and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
About Amanda Prowse
Amanda Prowse is an International Bestselling author who has published sixteen novels in dozens of languages. Her recent chart topping No.1 titles What Have I Done?, Perfect Daughter and My Husband’s Wife have sold millions of copies around the world.
Other novels by Amanda Prowse include A Mother’s Story which won the coveted Sainsbury’s eBook of the year Award and Perfect Daughter that was selected as a World Book Night title in 2016. Amanda’s book The Food of Love went straight to No.1 in Literary Fiction when it was launched in the USA and she has been described by the Daily Mail as ‘The Queen of Drama’ for her ability to make the reader feel as if they were actually in the story.
Now published by Lake Union, Amanda Prowse is the most prolific writer of contemporary fiction in the UK today; her titles also score the highest online review approval ratings for several genres.
All of Amanda Prowse’s wonderful writing is available here.