it feels good to be back! I’m sorry for the silence and lack of posts, I’ve been so busy I hardly had time to read. But now that things are less crazy, I’m back to blogging stronger than ever 🙂 Today I have the pleasure to review Fiona Gibson’s new book, ‘The Woman Who Upped and Left’ as part of her blog tour and I’d like to thank lovely Helena and the whole wonderful team of Avon UK for the chance to take part in this epic blog tour. My stop is the last one on Fiona’s blog tour, but I hope you’ve checked the other hosts for their reviews, delicious recipes (yes, some were cooking!) and other cool stuff.
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Woman Who Upped and Left by Fiona Gibson
Published by Avon
Published on 25.2.2016
Genres: chick lit
Buy on amazon.co.uk or Buy on amazon.com
**The laugh-out-loud Sunday Times bestseller is back. Perfect for fans of ‘Outnumbered’ and Carole Matthews, Fiona writes about life as it really is.**
Forget about having it all. Sometimes you just want to leave it all behind.
Audrey is often seized by the urge to walk out of her house without looking back – but she can’t possibly do that.
She is a single parent. She is needed. She has a job, a home, responsibilities…and a slothful teenage son’s pants to pick up.
But no one likes being taken for granted – Audrey least of all – so the time has come for drastic action. And no one’s going to stand in her way…
I’m a huge fan of Fiona Gibson and simply adore her books. She’s one of these wonderful authors that never disappoints. She’s constant, and no matter the new trends and what seems to be ‘in’ these days, you always know what you get from her books. I love that feeling of familiarity and comfort, because I know that no matter when or where I read her book, I’m going to enjoy it and it’ll be the best fun.
Of course I had expectations from her new novel as well! Once again Fiona delivered, proved and cemented her position as one of the best British chick lit authors. And not only that, but in my opinion, ‘The Woman Who Upped and Left’ is her best novel so far, uber fun and full of humour that will make you read it cover to cover in a single breath.
The story is centered around Audrey, a single mum in her forties, hard working woman and dedicated to her son and friends. She hasn’t had the happiest childhood, but she’s not a complainer and makes the best bloody lemonade whenever life gives her lemons (which is most of the time). For the last 10 years she’s been working as a dinner lady in a local primary school, a job she never thought she’d still be doing, but being left by her mum when she was only 9 years old and losing her dad at 17, its obvious life made some choices for her. But she’s a fighter and definitely a wonderful and caring mum. Being all by herself has taught her how to appreciate people and everything good that comes along, but at the same time she does feel like her life’s one big routine where her own desires always come last. Things are about to change when she’s awarded the prize for the best dinner lady and can choose between cash as a prize or a short yet expensive cookery course. It’s obvious she’s always broke and could use the cash, however she does need to change her life and start living for herself.
‘The Woman Who Upped and Left’ is a brilliant, light hearted take on motherhood and all the dreams most women sacrifice when they become wives/mothers. I’m 100% positive there are so many women out there (me included) who will connect to Audrey and who felt exactly like her at least once in their life. Juggling between two jobs (she’s also a carer for Mrs B, a 84 year old woman) and motherhood, she’s trying hard to keep everyone happy and of course her needs always come last. We always say it’s not the way it should be, women should not stop living life to the fullest when they reach certain age or become mums, but life happens and in the blink of the eye we’ve transformed into this woman we don’t even recognize, someone who’s always tired, sleep deprived, grumpy, who worries all the time.
Audrey realizes it’s time for a change, seems even her own teenage son, Morgan doesn’t appreciate everything she’s been doing for him. So, instead of getting the cash, she applies for the cookery course and is off on a new adventure. Meeting new people, spending more time with herself and her own thoughts, learning new delicious dishes, seems she’s really starting to reinvent herself. But where’s change, there are people who oppose the change and there’s loads of drama.
I absolutely adored every page of this book. I loved Audrey to bits and wish she was real so we could be friends in real life. She’s such an optimistic person, never crying over the spilled milk, always trying to be a good mum, friend and employee. She knows who she is, she’s mature and is well aware of all the things that brought her to where she’s now. She doesn’t blame anyone for her ‘failures’, she’s not bitter or angry. That’s what I loved most about her, despite having millions of reasons to be angry at her parents, she doesn’t hold a grudge. It’s something I’m working hard on, to forgive everyone that’s hurt me in a way (myself included) and I definitely applaud to Audrey for rising above all the limitations and moving on with her life.
As in every Fiona Gibson book, we get to see what real life is, real women, mature women, with real life problems. No fashion or brands references, no shoes or make up addiction, simply real life situations. And yet, the lighthearted tone in which they are told, makes these stories so fun, so funny and so addictive. It’s like, you forget all about your problems when you enter her fictional worlds, you become Audrey, thinking how the hell can your teenage son microwave his T-shirt, haven’t you taught him better than that? Hilarious! There were some moments that made me laugh out hard, they were just so funny!
Overall, this was a wonderful and uber fun book I recommend to everyone who loves humour and chick lit. Fiona is definitely an author who deserves all the praise and I wish she could publish at least 10 books a year. Oh and I know Mother’s day is now behind us, but if you want to surprise your mum, your wife or girlfriend, this would make the perfect gift! Smiles and laughs are guaranteed, so just get it! Trust me, it’s a wonderful story!