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In the early days she was happy.
Romilly 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 kind, handsome 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...
Amanda Prowse is an author whom has been on my radar for a while now, she comes highly recommended by my Mum and if your on Twitter then the love for her and her books is second to none - yet with all of this praise and owing a couple of her books, she is an author I've just not got around to reading.
And, now that I have just finished her latest novel, Another Love, I'm kicking myself and asking the question, why? I certainly don't plan on leaving it long before I read another of hers, that's for sure!
I wasn't sure what to expect as I started the opening pages of Another Love, there's always that little bit of apprehension starting a new author when everyone raves about them... What if I can't take to the story? They writing style? Will it move me like it seems to move everyone else?
Well in short I think we can safely say that I did take to both the story and writing style - by the end of page three I was hooked... Completely sucked in the way a child slurps through a straw and placed within the world of the characters.
I was beginning to wonder if I would be moved like others have as the book moved on, the pages turned effortlessly and the story flowed brilliantly, and then... Right when I thought "such a beautiful story" the last chapter and epilogue came, and with it the emotion and tears I think I'd held in whilst so deep in reading this utterly moving novel.
The prologue started with a letter from Romilly whom is the main character, to her daughter Celeste, and really sets you up with a little knowledge about the book and Romilly as a person. Celeste then starts the story off, after panicking a little about getting married and her future, she explains that her therapist has suggested she writes things down, and so, in between each chapter of the book there is a diary/memory like entry from Celeste, giving us her views, thoughts and feelings on her life, and Romilly, before chapter one takes us back to Romilly and David's days of preparing for their wedding. Over the course of the next few chapters, we are told a gorgeous story about a shy, clever girl who worked really hard for her degree falling in love with a man she thought was way out of her league. We are also introduced to early experiences with alcohol - a glass to help her relax before meeting his friends or his mother for example.
Then, as the book goes on, various things happen and Romilly becomes more and more dependent on the drink, until the final straw comes when her marriage to David finally breaks and Romilly is left with nothing.
I orignailly thought that as we started the boom right at the beginning of Romilly's adulthood the story would be drawn out, but Amanda has such an amazing way of writing and linking the memories up that the pace moved quite quickly and before we knew it, Romilly was trying to turn her life around because SHE wanted too. However I was left wondering if her character had left it too late to re- connect with her husband and daughter, but the out come for me was heartwarming and quite simply lovely.
Amanda has given me great insight to Alcoholism with Another Love, I really felt for Romilly at times and it was a great reminder that it is an illness. I loved how we saw some of the memories from Celeste's point of view as well as Romilly's where she explained why she was in that situation too.
I love a book that has elements where I'm smiling and laughing which this did with some of the memories of Romilly's good days, equally I love books where I gasp and my heart wants to reach out to characters like I know them from down the road, and this book had that too with some really deep and almost disturbing images from her days when she was quite literally in the gutter.
Another Love is a story of two halves in all manner of ways - the good versus the bad, the fun before the falls, the hope prior to the failure, the mothers story and the daughters.
From the opening line to the final, emotional, moving words, Another Love had everything you would want from an extremely great book which is why 5 flowers isn't near enough!!
I would like to thank Amanda, Simeon and the Team at Head of Zeus Publishing for providing an advanced proof copy of Another Love.
This is my honest opinion.