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…
The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse Review
A Highly Emotional and Heart-tugging Novel
It was a dreary dark cold and miserable wintery morning that started off like so many others in our household. ‘Hurry up, we’ll be late. Brush your teeth. Have you packed your lunches?’ I shouted to the children for what must have been the tenth time that morning. As I gazed out the window imagining myself lying on a beautiful tropical beach, Pina colada in hand, I was instead greeted by the cold hard truth of reality. Instead of seeing little rays of sunshine as the sun finally managed to poke its head above the rooftops for the first time this year, I was greeted by the never ending dark grey clouds of winter that seemed to reflect my mood that morning.
Luckily for me, my day was about to improve. My mood quickly brightened during the morning school drop off run when I received a copy of Amanda Prowse’s new book The Idea of You to review. I rushed home from the school run, turned my phone on silent, put on pyjamas and quickly climbed into bed where I snuggled under the warmth of my duvet.
Having not been exposed to any books written by Prowse before, I guess you could say I was a little ‘clueless’ as to what I should expect. I had been forewarned however, that the novel dealt with the very heavy topic of miscarriage that is far too often still a taboo subject.
From the very first page I was ‘addicted’. The beautiful poignant writing, the carefully planned out story line and the amazingly lifelike characters captivated me from the very beginning and I simply could not put the book down. The house next door could have burned down and I don’t think I would have noticed as I was totally absorbed in the story.
The heroine of the story, Lucy Carpenter, is a strong female character who had to overcome adversities in her teenage years before going on to have an extremely successful career. As time went on however, the one thing that Lucy desired more than anything was to become a mother. Finally, just before her fortieth birthday, Lucy seemed to have it all. An amazing career, a gorgeous new husband, Jonah, an instant family with her new stepdaughter, Camille, and the possibility of finally having her own baby. Unfortunately for Lucy, the elation of this wonderful new phase in her life was short lived. She soon began to realise that no amount of wanting or longing meant she was guaranteed to end up with the beautiful baby she so achingly desired.
This heart-wrenching story had me grabbing for the tissue box many times as the plot unfolded. The beautiful writing alongside the confronting nature of the taboo subject of miscarriage transferred me to a place where I felt like it was actually me experiencing the roller coaster ride of miscarriage in person.
Prowse tackles additional forbidden topics during the book which are equally as liberating for the reader. She uses clever writing techniques to successfully blend a mix of Lucy’s childhood experiences with her present day life. This allows her to guide the reader through the adversities of Lucy’s past whilst simultaneously dealing with the distinct possibility of Lucy having to accept the reality of a world where she will not be able to raise a baby of her own.
By the time I made my way to the school that afternoon to pick up my children, not only had I finished reading the book, washed my puffy and tear stained eyes, but I was also left pondering ‘why is miscarriage such a taboo subject when it affects so many women and families?’.
Whilst I understand this book may be a little too open and confronting for some readers, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this highly emotional story and highly recommend it.
This book was reviewed by: Casey Ravindran for The Glass House Book Club.
Published by: Lake Union Publishing