This is my first less than positive review. I love books and pride myself in never have put down a book half-read. This book however, is one of the few I was tempted to abandon half-way..
I actually picked this book up by accident. I meant to read “My husband’s wife” , a thriller, by Jane Corry but unintentionally reserved the one by Amanda Prowse. The book actually has noble intentions and I believe it can serve as a self-help book to people who have recently ended a long term relationship. The story is about Rosie, a devote wife and mother who is living her dream life until suddenly her husband leaves her for a younger rich woman and takes the children with him.
The plot does a great job of exploring Rosie’s sudden loss of identity. She realizes, that for years she has been simply her husband’s wife and her children’s mother. She doesn’t know who Rosie is and where to begin building herself back up. Her old childhood wounds caused by an absent mother are opened once more and she struggles to get back on her feet.
The beginning of the story is specially well written. We peek into Rosie’s troubled past, her absent mother and withdrawn father. The author then draws a beautiful picture of present day Rosie: She lives in a small town by the water, married for 10 years and, mother to two beautiful, energetic daughters. We read on as her seemingly perfect life falls apart.
Now, when I read a book, more than the plot, I care about style of writing. “My husband’s wife” did not do it for me when it comes to writing. The plot progresses into a series of horrible events in Rosie’s life that feels forced and unbelievable. It’s like the author kept thinking of new ways to make things worse and worse so if salvation comes, it will be more special. The unfolding of the whole ordeal just feels unreal and unnatural. (It’s worth mentioning that this seems to be Ms. Prowse’s style of writing. Check out the synopsis for some of he other books and you will see. Even the titles are depressing and every single one sounds like a cliche grim plot).
Now, I know that the point of fiction is to tell a good story and maybe push boundaries of dull real life a bit but, when writing about humans in real world, staying true to human nature and emotions is important. People in this book….they don’t act like people. For example, after Rosie’s husband abandons her and their family to run after a rich pretty thing, everyone seems too ready to forgive him and move on. Like, seriously, people do not act like this! Especially in a small tight-knit community of a small town. Rosie herself becomes harder and harder to sympathise with as she falls apart from depression to self-pity. And the ending? Well, I will not spoil it for you but it irritated the heck out of me!
BUT, I understand why this book became a bestseller. “My Husband’s Wife” is about finding your lost identity and building yourself back up from ruines. So in a way, this tear-jerker can work as the ultimate feel-good book. If life has been letting you down,
When the dog bites,
When the bee stings,
When you’re feeling saaaaaaad*
(or if you ever wondered what a grown up version of “series of unfortunate events” would look like), this book is for you. Have you read it? What did you think? I would love to hear from people who genuinely enjoyed this book.
As for the recipe. This book is delightfully British! I loved reading one British phrase after the other. My absolute favorite was how many times Tea time was mentioned and what a significant time of the day it is for characters of this book. It appears to be an important time of the day for British families.
Now, in the book, tea time simply refers to the evening meal followed by tea and some snacks but I decided to have a tiny tea party with my number one fan… my mom. hehe.
If you find yourself feeling peckish for some tea time snacks, here are some ideas.
- First thing you need is Tea!
Being Persian, I like black tea best. You can add dry rose paddles or lavender for some extra aroma. If you like your tea sweetened, use honey instead of sugar.
- For snacks:
For a successful afternoon tea party, prepare a mix of sweet and savory snacks. Get yourself some fresh scones, sugar cookies and make some light sandwiches. Here are some sandwich ideas and cute ways to prepare and display them:
- PB & J : Use two slices of white bread. Spread peanut butter on center of one and jelly of your choice on center of the other. Use a large cookie cutter to get rid of the crust and seal the edges with a fork. You can use same method but with cream cheese and cucumber for a savory option.
- Spread dill cream cheese on a white tortilla and top it with slices of smoked salmons. Roll it really tight and cut pieces diagonally for tasty, pretty spirals. You could also use dijon mustard and slices of ham or turkey.
- Use grape tomatoes, cubes of cucumber and cocktail Bocconcini on a toothpick for a simple finger food. You can provide olive oil with a splash of balsamic vinegar for dipping
- Use slider buns to make small egg salad sandwiches. I use eggs, mayo and dijon and top it with a slice of tomato and a few cilantro leaves.
These are just some of my favorite ideas. There are tons of tasty snacks to be had with tea! Do you have a favorite? Share it with in the comments!
Read, Eat, and be Merry! ♥♥♥
*Sound of music…I do LOVE musicals. Could not resist.