It started with a drink.
It ended with a letter.
She never meant to destroy her family….
Another Love is the latest novel from Amanda Prowse. It is published by Head of Zeus, an independent publishing house dedicated to beautiful books and great storytelling!
I received my copy from a friend with a very high recommendation, so here is my honest review and my thoughts on Another Love.
‘In the early years of their love affair, Romilly was happy. She had worked hard for her stunning, modern house in one of Bristol’s most fashionable suburbs.
She adored her gorgeous, gap-toothed daughter and her handsome, kind husband.
Sure, life was sometimes exhausting – but nothing that a large glass of wine at the end of the day couldn’t fix.
But then, as deep-buried insecurities surfaced, everything started to unravel.
A glass of wine became a bottle; one bottle became two. Once, Romilly’s family were everything to her.
Now, after years of hiding the drinking, she must finally admit that she has found another love…’
I read Another Love over two days, late into the night on day one & the following evening I finished it.
This is not a book you leave under the bed and read over a week or so. This book will tie you down and stop everything else you are doing….yes it really is one of those!!
Another Love tells the story of Romilly, a suburban wife with everything. She has a great career, a handsome husband and a beautiful little girl. They live in a stunning house in an upmarket location. At the end of a rough day, Romilly likes to relax with a glass of wine and ease into her evening. So far, Romilly could be any of us….
Romilly and David are very happily married. They met in university as students and partied hard like all the others in their company. They got married and the partying continued. Then Celeste, their daughter was born and things changed. David began to realise the importance of a more healthy lifestyle, thus reducing his alcoholic intake to the few rare social gatherings they attended. Romilly did not…
Romilly, a mother, a daughter, a sister, but also a person who never felt it would all remain so perfect forever. Romilly is plagued with self doubt and lack of confidence from a very young age. She, the eldest, had two younger siblings, twins, Carrie and Holly
‘Carrie and Holly arrived like marshmallow meteors: soft and sweet and wreaking devastation on her little world. It was as if her parents had ordered them straight from the Disney Store.’
From that day on, Romilly suffered with a huge insecurity complex about her looks, her academic abilities…everything about herself. As a student, her confidence always improved after a glass of wine, a cocktail, a beer..whatever was on hand. This became her crutch.
In marrying David, no matter how often he declared how beautiful she was, no matter how often he told her he loved her, there was a part of her that just would not let go of the notion that she just was not good enough for him.
Another Love is a story told from the perspective of Romilly and her daughter Celeste. This is an element of the novel that I loved. Very often we hear the horror stories associated with being a loved one of an alcoholic, but here we also get to see it from the alcoholic’s perspective.
‘It’s been four months, two weeks, four days and five hours since her last drink, but she knew she was about to break her fast and the prospect was as exhilerating as it was distressing. Alcohol had its hooks in her and it was pulling her over the line from right to wrong.’
Romilly is a very sad person. She truly loves her daughter and husband but through circumstances, not necessarily her own doing, her love for the bottle grows stronger. It takes a long while before the true realisation and acceptance of her addiction becomes her reality.
Romilly is in complete denial throughout most of the novel, as her decline into the underworld of alcoholism is unfolding before her. How low will she go?
‘This book is for anyone who has lived in a house that lurks beneath the shadow of alcoholism. It’s for anyone who has waited with a nervous swirl in their gut, to see what comes next. Anyone who has stood next to a drunk and questioned everything they know. Anyone who has ever wondered, how long can I live like this?
It’s not until you are stone cold sober in the company of a drunk that you realise, despite how long you have known or loved them, that you don’t really know them at all….’
These words are from the foreword of Another Love written by Amanda Prowse. I have chosen to include the full text in my review because quite honestly I couldn’t say it any better myself.
The only extra bit I will add is that this book is for EVERYONE. Whether you have been affected personally by the horrors of alcoholism or not, this is a book that will frighten you. You will be affected by it and it will make you more aware. Aware, not just necessarily of your own personal alcohol consumption, but of others around you.
If it is not obvious already, I highly recommend this heartbreaking book about the destruction and devastation of a family, torn apart by alcohol. It’s a tough read but I think a necessary one.
‘Amanda has always obsessively crafted short stories and scribbled notes for potential books, but it wasn’t until she was forty that she began writing full time.
The result was Poppy Day, the story of an army wife, whose incredible love for her husband gives her the courage to rescue him from hostages in Afghanistan. This was followed by the number 1 bestseller What Have I Done? Amanda now has ten novels and four novellas published.
All of Amanda’s books in the No Greater Love series share common themes in that they are contemporary love stories, the main characters are women, who find themselves in extraordinary situations for love.
Her new series is the No Greater Courage series, tales of women facing the trials that life throws at them and having to dig deep to find the will and strength to succeed. This series includes the A Mother’s Story and Perfect Daughter, which continue to receive brilliant reader and press reviews. Another Love is the third book in this series.
Amanda’s ambition has always been to create stories that keep people from turning the bedside lamp off at night, great characters that ensure you take every step with them and tales that fill your head so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades…
Currently, Amanda lives in the West Country with her husband and their 18 & 19 year old boys Josh and Ben.’