I had a really good time reading this book! It was funny and so close to reality that sometimes it felt annoying. However, I didn’t regret a bit reading it and I enjoyed every little bit of it. It might not be me at the main character’s shoes, but I could totally understand her and relate with some aspects of her personality or experience. I don’t have teenage kids, I can actually cook and my husband is not working out of town all the time, but I could see where Cathy stood and what her issues really were.
Becoming a stay at home mum, either by choice or because life happened is not an easy job. People may assume this is an easy part, but I can say that it doesn’t work the same for everyone and maybe some people are not really born to it. Cathy Collins is a woman who at some point in her life, lost her job but git a husband. She stayed at home, raising her children, and when that was possible again she started working as a freelance accountant, contributing her little amount to the household. They never had a money issue, as her husband had a really good job as a consultant on a big firm, making enough money for the family but also having to be away from home many days a week. Until some day he becomes sick of it and wants to turn to teaching. This midlife crisis he’s going through, makes the family’s and especially Cathy’s life upside down, as it would mean that Cathy should find a job to make up for the lost income while her husband will go back to the university to study on his new career path. But this is not what Cathy wants. Nobody asked her if she wanted to go back to a full time job at a sterile environment, only because a well paid life coached suggested it to her husband.
Till that point, Cathy was really upset with the motivational diary that her older sister had sent to her from LA as a Christmas present. It was easy for Lizzy to set goals like ‘run a marathon this year’ because she had a well organized life in California and she didn’t have to care about two teenagers or her parent’s life and prosperity. She was not the one that had to go cleanup toilets because her parents were going to have visitors; Cathy was. With all that in mind and her husband’s bombshell, Cathy actually decided to use that motivational diary, adjusted to her life and goals she could possibly achieve. And just like that, she started actually caring for herself.
As it happens to many women that become mothers, the priorities in her life had changed. Her children and her family came first and since she had nowhere to go and she was also not going to be seen by anyone, Cathy had stopped taking care of herself and her body. Her husband was away most days of the month, so she didn’t need to look pretty for him, she didn’t care looking pretty for herself either, so she neglected her appearance, her body, herself as a woman. She was the second to three sisters and from what she could see, the ugliest of all. So, her self esteem was a bit low for many years. She was not good at cooking, she could not handle her teenage children and therefore she felt she was a terrible mother. That didn’t do any wonders with her self esteem either!
She was not looking for a compliment or a lover. She wanted to be happy with her family and actually feel useful. Given she was at 48 years of age, she felt that she was running out of time, Menopause was coming quickly and she had to take that into account as well, if she didn’t want to hit the bottom. That diary was only an excuse to actually make a change in her life for the better. I loved how she finally was able to tackle all the issues that made her life unhappy, one by one. After she made her mind, she stack to it and she followed her plan, as vague as it might have been.
I also enjoyed reading the characters of her teenage kids. The love life and insecurities of a fifteen turning on sixteen year old girl as well as her son’s view of his future after school. It was a delight reading the parts were Freddie was coming in the picture and a lot of fun as well!
“The Wife Who Got a Life” comes out on April 29th in UK. Keep your eye out for this one if you’re looking for a fun read!
Thank you to NetGalley & HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction for an advance copy of this book. The views expressed are my personal and honest opinion.