An empty nest has never been so much fun!
A fresh start.
A new man.
Could it be too good to be true?
[ About the Book ]
When her 18-year-old twins leave for university, single mum Nadia’s life changes in ways she never expected: her Glasgow flat feels suddenly huge, laundry doesn’t take up half her week, and she no longer has to buy ‘the Big Milk’. After almost two decades of putting everyone else first, Nadia is finally taking care of herself. And with a budding romance with new boyfriend Jack, She’s never felt more alive.
That is, until her son Alfie drops out of university, and Nadia finds her empty nest is empty no more. With a heartbroken teenager to contend with, Nadia has to ask herself: is it ever possible for a mother to get her own life back? And can Jack and Nadia’s relationship survive having a sulky teenager around?
[ My Review ]
I featured an extract from The Mum Who Got Her Life Back as part of the recent blog tour, which you can read HERE. I was reading the book at the time but due to a recent illness, it has taken me until now to share my review. A thoroughly feel-good book folks, brimming with hope and optimism, with a strong dose of reality within it’s pages.
Nadia is the mother of twins, now eighteen years old, Alfie and Molly. No longer in a relationship with their father, Danny, Nadia is about to embark on a new stage of her life. Alfie and Molly are heading off to college, embracing the student lifestyle away from home, leaving Nadia alone, relishing this new lifestyle, that of a HEN aka a Happy Empty Nester.
‘After a while you stop thinking, “My God, this is weird! Where is everyone!” You’re not missing the days when it looked as if a wildebeest had stampeded through the kitchen, whenever someone made toast. Gradually, you become used to them not being there, and – it almost seems criminal to admit this – you don’t completely hate it.’
Nadia is an artist by trade and is perfectly content to work away in the studio she shares with her two friends. Yet Nadia is missing something, a relationship. With the kids gone and the house to herself, Nadia would love to share experiences with someone new and exciting, someone, whose company she can enjoy freely, without guilt or fear of interruption. Nadia has little confidence in her appearance or her ability to attract a man, but a chance meeting with Jack in a high street shop proves differently. There is an immediate spark between the two and with the intervention of fate, Nadia and Jack have a few wonderful weeks of passion and romance, of relaxed fun and the total enjoyment of each other, in ways that Nadia had never imagined she would experience again. Living in a bubble, life is perfect for Nadia….until her son, Alfie, makes a very surprising appearance with an equally surprising announcement.
Nadia and Jack initially take Alfie’s return in their stride. Jack has his own teenage daughter,who lives with her mother, so he is all too familiar with the challenges that teenagers bring. Nadia is prepared to ‘be there’ for Alfie, as something is obviously upsetting him, and she intends to get to the bottom of it. But the everyday can consume the minutes and the hours, and Nadia and Jack struggle to find private time together and their relationship falters.
Nadia and Jack’s story is not unusual, making this novel very real for many. Fiona Gibson writes with humour, but also with a style that carries a very strong message. Relationships, at the best of times, can be difficult, but when you throw a few teenagers into the mix, who crave attention and time, cracks can easily appear. Nadia and Jack had a very idyllic start to their relationship but, as reality came crashing in on them, they were challenged in multiple ways. Is their relationship strong enough to survive the onslaught of the daily pressures associated with modern family living? Do Jack and Nadia have a future?
Fiona Gibson writes from experience. She is a mother who is all too aware of the highs and lows of rearing teenage children. Alfie is a selfish, self-absorbed, lazy, self-righteous teenager. As his mother, Nadia, at times, tip toes around him, afraid of upsetting the apple-cart. She does pander to her children, which was a little frustrating at times, but Nadia is lacking in confidence. She is a middle-aged woman, with all the wrinkles and scars that come with it. She is trying her best to appease and please, to keep everyone happy but sometimes this just isn’t possible. Nadia needs to step back and reassess her life and recognise what it is that she wants for herself..but can she do this? Is she strong enough?
The Mum Who Got Her Life Back is a charming read with some wonderful characters and a very sweet story-line. It’s a light and entertaining read, perfect for when you are looking for a book that will provide you with a few giggles, yet also emitting a warmth from it’s pages. A delightful read!
[ Bio ]
As a self-confessed magazine addict, Fiona started working on teen bible Jackie in Dundee at the age of 17. Originally from a West Yorkshire village called Goose Eye, she spent her twenties as a magazine journalist in London and moved to a crumbling old house in the South Lanarkshire countryside when her twin sons were toddlers.
When her boys left for university, Fiona felt a craving for city life again. With her husband Jimmy and their daughter Erin, she now lives in a flat in Glasgow. She loves to draw, paint, cook and run – usually with her collie cross, Jack (just the running part).
Website – http://www.fionagibson.com/