Author: Amanda Prowse
Published: September 2015 by Head of Zeus
Category: Family Drama, Contemporary Fiction, Loss, Grief, Book Review
Grace and Tom Penderford had a strong marriage, a comfortable home in the Hertfordshire countryside, and a healthy baby girl. They were happy. They were normal.
This is much more than just a story of a family devastated by loss, it’s a wake up call about a common and potentially life threatening disease. All proceeds from the sale of this book will go to the Sepsis Trust.
Grace and Tom Penderford are very happy together and enjoy an up market lifestyle. Their lives were enhanced beyond measure when their daughter Chloe arrived three years ago. Grace has a high pressure job in the city, and the travelling is becoming a chore, tinged with a little resentment at the time spent away from her daughter, while Tom is more than happy to be a stay at home husband, looking after Chloe.
Chloe suffers from a recurring sore throat, so when the doctor advises a tonsillectomy Grace and Tom, after some niggling doubts, agree it’s for the best.
‘Oh God, Tom, just think of all those nights, up at silly o’clock, her crying, unable to swallow or eat, it’s just not worth it. It’s as we agreed, the right thing to do if we can stop her going through that in the future. And no more bloody antibiotics.’
Knowing what’s going to happen doesn’t make reading about it any easier and the family is beyond shattered. Tom and Grace are traumatised, too wrapped up in their own unimaginable distress to be able to help themselves or each other. Their relationship is tested to the limits and I was never sure where the story was going, but loved how it ended. In such a horrendous situation I imagine you get through any way you can and the effects of grief and loss are explored sympathetically through the impact on every member of the family, all of whom are realistic and well developed. Amanda Prowse takes the reader through a whole range of emotions—denial, shock, despair and plumbs the depths of grief before slowly bringing the characters up from rock bottom, back to life and hope for the future.
The chapter headings give thought provoking information, clues and facts relating to Sepsis. Three-and-a-Half Heartbeats is a fictionalised scenario showing how easy it is to miss the signs if you’re unaware. Tom and Grace had no idea what they were dealing with.
The meaning behind the title is only revealed towards the end and it’s shocking and tragic. It’s hard to believe this is my first Amanda Prowse book, so I think it’s time to check out the author’s back catalogue.
About the Author
Amanda Prowse is an International Bestselling author who has had twenty novels published in dozens of languages. Her chart topping No.1 titles ‘What Have I Done?’, ‘Perfect Daughter’ and ‘My Husband’s Wife’ have sold millions of copies around the world. Published by Lake Union, Amanda is the most prolific writer of bestselling contemporary fiction in the UK today; her titles also consistently score the highest online review approval ratings across several genres.
A popular TV and radio personality, Amanda is a regular panellist on Channel 5’s ‘The Jeremy Vine Show’ and numerous daytime ITV programmes. She makes countless guest appearances on BBC national independent Radio stations including LBC and Talk FM, where she is well known for her insightful observations and her infectious humour.