THE IDEA OF YOU, BY AMANDA PROWSE
PUBLICATION: LAKE UNION PUBLISHING;
MARCH 21, 2017 (Happy release day!)
About the book: With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter dares to hope that she finally has it all: a wonderful new husband, Jonah, a successful career and the chance of a precious baby of her own. Life couldn’t be more perfect.
But the reality of becoming parents proves much harder than Lucy and Jonah imagined. Jonah’s love and support is unquestioning, but as Lucy struggles with work and her own failing dreams, the strain on their marriage increases. Suddenly it feels like Lucy is close to losing everything…
Heart-wrenching and poignant, this latest work by bestselling author Amanda Prowse asks the question: what does it mean to be a mother in today’s hectic world? And what if it’s asking too much to want it all?
Surprisingly, this was my first time reading Amanda Prowse and The Idea of You was absolutely wonderful. Lucy is at the ceremony where her Godson is being christened when she meets the handsome and witty Jonah. The two fall in love quickly, get married and our extremely happy – except that Lucy wants to have a baby. The novel follows along as they balance their marriage, trying to have a baby, their careers, and an extended visit from Jonah’s teenage daughter, Camille. Lucy must deal with her past and her feelings as the three become a family and several big changes come along.
When I first started reading this novel I wasn’t super into it because it seemed like Lucy was just whiny about being almost 40 with no husband or babies – however, things quickly shifted and she became a very likable character. I loved Jonah also, and especially how happy and in love they were. Camille was a typical defiant teenager with an attitude upon arriving to visit with Jonah and Lucy and I struggled liking or empathizing with her, but once she let down her walls, I fell in love with her. I didn’t always agree with Jonah’s tolerance of Camille’s smart-mouth and behavior, however, I tried to remind myself of how rarely he got to spend time with her and that he was just trying to keep the peace in the household.
*Warning that this novel does address the topic of miscarriages and could be a trigger to some readers, but that’s just a part of this complex novel. Lucy and Jonah want a baby so badly and they have heartbreak after heartbreak in the process. Lucy is haunted by an occurrence from her teen years that caused a strained relationship with her mother, as well as, a lifetime of guilt and sadness for Lucy. Then there is Camille having her own struggles with her mother, issues with her stepmom, and experiencing the join and pain of a first love.
The Idea of You perfectly portrays an “imperfect” family and all of the ups and downs they experience, with relatable characters and situations. As soon as I was through the first chapter, I was completely hooked and did nothing else until I had read the last word (except get up to get tissues). Speaking of which, holy hankies I have never cried so much during a book in my life! I have read things that prompted a tear or two, but this was full-blown tears streaming down my face and several times I was practically sobbing. Despite the boohooing and nose-blowing, I found this to be an engaging and moving novel. It made me feel grateful for the family that I have and reminded me that not everything we want is meant to be – but we still need to find and embrace joy in our lives. I highly recommend this beautiful novel to lovers of women’s fiction, but do not apply make-up before reading and honestly, try to read it at home so you don’t frighten people in public with your crying!
*Thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Purchase The Idea of You on Amazon.