“Clipped Wings – Hear Some Stories of Survival” Book Review

Clipped Wings – Hear Some Stories of Survival by Jennifer Gilmour

I was fortunate to be a given a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions are my own.

 

“Our wings were clipped, our restrictions were made, our boundaries were tested but now we are free, aren’t we?

We look above in the sky at the birds and hope to be free.  But the birds make their nests in the trees high above, to protect themselves from predators.  Free birds must keep looking over their shoulders the same way all of us have to.”

As we reflect upon another year and celebrate the beginning of a new one, I want to share a slightly different book review with you.

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Jennifer Gilmour is a young mum, entrepreneur, wife and author.  Her first novel “Isolation Junction” was published in 2016 and during the course of her research and publicity surrounding the novel, she reached out and received accounts from people identifying with the novel and wanting to share their experiences.  The subject matter of the novel, Jennifer’s own story and the accounts shared with her – domestic abuse.  In Clipped Wings, Jennifer shares her own story and those of various victims of domestic abuse – all who have become survivors and share their stories in their own words.

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I find that I can’t review this book as I would any other, and I must tell you that I haven’t read the novel Isolation Junction”.  However, this is no reason to prevent anyone from reading this enlightening and deeply moving book.  Ms Gilmour introduces the book and then tells her own story of domestic abuse, before relaying the stories of other people.  Her writing is such that I was able to identify with each individual from Jennifer to Jodi to Michael to Wanda (25 in total) and hear their voices reaching out from the paper telling their own tales.  I believe that like many things in life, there may be a stereotypical public perception of domestic abuse – how the abuser and the abused “look”.

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These accounts will change that for you – I learnt so much.   Not every abusive relationship is borne out of immediate control and violence – some begin with tenderness or passion.  Not every abuser is a man – whilst still a taboo, the abused man is now recognised but often reviled by society if his abuser is a woman.  But read Michael’s story and you will see that relationships are not black and white, but revolve around a series of emotions that vary in shades of grey.  Domestic abuse is not always between a couple, as Lauren recounts with a story of abuse starting at the age of 10 from a close male relative.  One experience that I had as a hospice nurse was the realisation that a 23 year old female patient had been abused by her brother – a drug addict and alcoholic.  My patient was now dying, but her young daughter was in the care of this man – the child’s uncle.  The little girl already had bruises but when cigarette burns started to appear on her arms, we knew that we had to do something – but this was probably one of the hardest decisions as the child’s mother lay dying and she was taken from her one relative.  I have never forgotten.

This is not an easy read and at times is emotionally draining.  But I kept reminding myself that this is nothing compared to the actual experiences of those involved, and how it must have felt to re-live every moment to commit these experiences to paper.  The majority of us have never experienced this abuse, but 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.  I do wonder if the men and women currently in abusive relationships will be the ones who can be reached with this book; but there can be no doubt that the more people who can gain some insight and maybe understanding into a victim’s perspective, the easier it becomes to discuss and for victims to understand that what they are going through, physically and emotionally, is not acceptable.

A long review – no apology for such an important topic.  I have bought the novel and intend to share this also.  Please put aside any preconceived ideas, accept the challenge of this read, and help to spread the message within it.  I would probably never have read this normally, but I cannot recommend it enough and suggest a box of tissues to go with it.

Thanks to Jennifer Gilmour and every participant. All images from Ms Gilmour’s site or Google images.

#SundayBlogShare

Clipped Wings Pinterest

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Help! Baking bread – in need of ideas please! GF and student proof!

I have just done my first gluten free ( and a few other frees!) Christmas!  For various health issues I have had to alter my diet this year – another post for another day, but I shall just say I was feeling really ill! – and am learning as I go along, particularly with gluten and lactose.  The supermarkets are catering more and more with “free from” ranges, but some of these seem to me to be ridiculously expensive whilst others are a downright con…..check out the equivalent to certain things in the regular aisles and they are already gluten free and a fraction of the price.  Rant over….

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Google Image….not my own, yet!!

 

Anyway, hubby had a brainwave and suggested to my lovely in laws that they buy us a bread maker for Christmas – the idea being that we will make our own gluten free loaves.  However I think it will be hijacked by other members of the family, particularly the student engineer who has been almost singing that he will have fresh bread every day.  If you could hear him sing, you would know that this is not a good thing for the rest of us – nor has he taken the machine out the box yet to attempt his daily fresh produce.  Silly me, that is what mum is for!

Lemon drizzle

Lemon drizzle with Cranberry & orange jam, beneath batter

My dodgy body parts have meant that I haven’t managed bread yet – although I did bake some Victoria sponges and lemon drizzle using my own cranberry & orange jam as gifts for family and friends before Christmas.  Being inventive with limited income means uses talents you know you have sometimes!! Last year the festive jam in mini doughnuts worked a treat!

Anyway my blogging friends – I wonder how many of you bake using a bread machine, and who can send me some foolproof gluten free recipes?? Not forgetting something for the student engineer!!

Look forward to your ideas,

Claire x

P.S:  My Rickshaw challenge is nearing the end and I hope to complete 150 miles on the exercise bike – not bad considering how much of December I have been laid up.  All donations for Children in Need gratefully received – thanks x

Magic “Merry Christmas” Monday

Good morning, Pain Pals and welcome to this very special Magic Monday.   No inspiring blog posts for you today – you will hopefully have other things to keep you busy today – just a couple of thoughts from yours truly!  Some things that have inspired me, moved me, made me laugh, made me cry – or just been grateful for this year!

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Christmas jumpers!

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Chronic Illness Bloggers – for all of the above and for the admin team welcoming me!

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Hope – without it where would we all be??

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Reunions – never would have thought this would be my cup of tea, but as I told you all in my blessings post, it was great meeting with old school mates and renewing friendships.  Mum and Dad went to one a couple of weeks ago for their old drama group – from 50 odd years ago – and met people they hadn’t seen for nearly as long.  UK readers might have heard of the Rev Roger Royale, who was an original member as the church curate – with a party piece that involved getting on the table and belting out “Hey Big Spender” with last orders in the pub.  Next year another reunion looms with the girls from my nurse training set…30 years!

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Inspiring blogs – I feel I have met so many wonderful bloggers writing inspiring words…..about so many different subjects.

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Spirituality – this has nothing to with religion, but about making us all individuals…….I saw this when working in the hospice more than anywhere else.  And no, if my kids are reading, I do not mean Spirits!!  Although the odd gin goes down pretty well, particularly today! Hic, hic…..Spinal cord stimulator also comes here….it was having mine fitted that prompted the beginnings of PainPals and has given me some much needed relief for chronic nerve pain.

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The Book Club on Facebook….for some great laughs, some books that made me laugh and cry, and meeting up with you all at our Birthday Party in London.

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Motability – and my lovely new car. Music, although the big kid in the house, Duncan, plays it far too loud – comes to something when the teenagers are shouting at Dad to turn the music down!! My Mum. Manchester – the outpouring of love following the bombing there this year, for me representative of the good side to human nature.

 

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Amazon….oh no, did I really just type that?! It has had pluses and minuses……huge shopping help when I can’t get out, need something fast using Prime, want a change from Netflix or need to stock up the Kindle – minuses: strange things start appearing on the bill that are being delivered to a uni halls of residence, huge shopping time waster when I can’t get out, overstocking up on the Kindle. You get the picture. Art – particularly my daughter’s!  Very proud mum, but she will be furious if I write more.

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Sense 8 – I became completely addicted this year whilst house bound, only to discover that the final seaon had been cancelled.  Still absolutely gutted, but hope that the planned grand finale will still be made….pleaseeeeee. Stanger Things…..I spend too much time on the sofa!

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Best we were going to get when straight out of bed!

 

Without further ado I wish you all a very Merry Christmas – thinking of all my chronic friends out there, hoping you have a calm, paced, pain free day!

Claire x

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Me and my girl!

 

 

Ode to Excess

My lovely friend Cathryn wrote this little ditty that we hope will amuse you all!

Ode to Excess (December 2017):

How many years have we said at this time
We’re not going crazy, just a few gifts are fine.
The kids have so much, they don’t need a thing
We’re lost for inspiration, the money does sting.

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Determined to stick to the rules that we’ve set
We proudly congratulate ourselves not to get
Handfulls of gifts from Poundland to fill
Stockings and boxes, a bitter sweet pill.

Yet here we are a week yet to go
We’re edging close and even had snow.
The doubt starts to niggle, we wrestle our minds
“maybe just one more” gift we can find.
One turns to two to three and to four
Then Amazon calling and banging our door.

Panic sets in, have we equalled the spending
Presents still coming, bank balance bending.
Wrapping in secret, while the kids are asleep
Shoving up lofts and cupboards in heaps.
Convincing yourself the spend isn’t too great
Hiding receipts and getting into a state.

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Last minute guilt buys for mum and for dad
They’ve leant you money all year but if you don’t you’ll feel bad.
Passing the shops and buying one more
Rushing back home to find somewhere to store.

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All under the tree and ready to go
Kids are oblivious how little they know.
As you rock in a corner clutching a gin
Maybe next year you’ll be strong, not give in.

by Cathryn Watters

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Review of CBD Medipen – for chronic illness, pain, anxiety and well being

I came upon this review from Zec at Sat on My Butt blog and just knew that I had to share it with you – particularly those in the UK chronic illness community.  You might remember that I reviewed a CBD oil last year and I have been interested in trying something but was unsure what might be comparable (the oil that I reviewed was sent from the States)….this could be it!  Unfortunately we are currently funding our old dog’s drug habit  pain medication, and of course the family will vote that he comes before mum!! But this has been added to my list for Santa!

For the past three weeks I have been using the Medipen.

Medipen

Medipen aren’t allowed to make any medical claims about their product, but fortunately. nothing stops me from doing that!

So what is a Medipen?

A Medipen is a Cannabinoid delivery device that vaporises the Cannabinoids that are in coconut oil, I am and have always been a non smoker and I have no problem using the Medipen.

The vapour is very smooth and doesn’t make you cough and splutter.

The cartridges contain 1ml of Cannabinoids suspended in a pharmaceutical grade Coconut oil.

What are Cannabinoids?

The Cannabis plant is made up from 114 different compounds, the THC is the compound that gives the psychoactive or high sensation people get when smoking cannabis.

The Medipen cartridges contain CBD, CBDV & CBG which do not give those sensations but they have been proven to help people with a wide ranges of health conditions.

Inside our bodies we have cannabinoid receptors, they are part of the endocannabinoid system.

It is now believed that originally humans would have gathered wild growing cannabis to use as food and our bodies use it to help combat many ills and conditions.

Cannabis has now been bred to contain more and more THC to give people a high and that has led to Cannabis getting a bad reputation and becoming illegal.

Medipen starter kit

I received the Medipen starter kit that comes in a tin and contains The base of the pen that contains the battery and the brains and also a rubber tip on the end that works with touch screen devices.

It also contains a USB charger and a Medipen cartridge containing the Cannabinoids.

It really is foolproof, you screw on the cartridge, place the tip in your mouth and suck and that’s it,no on or off button or settings, it is ready to go at any time.

 

To read Zec’s verdict on the Medipen for his anxiety and chronic pain read the full post here: http://www.satonmybutt.co.uk/review-medipen/

Monday Magic – Inspiring Christmas Blogs

Good evening!  I’m a bit late posting today as the dreaded task had to be done – Christmas shopping!  I have to be honest and say that this is the first year that I was dreading the trip that has become something of a tradition for Duncan and me over the last decade.  We get up and head off in time to have our breakfast in a cafe just off the market place, and then enjoy some empty shops before the crowds arrive.Christmas Blogs

But with each year early mornings become trickier and some days I can rival the youngsters for not being able to get out of bed.  Then there is the cold…and it was cold this morning!  Typically as the temperatures plummeted this week, so our central heating behaved in the same way as my body….it grumbled, then shrieked in protest, and finally refused to cooperate! So between dodgy pipework in the home and dodgy systems in my body, I have been snookered.  But I am pleased to announce that we did it…..even managed to find a very central blue badge parking spot and found that the cafe could cater for my increasing dietary restrictions.  The bulk of the shopping has been completed between today’s haul and my online exploits, and Duncan used the wheelchair as an effective battering ram as the crowds increased toward lunch time.

So now I am flaked out, dosed up to the eyeballs for my dodgy shoulder that constantly forgets the ball is supposed to live inside the socket, and have put together my favourite Christmas inspired posts of the week.  I have even managed to persuade the lovely girl to photograph our Christmas tree for you….Xmas tree

There is a blast from the past with eighties gifts (my generation – I had a Petite typewriter), a short story with a twist in the tale, suggestions for those of us with chronic health, crafts for the kids, food….food….and some more food!  If you don’t have time to check out all of the posts – please let me direct you to the final post (film) which will bring a smile to your face…hopefully without a Bah Humbug in sight!

  1. https://fancypaperblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/28/christmas-presents-of-the-eighties/
  2. http://www.mursway.com/2017/12/4-fashionable-christmas-films-you-need.html
  3. http://www.thebigmoneysaver.com/55-non-toy-christmas-gifts-kids/
  4. https://thatblogwherecheriemovestogermany.wordpress.com/2017/12/06/christmas-cookies-and-afternoon-drinking/
  5. https://bysarahwhiley.wordpress.com/2017/12/09/death-by-roses/
  6. https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2017/12/15/christmas-recipes-christmas-dinner-the-starter/
  7. https://www.mostlyblogging.com/inspire-me-monday-linky-party-160/
  8. http://www.tomseamancoaching.com/holiday-throwdown-are-you-in/
  9. https://wheelescapades.com/2017/01/01/christmas-new-year-and-those-in-between/
  10. http://chronicmomlife.com/a-very-chronic-christmas-surviving-the-holidays/
  11. https://www.redtedart.com/diy-christmas-pop-up-card/
  12. https://humblefaithfamilywellness.com/christmas-break-stay-cations-ideas/
  13. http://www.raisiebay.com/2017/12/christmas-finding-spirit.html
  14. http://thethyroiddamsel.com/the-9th-day-of-blogmas/
  15. https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/448389706643263767/
  16. https://thepinterestedparent.com/2017/11/fork-painted-christmas-tree/
  17. http://invisiblyme.com/2017/12/18/the-christmas-tag-grinchy-or-merry/
  18. https://hughsviewsandnews.com/2017/12/18/help-me-raise-250-for-the-dogs-trust-by-leaving-me-a-link-to-your-blog
  19. http://mommadjane.com/cranberry-orange-sugar-scrub
  20. https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/18/smorgasbord-christmas-afternoon-video-happy-christmas-from-the-fur-family/

Scan0001Please comment, like posts and share far and wide in the spirit of the season!  Have a great week,

Merry Christmas,

Claire x

 

The Blessed Project

Flicking through the blog posts on the blog share threads last weekend (Big Up Your Blog), one from Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride leapt off the page at me.  She has invited bloggers to join her in a very special, positive experience – The Blessed Project.

Susie says “Last year, I posted a list of blessings and included a few photos. The exercise took me to a place in my heart filled with love, gratitude, happiness, and sparkly things. My favorite! For the time it took to create the list, it banished bad news, headlines, and normal everyday frustrations like surfing to buy the perfect gift which is as slippery as Elf on a Shelf.”  What could possible be better at this time of the year than to focus on blessings…and some photos to embarrass your kids??

So where shall I start?

My family naturally…..hubby Duncan puts up with a lot, particularly on those flare days when I am horrible to be around, but he is always there.  He spends half his life running me to different hospitals across London and never (well almost never) complains and is always there to pick up the pieces – or just to pick me up!!

The kids…..it is challenging having the student engineer living back at home after 3 years away and my kitchen is living proof, but he is getting better at catching me before I pass out.  The middle one – do all middle children play on the old adage that middle borns have such a tough time? – is due home from uni next weekend and it will be lovely to see him (I think – dirty washing???).  We haven’t heard much from him, but presume that is a good thing – although he does send regular pics to his sister.  Finally my baby – my lovely girl.  She drives me mad with her untidiness, but she looks after me over and above what a teen should have to do for her mum – and constantly plays down the fact that she also has the same condition.

My parents – they live up the road and without them our lives would be so much harder on so many levels. Thank you, Mum & Dad!

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Their first and only selfie!

My wheelchair – yes really!  It has given me a new lease of life as my mobility has decreased and pain has increased.  I have spent the last few years struggling to maintain some independence and to walk.  But the back pain initially and then the disabling effects of 2 back fusions (they really did add to my problems) and more hip dislocations have led to first funky walking sticks, then Smart crutches and now my wheels.  Not what I wanted during my 40s, but I can go out and join in! My eldest plans on taking me ice skating in it but I didn’t like the wicked glint in his eye when he suggested it!!

Friends who don’t give up on me when I blow them out, who stick by me and let me feel like the woman I used to be.  I also am very blessed to have a whole virtual friends family – bloggers and the chronic illness community who give such support and friendship…and “get it”!  Meeting with online Book Club friends at our annual birthday party was a treat.

I feel blessed to have found some kindred spirits this year at our EDS UK support group.

My furry friends – we have been blessed with some extra time with our elderly mutt, Sam, due to an understanding vet and painkillers (yes, for the dog!); but also our surrogate dogs, Chester who I love like my own, and Prince – both come round every week for walks with hubby and cuddles with me!

Samson

Samson

30 years on – meeting up with old school friends and feeling the years just slip away.  Hopefully staying in touch….have already met up with one and his family.Class of 87 pic

Finally….staying with the old school theme, I feel very blessed as the Chair of our alumni committee to have been invited to some wonderful events (Henley, the school drama) including the beautiful Carol Service last night in the parish church.  Talking to some of the parents and staff after, over mulled wine and mince pies, we all said that whether we were religious or not, it was a lovely way to start Christmas proper – putting aside the commercialism for just a short time and enjoying some true Christmas spirit.  There just might be a bit more of this spirit at the pub next week when I go to the One Term On event, for the youngsters returning after their first term at university…..won’t be staying too long as this old bird might really cramp their style!!!

 

Why don’t you link up your blessings with Susie?

Join the Blessed Project and Get Featured!

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The Blessed Project

The Emotional side of Chronic Pain 

This is how it is! Thanks for putting into words what so many of us feel, Kat.

A Scottish Journey with Chronic pain

Waking up to face another day in this body that seems to have failed me in so many ways, leads to a whole new load of emotions I never even knew a human being could experience.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve sat on the edge of the bed (after successfully managing to get my spine to let me move or sit up) and thought I was still asleep. In fact it’s probably more wishing i was still asleep and this whole journey is just some sort of twisted nightmare.

With every morning I wake and realise it’s my reality, all I want to do is cry. My eyes fill with tears which I fight hard to hold back. It then hits my heart like a tonne of bricks, and that’s the moment you realise that this is in fact your life. Reality has a just slapped…

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Monday Magic – Christmas Blogs for You!

We are now well and truly into the countdown for Christmas, PainPals, so it seems only right that Monday Magic for the next couple of weeks will become Christmas blog posts for you!  Here in the UK the old song “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” is very true as a blanket of snow has enveloped great areas of the country.  The snow here south of London hasn’t settled, but other parts of the country have ground to a halt with schools and Christmas markets closing, ice rinks shutting and grid lock on the roads.  Those of you in other parts of the world accustomed to snow must look at us and laugh…..

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Christmas Blogs 1

So it is bitterly cold – pretty awful for the nerve pain – the Christmas tree is bought and just about decorated and the outside lights are up…..but only half are working! Aghhh.  This weather is pretty grim for us spoonies and believe me that the cold and damp really do make a huge difference to our ability to do things.  Friends, please still ask us to parties and carol concerts, but don’t be too upset if we have to bail at the last minute. I for one will always get to a party if I can!!  At the moment though the cold, nerve pain and spinal cord stimulator are doing a manic battle in my back and leg!

On a family note, for those who sent such lovely messages when I wrote about my lovely girl and her friends’ exams – she did really well and is so pleased.  So fingers crossed for next summer.  Meanwhile the art coursework takes priority….

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Sketchbook street scene by Lucy

I have really enjoyed reading some fantastic Christmas posts over the last few weeks and have pinned many.  This is a selection of just a few – they vary from traditional recipes(check out the slow cooker hot chocolate – gorgeous), a Christmas book review, gift ideas for the family and for those with chronic health, ways to keep stress at bay and some classic Christmas movies. But to start off I’d like to direct you, with some mulled wine or cider in hand, to a Christmas limerick….enjoy!

 

 

https://www.judyedwinamartin.com/christmas-limericks-three-not-wise-men/

https://orianasnotes.com/2017/12/07/christmas-decor-inspiration/

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Pictures from Oriana’s Notes website

https://losingtheplotweb.wordpress.com/2017/12/09/gingerbread-house/

https://www.abbeymaelife.com/blog/holidaystressmanagement

https://veroniiiica.com/2017/12/04/visiting-holiday-lights-with-photosensitivity/

https://thekeeledeal.com/exhausted-parents-gift-guide/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest&utm_campaign=tailwind_tribes&utm_content=tribes

https://www.solosophie.com/christmas-things-to-do-in-london/

http://edsjour.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/why-christmas-this-year-will-be.html?spref=pi

https://schoolrunshop.com/fight-festive-fatigue/

https://backpainbloguk.com/2017/11/24/christmas-and-acute-and-chronic-pain-sufferers/

https://www.thelatinanextdoor.com/2016/11/04/ultimate-christmas-movie-list/

https://www.playpennies.com/features/slow-cooker-hot-chocolate-167766

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Picture from Play Pennies website

http://leelslovesbooks.com/mistletoe-moonglow/

https://www.the11best.com/christmas-nail-art-ideas/#_a5y_p=4645297

https://emilylofgren.com/christmas-gift-ideas-chronic-illness/

As always friends and bloggers – please share the goodwill by liking, commenting and sharing these posts.

Have a great, warm week!

Claire x

Review of a great contemporary novel! “All We Have Lost” by Aimee Alexander

Fab stocking filler

 

Disclaimer: I was given an ARC of this contemporary novel by The Book Club on Facebook & the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All views are my own. This review contains an affiliate link.

I am a huge fan of classic novels, particularly those with strong female leads, but I also have an enormous soft spot for contemporary fiction.  “All We Have Lost” features business woman, wife and mother Kim who really does seem to have it all.  She runs a successful PR agency, is married to the good looking Ian – the love of her life, has two lovely young children, a great nanny to care for them and supportive family and friends.  Kim knows her own mind, has life mapped out and is certain where she is headed.  Or is she?

For one day Kim wakes up and realises that this isn’t the road she wants to be on at all.  She rarely sees her children, her home is virtually run by another woman and her husband sees more of the children than he does her.  Add to this her parents’ “perfect marriage” that Kim has placed on a pedestal since her father’s death, and suddenly Kim feels like she is in fact failing.  She decides to wind the business down, let the nanny go and be an author who happens to be a stay at home mum.  Her husband is on trial for a new job, she has always aspired to writing like her best friend Sarah and she is certain that she can work this around the needs of 2 preschool children.  How hard could it be?

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All We Have Lost

I think that any parent – particularly the mums out there – will be able to relate to this, working or stay at home!  Of course Kim has no idea just how demanding caring for young children can be.  A 2 year old just will not stick to your carefully constructed time table allowing mum time to write her novel whilst the tot naps.  Add in cooking, housework and a bit of writer’s block into the mix and suddenly the grass isn’t greener on the other side.  I really enjoyed the way that Aimee Alexander showed Kim’s gradual decline from a business woman in control, to a woman who was “letting herself go” and suddenly felt powerless to take back that control.  How many of us can empathise with the gradual weight gain (gym, who has time to visit the gym with young children?), the lack of regular personal grooming time (feel grateful if your hair sees the backside of a brush daily, let alone regular visits for a blow dry at the salon) and the overwhelming tiredness that strikes before hubby even gets home (from his fourth late night of the week).  But it should be ok if only Kim can start writing – and yet even this is not the easy task that she has imagined.

The author shows just how quickly and easily relationships can change – in Kim’s situation it is not just her marital relationship, but also that with her mother and her friends too.  Failure to communicate leads to misunderstandings, jumping to the wrong conclusions, reading signals incorrectly and great hurt.  At times I found myself becoming so frustrated with Kim and Ian, wanting to shout at them to stand still, take a breath and look what is happening.  Kim seems to become completely hung up on her world at home, forgetting that the very things that she complains about in Ian in his new job were her not so long ago.  Ian is so intent on making up for the fact that he is suddenly the main breadwinner and also feels he has to prove himself in his new job, that he becomes unable to communicate his concerns to a wife who no longer seems to have time for him. Aghhhh – I can see your relationship falling apart and yet neither of you can.  It is a testament to Ms Alexander’s writing that I could also feel Kim’s envy for her friend Sarah’s life as an author, yet also hear the alarm bells ringing loudly to warn Kim that her decisions were having awful consequences and yet she didn’t seem to see it.  Misunderstandings and knee jerk reactions have such devastating effects for all the people that Kim holds dear – including the children.

There are no schmaltzy happy endings for every character here.  This is real life and certain actions cannot be undone or forgiven.  I admire the additional change in the relationship between Kim and her mother – how a mother’s desire to protect her children can have devastating consequences if lies are uncovered, even years later.  I laughed and I cried with the characters in this book and I found them to be believable.  The visit to a single friend’s modern flat with 2 young children for a long weekend did make me smile – you will understand when you read it! The author even examines that age old chestnut – can a man and a woman ever be just good friends?

In my opinion an enjoyable contemporary novel about real life relationships that gets 4 stars!

 

About the Author:

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Aimee Alexander is the pen name of best selling author Denise Deegan who writes contemporary family dramas about ordinary people who become extraordinary in crisis. Her novels have been published by Penguin, Random House and Hachette.

Aimee lives in Dublin with her family where she regularly dreams of sunshine, a life without cooking and her novels being made into movies. She has a Masters in Public Relations and has been a college lecturer, nurse, china restorer, pharmaceutical sales rep, public relations executive and entrepreneur. (taken from Author’s Amazon page)

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (20 Dec. 2015)

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