Posted 20 hours ago

Mothers and Daughters: From the Sunday Times bestselling author comes the most captivating new family drama of 2022

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Now with Colin having died of a heart attack two years prior, Naomi, the girls’ mother, was getting on with her life at Tilsham, where she could hear the waves, walk on the shore and enjoy the scenery from the home she loved and where the girls had grown up. I am sorry to say that it was so predictable and I did not find the characters had depth as they usually do. Willow’s conflict is less explicit – she lacks confidence in herself and the ability to stick with anything. I don't want to give the story away, but such a hoo hah because mother had found love and with such a convenient ending.

Willow, the youngest, was always more sunny and easy-going, yet drifted through life, much to her father's frustration. Thank you to everyone who wished me well yesterday, I can report that the cataract surgery was over in ten mind and didn't hurt. The novel never strayed into twee territory despite the reader feeling relatively safe in the knowledge of an ultimately happy ending, regardless of the upheaval along the way.With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review. Her father would approve of Rick, Willow’s not sure if she and Rick are really suited, she has a more laid back and casual approach to life.

He has rented the house next door to Naomi by chance before discovering they were at university together. Naomi is a widow, settled into a peaceful life and enjoying a fledgling relationship with her next-door neighbour, divorced Ellis. This was my first read of an Erica James book and I was impressed with the emotionally powerful storylines and how grounded in reality the whole story proved to be, along with how well-drawn and flawed the characters were. I’ve been reading Erica James novels for over 20 years – hers were the first adult books I ever read, and her books are always fun and enjoyable. The author also convincingly captured the range of emotions and tensions which can arise when a widowed parent begins a new relationship, only to find their happiness threatened by disapproval from adult offspring.

Having rebuilt her life and reconnected by random chance with Ellis, a friend from university, Naomi is ready to start afresh but worried about both her daughter’s reaction to a new man, especially that of Martha who idolised her father. Themes of domestic abuse and coercive control in relationships are central to the story and were dealt with in a sensitive and insightful way, particularly in recognising how violent and controlling behaviour frequently develops in an incremental way, enabling the perpetrator to gradually undermine his victim’s self-confidence, thus encouraging totally misplaced feelings of shame and guilt to become entrenched, preventing the victim from feeling able to do anything to stop the cycle of violence and intimidation.

She’ll want her mum around when her planned-for baby arrives – though Martha is not actually pregnant yet! Each woman has their own memory of Colin who casts his shadow over their lives, even after his death. Naomi's daughters are very different: Martha is determined and driven like her father, while Willow is a free spirit. Each chapter is written from the perspective of an individual character and this allows the reader to get to know, and understand, the dilemmas they are each facing and their opinions on the unfolding dramas.Think being stuck up to your neck in a mud bath and suddenly a digger appears out of nowhere and carries you away. Naomi and her daughters Martha and Willow are introduced; this is a powerful and dramatic storyline that is splendidly presented. Despite being sisters, Willow and Martha are opposites in how they live their life and what gives them enjoyment. It was a lovely family drama that rests on the importance of communication and this evolves over the story.

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