Category: Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Audiobook, Book Review
Roxy’s marriage has always been rock solid.
After twenty years, and with two carefree kids, she and Dave are still the perfect couple.
Until the day she comes home unexpectedly, and finds Dave in bed with their attractive, single neighbour.
All Roxy needed the day after her father’s funeral was to find her husband in bed with their next door neighbour when she got home.
She’d been the one to hold everything together throughout the months of her dad’s illness, her mother and brother barely able to cope. Roxy had sorted out the hospital visits so her dad wasn’t alone for too long, dealt with the nurses and kept her dad’s chauffeur business running. But this was a step too far. She couldn’t cope with her husband of twenty years cheating on her.
It was a real wake up call for Roxy. She hadn’t realised just how often she put everyone’s needs before her own. Things had to change. She and the children stayed at her mother’s where she’s been for the last few days, to all intents and purposes keeping her company and offering support. She couldn’t go home. Inheriting her dad’s business is a life line for Roxy. She finds working and interacting with the clients enjoyable and is excited at the thought of having her own business, making her own money.
The only reason I went home at all that morning was because I craved some normality after the stress-filled weeks we’d all gone through. My head was still spinning from it. I don’t regret for a moment having spent so much time with Dad and Mim.Of course I don’t. I’d do anything for my family. But that morning, I just wanted to be in my own bed, with someone looking after me rather than the other way around.
This is a story about two women, due to differing circumstances, having to reevaluate, dig deep and move forward with their lives. Roxy and Dave were childhood sweethearts and twenty years and two children later their seemingly solid foundation was cracked. Some cracks can be mended, some can’t. Roxy has a decision to make—forgive and forget or forge her own path.
The writing is engaging, the characters realistic. I enjoyed Roxy’s character and how we were privy to her thoughts and reasonings, although it was a little long drawn out in places. She’s realistic and once she realises what’s important in life and her own worth she finds the Roxy that got lost along the way, together with her self esteem and confidence. The story focusses on relationships—mother and daughter, husband and wife, parents and children. Despite bouts of uncertainty Roxy worked through her situation at her own pace without being swayed by the opinion of others. She and her mother had a lovely relationship and supported each other completely. The mystery thread that runs through involving Roxy’s father gives the story another layer.
I’ve always loved reading and when I was a child I used to write stories for my younger sisters as a bribe to make them do my share of the housework. It usually worked! Ireland is famed for its writers, but for me growing up most of the novels were rural in both their settings and their points of view. I wanted to read books about people like me, who lived in the city and struggled with the chaotic bus timetable and had dreams and ambitions that had nothing to do with the farm. I also wanted to read novels in which the women were the heroes of their own stories and not simply there because they were someone’s wife, mother or daughter.
I’m a passionate avocate for increasing literacy and helping people who have come to reading late in life so that they can find the same pleasure in reading as I’ve had. I’ve taken part in a number of different televised projects to help people who’ve struggled with reading and writing and I’ve contributed to both the Quick Reads and Open Doors series of novellas for new readers. I’m also a board member of Fighting Words, the creative writing centre set up by Booker prize-winner Roddy Doyle where I’ve worked with teenagers to write their own published stories and retired people who are working on their memoirs.