Book Title: The Idea of You
Author: Amanda Prowse
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Book format: Digital (pre-release copy)
Sweet Strawberries: Sweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet Strawberry

Description:  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…
This heart-wrenchingly poignant family drama from bestselling author Amanda Prowse asks the question: in today’s hectic world, what does it mean to be a mother?

*Free copy provided by publisher via NetGalley for review…

Review:  Wow, this is an amazing and emotional book! I was pre-approved on NetGalley for this book and although contemporary/women’s fiction isn’t my preferred genre I’m very glad I was offered the chance to read this. ‘The Idea of You’ is about Lucy and her struggle to have a baby. Having finally met someone she falls in love with at the age of 39, Lucy and her husband try to have a baby, but things don’t go according to plan.

The description of this novel says it’s a heart-wrenchingly poignant family drama and I have to agree, the heart strings certainly get pulled when you read this book. I’ll admit straight away that I didn’t really enjoy the start of the novel. It felt rushed and I didn’t really connect with Lucy’s character much at the beginning. It’s only really with the start of chapter two onwards, when the real story begins that I felt more connected and started to enjoy this book.

It takes a lot to affect me emotionally when I read a book. I’m not an un-sensitive person but I don’t usually cry when reading, even sad parts of a story. However this book really got to me. I didn’t cry like some people in reviews have said they did but wow did I feel the emotions of the characters! The writing style is a little different and perhaps slower than books I am used to reading, and although some of the conversations at the start of the book felt a little unreal I think it just took me some time to adjust to reading Prowse’s style.

Some other reviewers have made comments that they couldn’t relate to this book as they don’t have children or haven’t gone through the heart ache of wanting kids and for things to not go well when trying but neither have I and yet I felt so much emotion reading this book. You don’t need to identify with Lucy’s character in that way to enjoy this book. It is so well written that it didn’t matter that I’ve never been though the pain and heartache Lucy went through, I felt her emotions, I could understand her and sympathise so much that I desperately wanted things to go right for her. Prowse has such an amazing way of writing that a simple family talking together feels so real and can charge up your emotions.

The book is really well written and contains just a few uses of the s swear word with very rare use of the f word, which doesn’t feel out of place in their use like in some novels. There’s nothing else offensive but it’s certainly not a novel to read if you want to avoid getting all emotional over it. The ending of the novel is a really satisfying one and I’m so glad it ended in the way it does. I don’t want to give anything away but it’s both realistic and so satisfying that this book left me smiling and glad to have read it.

I’ve read some contemporary and women’s fiction before but it never felt so poignant and memorable like this book was. I couldn’t put it down after I’d read a few chapters and was desperate to keep reading on to see what had happened. I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading contemporary /women’s fiction. Be prepared to go on an emotional rollercoaster through pure happiness and joy to terrible sadness and heartache but you won’t be disappointed! I’ve never read a book by Amanda Prowse before this one, but I’m truly amazed at how much i enjoyed this and I’m certainly a fan of her work now and can’t wait to read another one of her books!

-Review first appeared online April 2017 – now republished here.

What do you think of this book?  Do you like to read contemporary novels, especially ones that tug at the heartstrings?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂