Perfect Daughter by @MrsAmandaProwse ~ Contemporary Family Drama #BookReview #FridayReads

Author: Amanda Prowse

Published: July 2015 by Head of Zeus

Category: Family Drama, Contemporary Fiction, Book Review

Once upon a time, Jacks Morgan had dreams.

She would have a career and travel the world. She would own a house on the beach, and spend long nights with her boyfriend strolling under the stars.

But life had other ideas. First Martha came along, then Jonty. Then her mother moved in, and now their little terrace is bursting at the seams.

Jacks gave up on her dreams to look after her family. If only, just for once, her family would look after her…

Jacks Davies’ life hasn’t turned out the way she’d envisaged.

When she and Pete got married they had all sorts of plans—work hard, do up the house and move to a better place with a garage, more space, maybe a conservatory. But here they were, years later, with two children, Martha and Jonty, and Jacks’ mother, Ida, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, all living in the same slightly run down semi. It was very cramped, not nearly enough storage, and Jacks never seems to have a minute between looking after the children, ferrying them to and fro and being her mother’s sole carer. 

Like everything else in the house that was defunct, mismatched or ageing, they had got used to it, lived with it, until it was just how things were. This even applied to the cardboard boxes full of clothes and bits and bobs that had been packaged up and stacked in the front hallway.

Even though Jacks’ dreams have been put on hold, she is determined her daughter, Martha won’t be stuck in Weston-super-Mare for the rest of her life. She’ll do whatever she has to give Martha the future she deserves, everything that evaded Jacks. She can see it now—university, a great job, a lovely home in an up market area. When a boyfriend appears on the scene, Jacks can see her dreams crumbling a second time. 

Amanda Prowse portrays family life with its difficulties and ups and downs with realism. Juggling the constant and personal care needed for a very confused and scared old lady with looking after the rest of the family, Jacks has very little time to call her own and is exhausted much of the time. 

She now sat at the kitchen table. This was her one small window of opportunity at the beginning of every day when she was able to read the local news. A brief moment before the world came rushing up to meet her and she had to run to keep up…

Jacks was only thirty-six and couldn’t help wondering if this gruelling daily routine was all there is. Trying desperately to make ends meet and feeling taken for granted, the thoughts of what might have been play on her mind. It takes a blast from the past to make Jacks realise what’s really important. The grass isn’t always greener.

I enjoyed the alternating chapters between the present and Jacks’ earlier life, which worked really well, showing the contrast and ironically drawing attention to the similarities between Jacks’, Ida’s and Martha’s predicaments and attitudes as young adults. The characterisations are convincing with relatable scenarios, encompassing a range of emotions including hope, frustration, loss, despair and love—ordinary people dealing with the hand life has dealt. Jacks’ best friend, Gina and son, Jonty provide humour and lightness to balance out the story.

I chose to read and review Perfect Daughter based on a copy of the book kindly supplied by the author.

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.

Author links ~ Website | Facebook | Twitter

6 thoughts on “Perfect Daughter by @MrsAmandaProwse ~ Contemporary Family Drama #BookReview #FridayReads

  1. I already feel sorry for poor Jacks! So many people get caught these days caring for both children and parents at the same time. Sounds as though Amanda Prowse does a good job of capturing how relentless it can be…

    Liked by 1 person

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