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The Idea of You

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What if the one thing you want is the only thing you can’t have? With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter thinks 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 becoming parents proves much harder to achieve than Lucy and Jonah imagined, and when Jon What if the one thing you want is the only thing you can’t have? With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter thinks 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 becoming parents proves much harder to achieve than Lucy and Jonah imagined, and when Jonah’s teenage daughter Camille comes to stay with them, she becomes a constant reminder of what Lucy doesn’t have. Jonah’s love and support are unquestioning, but Lucy’s struggles with work and her own failing dreams begin to take their toll. With Camille’s presence straining the bonds of Lucy’s marriage even further, Lucy suddenly feels herself close to losing everything…This heart-wrenchingly poignant family drama from bestselling author Amanda Prowse asks the question: in today’s hectic world, what does it mean to be a mother?


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What if the one thing you want is the only thing you can’t have? With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter thinks 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 becoming parents proves much harder to achieve than Lucy and Jonah imagined, and when Jon What if the one thing you want is the only thing you can’t have? With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter thinks 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 becoming parents proves much harder to achieve than Lucy and Jonah imagined, and when Jonah’s teenage daughter Camille comes to stay with them, she becomes a constant reminder of what Lucy doesn’t have. Jonah’s love and support are unquestioning, but Lucy’s struggles with work and her own failing dreams begin to take their toll. With Camille’s presence straining the bonds of Lucy’s marriage even further, Lucy suddenly feels herself close to losing everything…This heart-wrenchingly poignant family drama from bestselling author Amanda Prowse asks the question: in today’s hectic world, what does it mean to be a mother?

30 review for The Idea of You

  1. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse is a 2017 Lake Union Publishing publication. One of my 2019 New Year’s resolutions was to utilize by Kindle Unlimited subscription more. I had checked this book out a very long time ago, and it has been sitting on my Kindle, untouched, for ages. So, this was one of the first KU books I chose to read this year. Amanda Prowse has received a lot of praise from some of my reviewer contemporaries, so every time I saw one of her books on sale or in the KU library, I’d The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse is a 2017 Lake Union Publishing publication. One of my 2019 New Year’s resolutions was to utilize by Kindle Unlimited subscription more. I had checked this book out a very long time ago, and it has been sitting on my Kindle, untouched, for ages. So, this was one of the first KU books I chose to read this year. Amanda Prowse has received a lot of praise from some of my reviewer contemporaries, so every time I saw one of her books on sale or in the KU library, I’d grab it, but to my knowledge this is the very first book of hers that I’ve read. So, what were my first impressions? Lucy, after an uncomfortable breakup, meets Jonah, at a baby christening of all places. The two hit it off and waste no time making their union official. For a while, the newlyweds enjoy wedded bliss and life is good, until Lucy suffers through a couple of miscarriages, and her step-daughter, Camille, comes to stay with them. Lucy’s preoccupation with carrying a child to term, and her tense home environment also affects her focus at work. If that weren’t bad enough several huge situations arise which could put an abrupt end to Lucy’s happily ever after- I understand why this story resonates with so many readers. The struggle with infertility, and the strain it can place on a marriage, coupled with the challenges of a blended family and career pressures, are all real life issues many people can relate to. Not only that, the story is pragmatic, proving that humans often make mistakes and errors in judgments, and that life is full of disappointments and unrealized goals and dreams. It’s the way one faces and meet those challenges, that will ultimately allow one to feel real joy and peace, no matter how differently things turned out from the way they envisioned them. This is an emotional story, but it also ends on a satisfying note. The character growth is the story’s strongest element, especially with Lucy, although, the supporting cast contributes a little compromise and support as well. My first impression of Amanda Prowse is mostly a positive one. I’m not sure that this story is the very best representation of her work, however. But it was a solid read, and I enjoyed it overall. 3.5 rounded up

  2. 4 out of 5

    James

    4 stars to Amanda Prowse's book The Idea of You, a fictional story about a women craving motherhood but facing many barriers to success. I was offered this book through NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing in exchange for a fair an honest review. I am glad I read it and had a positive reaction. On to the review! Story Lucy has wanted to be a mother for a very long time, but she's about to turn 40 and was recently dumped by her boyfriend who went on to marry Lucy's own cousin. At a christening, 4 stars to Amanda Prowse's book The Idea of You, a fictional story about a women craving motherhood but facing many barriers to success. I was offered this book through NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing in exchange for a fair an honest review. I am glad I read it and had a positive reaction. On to the review! Story Lucy has wanted to be a mother for a very long time, but she's about to turn 40 and was recently dumped by her boyfriend who went on to marry Lucy's own cousin. At a christening, she meets Jonah and he proposes within a few months. He has a 16-year-old daughter, Camille, who lives with her mother and stepfather, but plans to come visit for a summer before her final year at boarding school. Lucy and Jonah have several miscarriages before Camille arrives, and it's starting to put a small strain on their marriage. Lucy struggles at work and with her family, unwilling to tell anyone about the pain she's going through, secretly hoping the next time she gets pregnant, she won't miscarry. Along her journey, she writes notes to each of her lost children, pining away for a little girl of her own. She and Camille do not get along well for the most part, but do find a few things that help bond them little by little. When the past comes back to haunt everyone, and new obstacles are thrown in front of the whole family, Lucy is forced to decide between what is best for everyone and what is best for her. And as the story comes to end, Lucy finds a way to make peace with her decision, understanding the impact it has on everyone involved. Strengths Lucy's story, an all-too-common one, is a strong and beautiful journey not only for the woman who has miscarried several babies, but for the family around them who don't always know what's truly happening. The pressure from friends and siblings to get pregnant before it's too late... the comments from people at work about having difficulty dividing time between family and your career.... the doctors who try to comfort you but really can only do and know so much. Lucy's a very likable character. She has flaws and makes mistakes. She's a bit immature in such situations but she's handling all the emotions with great strength and fervor. I felt a strong urge to want to hug her. There aren't always fairy-tale endings in life, and I really enjoy when books face those consequences. I'm not giving away any spoilers as to whether she eventually has a baby or not, but regardless, her situation is not one anyone would envy. I felt privileged to watch the struggle, especially being so far removed from it, by being neither a mother nor a father. The author, who has mentioned her own struggles at conceiving and keeping pregnancies, puts a lot of emotional connection into the words and the scenes. While it's a sad story, there was a fine balance in pushing readers to tears. Perhaps because I've never been in any type of a similar situation, I held back some of my emotion; however, there were just enough points where you felt the pain and felt the emotions come full force. But not so much that you had to put the book down and take a break. Good balance. Suggestions While I understood it was important to get to the point where she has a husband and and her time is running out to have her own baby, starting the book when she's 39 and then rushing thru the first year may have caused a few moments of less than helpful separation. I care about her as the story unfolds, but when you know little about her first 39 years, other than she wants to be a mother, you have a few questions that linger. Most are answered eventually, and possibly this is a "point in time / life" story, but... it could have used a little tidying up in this respect. I wanted to see more about Lucy's life with her sister and mother. I understand with some of the reveals that come later in the story why it wouldn't exactly be easy, but it would have helped give her more depth. Final Thoughts I've read a few stories with this theme, and this is definitely one of the stronger ones. I like the author's style and would want to read some of her other books. It's not a major stand-out where I feel compelled to buy her next one immediately, but it's got all the qualities of a good book you will enjoy. I pushed it to a 4 because it's much higher than an average / OK book with a few good parts at a 3. If you like strong female characters, this one's for you. Lucy's remarkable in her strength and only had 2 or 3 moments where I thought she was being a little too immature. Enjoy. About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Susanne Strong

    3 Stars. Not My Cup of Tea. A One-Note Storyline. Yet Well Written. Lucy Carpenter is a single woman of 39. She has a fabulous career. One which everyone is jealous of. She appears to have it all. Yet she is desperately unhappy. She wants a man. She goes to events, weddings and christenings and sees people embarked on coupledom and she is alone, wondering what is wrong with her. FINALLY, while at a christening for her co-worker’s baby, she meets one: Jonah Carpenter. He is the man of her dreams an 3 Stars. Not My Cup of Tea. A One-Note Storyline. Yet Well Written. Lucy Carpenter is a single woman of 39. She has a fabulous career. One which everyone is jealous of. She appears to have it all. Yet she is desperately unhappy. She wants a man. She goes to events, weddings and christenings and sees people embarked on coupledom and she is alone, wondering what is wrong with her. FINALLY, while at a christening for her co-worker’s baby, she meets one: Jonah Carpenter. He is the man of her dreams and he sweeps her off her feet. They have a whirlwind courtship and marry a mere few months later. And then Lucy gets pregnant a year later. She is ecstatic. And that is where her dream ends. Things don’t go as planned for her, even though she has Jonah by her side. Thereafter, Jonah’s daughter Camille, from his first marriage, comes to live with them and everything changes. Lucy’s life is turned upside down. Her relationship with Camille brings drama to Lucy’s life that she never anticipated having, but it also shows her that family is what you make of it. I admit that I didn’t identify with this novel as I do not have children and have not personally experienced the hardships that Lucy and Jonah have. I can’t imagine how it must feel to experience that pain and I don’t wish it on anyone. Putting that aside however, I found Lucy to be a one-note character and didn’t think she was likeable. Further, her desperation to find a man at the beginning of the novel irked me to no end. I wanted to shake her and tell her to gain some confidence and self-respect. I did however like Camille and appreciated the growth of Lucy and Camille’s relationship. Regardless of how I felt about the premise, The Idea of You was a quick easy read and was also well written. Thank you to NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing and Amanda Prowse for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Published on NetGalley, Goodreads and Amazon on 3/30/17.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dash fan

    10☆ ++ Utterly Fantastic! Highly Recommend! I just finished Amanda Prowse The idea of You. Utterly Fantastic! Had me in tears. Amanda always puts so much raw emotion into her books and always challenges topics that are sensitive, in a way that's informative and passionate making it ok to discuss. Amanda always writes from the heart and it shows as her writing style always has  such passion and strength. This book is about a women's longing for a family, however mother nature has other ideas and she 10☆ ++ Utterly Fantastic! Highly Recommend! I just finished Amanda Prowse The idea of You. Utterly Fantastic! Had me in tears. Amanda always puts so much raw emotion into her books and always challenges topics that are sensitive, in a way that's informative and passionate making it ok to discuss. Amanda always writes from the heart and it shows as her writing style always has  such passion and strength. This book is about a women's longing for a family, however mother nature has other ideas and she suffers several agonising miscarriages. Luckily for Lucy she has a supportive and strong partner. Together they find the strength to carry on another day. However all this is about to change for Lucy when Jonah's teenage daughter Camille comes to stay with them, bringing a whole lot of teenage drama. Camille unknowingly comes between them, but Lucy is so full of grief she is struggling to bond with Camille. They have a whole rollercoaster of ups and downs. But soon a secret comes out bonding them forever making their little family unite once again. I found myself so absorbed in Lucy's heart breaking  journey I didn't think how Camille must be feeling.  It isn't till she starts to open up to Camille about her mother you can really see her vulnerable side. You can see why she is acting the way she does and towards the end I was on her side and angry with Jonah. When secrets come out Jonah doesn't exactly handle the situation very well and up until that point I was feeling very sorry for him being in the middle of Waring women as he literally could do nothing right! But luckily for him he does redeem himself again, Thankfully as I feel their little family is very strong. Jonah is a great husband and very supportive and protective. A great role model. This book is captivating and draws you in from the very first page. Although there is much heartache there is love, strength, courage and support and light at the end of the rainbow so to speak! Plus there is a fantastic twist which I really wasn't expecting.  It made everything make sense it tied up the whole story. Even the style of writing made sense towards the end (the diary/letter paragraphs) which I wasn't 100% sure why they was being written. I absolutely loved it. I didn't want it to end. I wanted more. I can't begin to imagine how heart wrenching it is to have miscarriages and not being able to get the answers as to why this is happening. But I truly hope that by reading The Idea of you it helps people to understand a little more about the emotions and grief people go through and their courage to get up and take small steps every day. I cant recommend this book enough it's a gem of a book.   There is a fantastic twist and a whole lot of Sass from a teenage step daughter. It's about family and new beginnings and the strength and power of love to carry on even when things are so tough and painful. I received this book from the Publisher in exchange for a honest and fair review via Netgalley.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Joint

    Very emotional and touching but ultimately not for me. The writing is great, it just wasn't holding my attention that well and I think that's down to the subject matter. The main character is a woman named Lucy who is close to 40 with an extremely successful career but has been left wanting. She wants a husband and a baby quite desperately. While she finds the husband in an unexpected way, the baby part of the equation proves quite difficult. She is elated when she conceives, but sadly she exper Very emotional and touching but ultimately not for me. The writing is great, it just wasn't holding my attention that well and I think that's down to the subject matter. The main character is a woman named Lucy who is close to 40 with an extremely successful career but has been left wanting. She wants a husband and a baby quite desperately. While she finds the husband in an unexpected way, the baby part of the equation proves quite difficult. She is elated when she conceives, but sadly she experiences several miscarriages. They tear her apart. Her husband has a teenage daughter named Camille who lives with her mother and stepfather. Lucy and Jonah have a whirlwind romance and marry before Lucy even meets Camille. (I balked at that.) When the girl comes to visit, Lucy is hopeful about their relationship. She wants them to bond, but Camille is understandably hesitant and a little rebellious. Lucy had high expectations of their relationship, and didn't count on being talked back to (a teenager talking back, whoa) and experiencing frustration over her own losses and a bit of jealousy over the easy relationship Jonah and his daughter enjoy. I know I was supposed to love Jonah, but I did not. I put this down to the kind of creepy (to me, others would find it charming) way he picked Lucy up and later suggestions of her abandoning her job if they had children. He just rubbed me the wrong way. Lucy did as well, quite often. She just looked at everything quite naively, hating her life as it was while imagining it would be just perfect if she could only get what she wants. That's why this is a three from me. I really enjoyed the other Amanda Prowse book I read, and I'd love to read more... I'm just going to be pickier about the subject matter now that I know my reaction. I think her style is quite lovely and I just chose the wrong book for me personally. SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS (view spoiler)[Camille adapted quite easily to motherhood even though she showed extreme immaturity by having her stepmother call the father of her child while she was IN LABOR to inform him of the child's existence? I don't know about that. (hide spoiler)]

  6. 5 out of 5

    [Shai] Bibliophage

    I can understand Lucy wanting to finally meet the man of her dreams because, ahem, that's what I'm currently hoping now. But I'm not a fan or whirlwind romances just like what happened to Lucy when he met Jonah. If a marriage is a product of these hasty love stories, I think that's where the complications always start. Lucy wasn't prepared to what could happen after getting married; and she's either overwhelmed by her new situation or she just didn't expect the problems that would soon arise. Ove I can understand Lucy wanting to finally meet the man of her dreams because, ahem, that's what I'm currently hoping now. But I'm not a fan or whirlwind romances just like what happened to Lucy when he met Jonah. If a marriage is a product of these hasty love stories, I think that's where the complications always start. Lucy wasn't prepared to what could happen after getting married; and she's either overwhelmed by her new situation or she just didn't expect the problems that would soon arise. Overall, the elements of a chick-lit book are all included in this magnificent novel. If you are a fan of chick-lit, I highly recommend to add this to your collection because it is definitely a must-read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Karen Whittard

    Thank you to Netgalley, lake union publishing and Amanda Prowse for the opportunity to read this book for an honest review. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance reader copy of this book. You can find my review on both Goodreads and Amazon. On goodreads.com/karenwhittard and on Amazon under k.e.whittard from publication date. Grab you jumbo sized box of tissues, the biggest bar of chocolate that you can find, put on some comfy pjs, clean off your makeup, clear your diary and make sure that you are a Thank you to Netgalley, lake union publishing and Amanda Prowse for the opportunity to read this book for an honest review. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance reader copy of this book. You can find my review on both Goodreads and Amazon. On goodreads.com/karenwhittard and on Amazon under k.e.whittard from publication date. Grab you jumbo sized box of tissues, the biggest bar of chocolate that you can find, put on some comfy pjs, clean off your makeup, clear your diary and make sure that you are alone in the house. This book is an emotional one. You will have tears running down your face from the first chapter until the last. It will leave you with giant puffy eyes, and you will not want to be seen after reading this book. Because if you are anything like me then you will be an emotional wreck. Amanda's powerful writing and honest way of writing. Will tug at your heartstrings and leave you blubbering. With an amaazing cast of characters and a unique way of weaving a story that will have you hooked and transported into the very pages of the story. This is one of Amanda's books simply not to be missed. My heart broke multiple times in the course of reading this book. Even thou I said that you should read this book on your own. I think you should once composed get the girls round and have an open and honest discussion about the topic of this book. I'm sure everyone has stories that can in some way shape or form be linked into the fabric of the pages of this book. Although heartbreaking discussion topic. Something that should be discussed more so that people know that they are not struggling on their own. Heartbreaking and powerfully beautiful. Utterly transporting and a complete page turner. One any woman should read. Happy reading everyone

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jonetta

    Lucy is a 39-year old advertising executive who has just about given up on marriage and motherhood after her fiance left her to marry her cousin. But when she attends the christening of her godson, she meets Jonah Carpenter who immediately is smitten and so is she. They soon marry and try vigilantly to have a baby with tragic results. Life gets even more complicated when Jonah's 16-year old daughter, Camille, comes for an extended visit. I couldn't decide for quite some time whether I liked Lucy Lucy is a 39-year old advertising executive who has just about given up on marriage and motherhood after her fiance left her to marry her cousin. But when she attends the christening of her godson, she meets Jonah Carpenter who immediately is smitten and so is she. They soon marry and try vigilantly to have a baby with tragic results. Life gets even more complicated when Jonah's 16-year old daughter, Camille, comes for an extended visit. I couldn't decide for quite some time whether I liked Lucy or not but as the story progressed, it occurred to me that it wasn't about liking or disliking this character. She's experiencing the normal feelings you would expect of someone of her age and circumstances. Lucy is just human and I ended up admiring her for being authentic in her reactions to miscarriage, a resentful stepdaughter and a husband in denial. What's distinctive about this story as the characters show up as very real. I found myself wanting them, particularly Lucy, to behave differently but would then realize that she was reacting in ways I probably would have behaved. There was an unforeseen revelation late in the story that answers many questions while at the same time throwing gasoline on the Carpenter home. It's provocative, emotionally and intellectually. Though the author could sometimes be overly descriptive of non-essential details, I thought it was well written and paced. I'm glad I read it as I learned so much about the emotional long term toll of miscarriage on everyone involved. (I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    This was my first Amanda Prowse book and after a few chapters I knew it wouldn't be my last. I was drawn into all the characters and the style of writing flowed beautifully. The plot was interesting and moved quite fast and it was hard to put the book down. Although I didn't find this book emotional I imagine it could be too some people, for me it was a good all round chick lit and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This was my first Amanda Prowse book and after a few chapters I knew it wouldn't be my last. I was drawn into all the characters and the style of writing flowed beautifully. The plot was interesting and moved quite fast and it was hard to put the book down. Although I didn't find this book emotional I imagine it could be too some people, for me it was a good all round chick lit and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    Lucy Carpenters 40th birthday is approaching and she hopes she will finally have it all. A wonderful new husband, Jonah. She has a successful career and she now has a chance of a baby of her own. But the reality of becoming parents proves to be much harder than they imagined. This is a really emotional read. The characters are likeable and believable. Amanda Prowse has a writing skill that's pulls you in within the first chapter. This book will leave you an emotional wreck. I do recommend this bo Lucy Carpenters 40th birthday is approaching and she hopes she will finally have it all. A wonderful new husband, Jonah. She has a successful career and she now has a chance of a baby of her own. But the reality of becoming parents proves to be much harder than they imagined. This is a really emotional read. The characters are likeable and believable. Amanda Prowse has a writing skill that's pulls you in within the first chapter. This book will leave you an emotional wreck. I do recommend this book. I would like to thank NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing and the author Amanda Prowse for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Hoover

    *Many thanks to Lake Union Publishing for an arc of this book via Netgally. **Reviewed at Cross My Heart Writings and Reviews What a beautiful, powerful story . . . at times heartbreaking - but also an inspiring story of love, hope, courage, family - a story of getting back up when life knocks you down. I was a little wary starting this book. I knew the subject matter and expected that it would be a hard read - one filled with the devastating effects of the ultimate loss. And it is. I found myself *Many thanks to Lake Union Publishing for an arc of this book via Netgally. **Reviewed at Cross My Heart Writings and Reviews What a beautiful, powerful story . . . at times heartbreaking - but also an inspiring story of love, hope, courage, family - a story of getting back up when life knocks you down. I was a little wary starting this book. I knew the subject matter and expected that it would be a hard read - one filled with the devastating effects of the ultimate loss. And it is. I found myself wiping the silent tears running down my face several times while reading this. But, this story is so much more. The tenacity and compassion of the human spirit is an amazing thing to see and it shines brightly in this story. Amanda Prowse has done a beautiful job of finding the right words, the right scenes, the right characters to deliver this story and message to readers, to help others understand. The writing is beautiful as the words flow out of the hearts of these characters, filling the pages with both their darkest and brightest thoughts. I'll give only a brief set up of the story. Lucy & Nate meet, fall in love, and get married. Life is almost perfect as they work to fulfill their dreams of having a child together. As the story unfolds, Lucy & Nate find themselves struggling to cope with some curveballs - the hurt & pain that life throws at them. And in the middle of everything, Nate's unhappy sixteen year old daughter Camille arrives to live with them. While Lucy tries to open her heart & home to Camille, the teenager's surly attitude makes a difficult situation even harder, and thus a crack is forged in Nate & Lucy's marriage. As this family struggles to get past the anger, guilt, and pain, past secrets surface that threaten the very foundation their marriage was built on. It's hard to say more without revealing too much of the story. Readers deserve to discover this precious gem of a story on their own. Get the tissues ready and tell your family you're "off the clock" as you will not want to stop reading until you finish the book. I sat down to begin the book one afternoon and found myself reading into the wee hours as I could not sleep without knowing how their journey would end. The Idea of You is a powerful, poignant love story that will touch your heart in the deepest, darkest corners - a love story that carries hope, love, and forgiveness for everyone if they can/will just accept it. My heart bled for these characters and the world of hurt they struggled through to survive - So much strength, so much hope, so tenacious & relentless in their pursuit of happiness. In the end, this is a story of love that only grows stronger when it's given & received freely. We don't always get what we want in life, even as we do get what we really need. Blessings & miracles come in all kinds of packages...you just have to learn to recognize them and hold on with all your heart and soul and believe the sun will shine again - good things will come. The Idea of You is A Heart Touching Must Read that offers a ray of light in the darkest night...A beautiful gem of a story that deserves to be heard loud & clear around the world. A Must Read!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joanne Robertson

    When I saw that the new book by one of my favourite authors Amanda Prowse was about motherhood, specifically struggling to become a mother due to miscarriage, I knew this was going to be a very emotional read for me. And then I realised that Amanda’s “book birthday” would be the same day as my daughter’s birthday, my “miracle baby” even though she is now 25, so I knew it was a sign! I HAD to read this book! I had to see how Amanda dealt with the issues raised as, at one point in my life, I WAS L When I saw that the new book by one of my favourite authors Amanda Prowse was about motherhood, specifically struggling to become a mother due to miscarriage, I knew this was going to be a very emotional read for me. And then I realised that Amanda’s “book birthday” would be the same day as my daughter’s birthday, my “miracle baby” even though she is now 25, so I knew it was a sign! I HAD to read this book! I had to see how Amanda dealt with the issues raised as, at one point in my life, I WAS Lucy having had several early and one very late miscarriage. Motherhood was a dream for me to chase and I was determined never to give up until I succeeded. Nearly every woman I know has had a very different and unique journey to motherhood, if at all. And this is why I’m such a huge fan of Amanda Prowse and her books because she writes for women like me, about women like me-women who don’t know their own strengths until they are face to face with the difficulties that life unexpectedly throws at them, women who’s paths in life aren’t the ones they necessarily thought that they would be on. Following Lucy on her struggle to have a baby was very difficult to read at times. Showing how the baby develops during certain stages of pregnancy also seemed to make it harder and I watched with a feeling of helplessness as I willed Lucy’s baby’s to hang on in there! But the most poignant part of the novel for me were the letters that were interspersed throughout providing a window into what might have been for the future and that was the saddest part of the book for me. Realising that it’s not just a baby that you lose but a whole lifetime of “firsts” . No first steps, no first day of school, the list is endless and if you are desperate for a child all you can see is that vision of a perfect family life slipping away from you, even though you know deep down that it’s an unrealistic expectation. The slowly developed relationship between Lucy and Camille was a real contrast to the way Lucy and Jonah got together after their whirlwind romance. Bringing Camille into the family dynamics brought an edge that cut through the sentiment, providing a stepmother/stepdaughter relationship with all the difficulties that possibly brings. I loved all the extended family and their dramas, again I found them very true to life, all of them adding to the bigger picture showing that the life Lucy was chasing was far from idealistic. Lucy wasn’t always the most likeable of characters but her emotions and reactions were always absolutely spot on and I empathised with her totally. I found it impossible to put this book down once I had picked it up and I couldn’t go to sleep until I had read the last page. And then when I finished it, I re-read the last chapter again in awe of how my emotions had been stretched to nearly breaking point by a master of her craft. Amanda Prowse, you nearly broke me-tears were definitely shed! As I’ve said before, no one does domestic drama like this author -she has a gift for bringing emotive issues to life and weaving the most memorable stories around them. Highly recommended by me!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Gilbey

    Having just finished this this wonderful book, I have a lump in my throat and tears are just pricking at my eyelids. It is another masterpiece from the incredibly talented Amanda Prowse, and this time the theme of the book is parenthood and family. The writing is beautiful and draws you into the story right from the start. It was the perfect way for me to spend a Sunday afternoon, utterly absorbed in Lucy Carpenter's story with new husband Jonah and step daughter Camille. There are some incredib Having just finished this this wonderful book, I have a lump in my throat and tears are just pricking at my eyelids. It is another masterpiece from the incredibly talented Amanda Prowse, and this time the theme of the book is parenthood and family. The writing is beautiful and draws you into the story right from the start. It was the perfect way for me to spend a Sunday afternoon, utterly absorbed in Lucy Carpenter's story with new husband Jonah and step daughter Camille. There are some incredibly emotional topics surrounding parenthood, including the desperate need to have a baby, and what happens when things go slightly wrong. There were certainly some surprises along the way in the book which just added to the unputdownability for me. Interspersed with the chapters which are all from Lucy's point of view, there are little letters are so filled with emotion, but you aren't fully sure initially just who they are to. I loved finding out the reasoning behind them, while really feeling for the writer of the letters. I was hooked on Lucy's journey in The Idea of You, feeling very closely both her ups and her downs. There are some light hearted moments in the book, to balance out all of the emotion. There are also blazing rows as tempers are high. It really is a roller coaster of feelings for all characters in this book. The topics discussed in this book are ones that the majority of people will be able to easily identify with, or know people that have gone through the same things. However it was just hard for me to fully feel for the characters never having had children myself, but even with that drawback, I was still engrossed in the book, and enjoyed it thoroughly. I may have said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again but I am so glad that I discovered Amanda Prowse as an author a few years ago. Since then I have read a multitude of amazing books by her, and although this may not be my favourite, it is no less brilliant. I would eagerly recommend this book to anyone that wants to read a book with a lot of heart, that is well written and that will have you thinking afterwards. Thank you so much to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lucy Banks

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. An emotional examination of miscarriage, motherhood and complicated relationships - with a few sticking-points. I'd heard of Amanda Prowse prior to reading this, but didn't really know what to expect vis-a-vis style or subject-matter. A glimpse at the blurb enticed me enough to take the plunge, and at the end of the book, I was left with very mixed feelings. The Idea of You follows Lucy, a career woman who is desperate I received a copy of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. An emotional examination of miscarriage, motherhood and complicated relationships - with a few sticking-points. I'd heard of Amanda Prowse prior to reading this, but didn't really know what to expect vis-a-vis style or subject-matter. A glimpse at the blurb enticed me enough to take the plunge, and at the end of the book, I was left with very mixed feelings. The Idea of You follows Lucy, a career woman who is desperate for a baby. This is established right at the start, at a baby's Christening, where she meets her future husband Jonah, who proposes to her on the day. The first half of the book focuses on Lucy's miscarriages, the latter half on her relationship with her stepdaughter Camille, and also her own family (particularly her mother). So, this is a book about relationships, then. And there's nothing wrong with that. I found Prowse's exploration of the stepmother / stepdaughter relationship particularly interesting - and she captured the awkwardness, intensity and occasional hostility very well. There were also moments of genuine emotional turmoil - the author is clearly gifted when it comes to portraying raw, visceral emotions, which she does to great effect. However (yes, there is a however, I'm afraid!) - there were aspects of the book that I found problematic. I bristled at the underlying sentiment that a woman needs a man / baby in order to have a fulfilled life. I also found the protagonist's attitude to miscarriage a little bemusing at times. I simply couldn't imagine how a pregnant woman could be unaware of the possibility of miscarriage, to the point where they started knitting baby clothes when they were only 8 weeks gone? It didn't quite add up for me. Additionally, the introduction of the 'secret' baby didn't feel very authentic - it probably needed to be seeded in far earlier in the book. Not to mention the fact that I found the character of Lucy to be a bit of a flake. Her husband Jonah came across as fairly patronising (talking down to the 'little woman' at times, you know the sort of thing) - though I'm pretty sure this was unintentional. Perhaps it was just my interpretation. And the end of the book? I'd imagine some might find it poignant. I myself felt that it was a little bit sickly. In fairness to the author, I'm probably not her target-market - and the number of rave reviews proves that she offers something of value to her readership. I'd also like it to be known that this book did make me think long and hard about some important issues -and books that make you think are no bad thing. I'm aware this review comes across as a bit negative - just to emphasise, if emotional reads are your kind of thing, you'll probably like this. I'd still be interested in reading more of Prowse's works - she can clearly write, just perhaps not the sort of thing that floats my personal boat.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Petra

    This was my first book by British author Amanda Prowse who is well known for her emotional women's fiction. In The Idea of You, Ms. Prowse explores a woman's desire for a baby and what it means to be a mother. Her protagonist, Lucy, has suffered several miscarriages and is (obviously) feeling despondent. When sixteen-year-old Camille, her husband's daughter from his first marriage, comes over from France to stay with Lucy and her husband Jonah, Lucy is additionally faced with the problems of ste This was my first book by British author Amanda Prowse who is well known for her emotional women's fiction. In The Idea of You, Ms. Prowse explores a woman's desire for a baby and what it means to be a mother. Her protagonist, Lucy, has suffered several miscarriages and is (obviously) feeling despondent. When sixteen-year-old Camille, her husband's daughter from his first marriage, comes over from France to stay with Lucy and her husband Jonah, Lucy is additionally faced with the problems of step-parenting. Let me start by saying, I don't think I was the right target audience for this. It was a free book from NetGalley so I thought I would give it a go. I found it very difficult to connect with Lucy. She seemed so dreamy and was far too idealistic for me. Her expectations of life with a teenage stepdaughter seemed rather unrealistic to start off with. Actually, her entire idea of motherhood was a bit like that. Don't get me wrong, I have two daughters and love them dearly, but this was all a bit too rose-tinted glasses for me. I couldn't understand why Lucy simply wasn't more open about everything, as it would have avoided a lot of issues. There wasn't a lot of depth to it and in the end, conflicts were resolved pretty easily. However, the writing was ok and I would definitely read more by this author. I can see that this book would really appeal to readers who are looking for light but emotional women's fiction with a sweet ending, it just wasn't quite my cup of tea at the time. The audiobook is narrated by the author, and she did a pretty good job of it. Her voice for Camille was particularly convincing. I would have liked it more if the other characters' voices had been more distinct.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sue McQuaide Kitt

    Wow, what a brilliant book that I found heart-wrenching and emotional and is so beautifully and sensitively written for an emotional topic. A stunning story about family, motherhood, love and loss. The story of Jonah and Lucy is like a fairytale, such deep love and the only thing to complete it is to start a family, but this proves to be harder than they thought. When Jonah’s teenage daughter Camille comes to stay with them for an extended holiday, Camille takes an instant dislike to her father’s Wow, what a brilliant book that I found heart-wrenching and emotional and is so beautifully and sensitively written for an emotional topic. A stunning story about family, motherhood, love and loss. The story of Jonah and Lucy is like a fairytale, such deep love and the only thing to complete it is to start a family, but this proves to be harder than they thought. When Jonah’s teenage daughter Camille comes to stay with them for an extended holiday, Camille takes an instant dislike to her father’s new wife who she has never met before. Can the marriage survive this as well as all the trauma they are living through? Lucy and Jonah are such lovely and believable characters and I just loved them both to bits. I have read a few of this authors books and have enjoyed them all but I think this is my favourite and I can highly recommend this fantastic book that I could not put down.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bkwmlee

    2.5 stars This book started out as a 3 star (“ok” read, not great but not horrible either), but a chapter or so in, it went down to 2 stars and truth be told, by the time I reached the halfway mark, I was so annoyed with the way the story was going that I was tempted to DNF the book right then and there. But not being one to abandon a book in the middle of reading unless there is a truly compelling reason, I stuck with it and ended up speed-reading through the rest of the book so I could get thro 2.5 stars This book started out as a 3 star (“ok” read, not great but not horrible either), but a chapter or so in, it went down to 2 stars and truth be told, by the time I reached the halfway mark, I was so annoyed with the way the story was going that I was tempted to DNF the book right then and there. But not being one to abandon a book in the middle of reading unless there is a truly compelling reason, I stuck with it and ended up speed-reading through the rest of the book so I could get through it as quickly as possible (and move on to other books that I might actually enjoy reading). While the last 20% or so of the book – including the ending – didn’t turn out as bad as I thought it would, the damage had already been done in that I was already annoyed with 80% of the book, so I couldn’t really bring myself to raise my rating to anything more than 2.5 stars. For me, what irritated me most about this book were the characters, mostly the main character Lucy and (to some extent) her husband Jonah. I was not able to identify with Lucy at all, which I found quite ironic given the fact that certain aspects of the character’s life (prior to her marriage) paralleled my own – namely, Lucy’s position in the beginning of the story where she is a career-driven woman who, finding herself still single as she approaches her 40s, begins to seriously contemplate what role marriage and children have in her future. The difference, of course, is that Lucy is "crazily" obsessed with wanting to be a mother and to have a baby of her own that she can dote on (in her own words, she was "desperate to be a mother"), to the point that it basically consumes every waking moment of her life and impacts everything she says, does, thinks. This is the case even after she gets married and not surprisingly, her overwhelming desire to have a baby ends up straining her relationship with her husband as well as everyone else around her. Personality-wise, the way Lucy is portrayed for majority of the story – as a woman who, despite being in her 40s and having a prestigious, high-level managerial position at her company, was highly immature, selfish, hypocritical, and often acted like a jealous, defiant teenager when dealing with all issues outside of work – made her a very unlikable character. I actually found it very difficult to feel any bit of sympathy for Lucy, despite all the struggles she endures throughout the story. From a story perspective, I felt like things dragged on too much, with the focus for 90% of the book being on Lucy’s desperate attempts to become a mother. I got tired of reading about the same thing over and over again, chapter after chapter: Lucy attempting to become pregnant, her nearly daily spats with her husband Jonah over trivial matters that almost always stemmed from her unwavering desire to have a baby, etc. The inconsistency of the writing also bothered me – not so much sentence structure or grammatical stuff, but rather the way the author seemed to “over-explain” things in some sections (especially when it came to Lucy’s thoughts and feelings) but then “under-explain” in other sections (usually when it pertained to things not directly related to Lucy’s desire to have a baby). It almost felt as though most of the dialogue in the book was meant “justify” in some way Lucy’s every word, thought, and action, whether positive or negative. To me, this is a book that has limited reading scope in that it likely won’t appeal to those who may not have the same concerns, beliefs, experiences, etc. as the characters in the story. I clearly was not the target audience for this book, as I am not married (despite being nearly the same age as Lucy was when the story opened) and do not have children. Not to mention, my belief system also conflicts with what I perceive to be the “message” that the author (whether intentionally or unintentionally) seemed to be trying to convey throughout the book: that the only way for a woman to truly be happy in life is to get married and have children. Of course, I have nothing against marriage or having children (in fact, I love kids and have a nephew whom I adore), but I also don’t see anything wrong with still being single. But this is just me….perhaps others who read this book may have a different perspective – for me, this book definitely wasn’t my cup of tea. Received advance reader copy from Lake Union Publishing via NetGalley.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alice (Married To Books)

    I was invited to receive a copy for review via NetGalley! T/W- Miscarriage This was a beautiful and heartbreaking story about Lucy, who dreams of being a mother and settling down to family life with her husband. After some painful experiences, Lucy's husband Jonah has a daughter from a previous marriage Camille who has arrived from France to stay with them. Then, a massive shock opens up secrets from Lucy's past that hardly anyone close to her knew about. The writing style was very easy to get in I was invited to receive a copy for review via NetGalley! T/W- Miscarriage This was a beautiful and heartbreaking story about Lucy, who dreams of being a mother and settling down to family life with her husband. After some painful experiences, Lucy's husband Jonah has a daughter from a previous marriage Camille who has arrived from France to stay with them. Then, a massive shock opens up secrets from Lucy's past that hardly anyone close to her knew about. The writing style was very easy to get into and wasn't too chunky or light. The plot twist around two thirds of the way through, I generally didn't see coming! I will say that the pacing at times did flow a little fast for me. This was quite present in the first few chapters and was a struggle trying to work out who all of the characters were. Overall, a novel that generally surprised me and left me very interested in reading more works by this author!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Lucy to some, has it all. She may have met and married the love of her life, relatively late compared to some and is a high flyer in a career but the one thing she wants above all else, is to be a mother. Jonah and Lucy have such a heartwarming relationship but when his daughter from a previous marriage comes to stay, Camille, it puts them through a testing time. Camille is a reminder of what it’s like to be a young sixteen year old. She could definitely be anyone of us at that age. I couldn’t he Lucy to some, has it all. She may have met and married the love of her life, relatively late compared to some and is a high flyer in a career but the one thing she wants above all else, is to be a mother. Jonah and Lucy have such a heartwarming relationship but when his daughter from a previous marriage comes to stay, Camille, it puts them through a testing time. Camille is a reminder of what it’s like to be a young sixteen year old. She could definitely be anyone of us at that age. I couldn’t help warming to Camille even though she was really testing Lucy’s patience. The story deals with miscarriage which at times broke my heart with what Lucy was going through. I haven’t been through this situation myself but the author really makes it hit home with Lucy’s emotions and thoughts and it felt quite personal at times. I thought the author wrote it all beautifully. The Idea Of You is a bitter sweet read. I went through a whole array of emotions and whilst some parts made for hard reading, it is a reminder of what a wonderful thing motherhood is and that it shouldn’t be taken for granted. A moving, compulsive read that was impossible to put down.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kristie

    I thought this was a mostly lovely story of family. The main character, Lucy, is around 40 years old, recently married and desperate for a child. Her new husband has a teenaged daughter that Lucy has never met, who is coming to stay with them for a while. There are also complicated relationships with family members and ex-partners. It started out a bit rough for me. Although I could understand and feel for what Lucy was going through, she came across as bit obsessed and whiny. It is difficult to I thought this was a mostly lovely story of family. The main character, Lucy, is around 40 years old, recently married and desperate for a child. Her new husband has a teenaged daughter that Lucy has never met, who is coming to stay with them for a while. There are also complicated relationships with family members and ex-partners. It started out a bit rough for me. Although I could understand and feel for what Lucy was going through, she came across as bit obsessed and whiny. It is difficult to listen to someone struggling with pregnancy, especially when that person seems to think about getting pregnant all the time. I felt that the husband's character was somewhat inconsistent. At times, he seemed like he was the most wonderful husband on earth and other times, he was a little dismissive or insensitive. I suppose people can be like that in real life, but it just didn't feel true. The middle (and majority) of the book was wonderful with a lot of interesting stuff going on. Some of the twists you can see coming, but it was still well done and this didn't take away from the story for me. Actually, it made the story feel more real when things progressed as expected. Then, the end. The last couple of chapters were just meh. I sometimes get a little frustrated when authors try to wrap up every thread in a neat little bow. For one, not every life situation is wrapped up neatly so it feels packaged. In addition, it was unnecessary. As a reader, you did not get to know or care about some of the side characters and didn't need to know how things turned out for them. Would this make it more difficult for some of the main characters or perhaps leave you hanging on how that relationship turns out? Maybe, but that's ok. You know how the main characters and their relationships turned out. You don't need to know about characters you never actually met in the story. (view spoiler)[ I'm talking about Cam's mom here. Do you really care if she stopped drinking? I didn't. It felt unrealistic and unnecessary to add. Everything worked out wonderfully for everyone involved. It made the story feel like too fake. Real life isn't that neat. Here's some sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns... (hide spoiler)] Overall, it was a good story. Not great, but I mostly enjoyed it. I might recommend it to someone if I knew their taste leaned this way. I might even give it 3.5 stars, if that were allowed. It was certainly worth the read. Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for providing me with a free electronic copy in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I received a free copy of this book through Net Galley. I liked this book much more than I originally thought I would. Being childless and not by choice, it struck a lot of nerves with me. However, the writing was good, the characters were all well done, and the UK setting lent a bit of an exotic locale. I liked Lucy. Her relationship with her husband was exceptional. A bit predictable and pat here and there, yet there were some very tender moments. The ending wasn't the perfect present wrapped I received a free copy of this book through Net Galley. I liked this book much more than I originally thought I would. Being childless and not by choice, it struck a lot of nerves with me. However, the writing was good, the characters were all well done, and the UK setting lent a bit of an exotic locale. I liked Lucy. Her relationship with her husband was exceptional. A bit predictable and pat here and there, yet there were some very tender moments. The ending wasn't the perfect present wrapped up in a bow. That would have been an insult. I would recommend this book, it was sweet and sad and lovely.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    More book reviews on www.snazzybooks.com The Idea of You is an emotional, touching story of a woman’s struggle, not to conceive but to keep her unborn child from miscarrying. In doing this she simultaneously has to deal with tricky family situations which really test her and an awful incident in the past that keeps coming back to haunt her. The characters in this novel are easy to identify with and likeable, making you actually care about what happens to them. The protagonist, Lucy, seems really  More book reviews on www.snazzybooks.com The Idea of You is an emotional, touching story of a woman’s struggle, not to conceive but to keep her unborn child from miscarrying. In doing this she simultaneously has to deal with tricky family situations which really test her and an awful incident in the past that keeps coming back to haunt her. The characters in this novel are easy to identify with and likeable, making you actually care about what happens to them. The protagonist, Lucy, seems really great and I warmed to her instantly; she’s not always perfect in the way she handles things but she seems real, like someone you’d know and probably like. I really felt for her as things just seemed to get harder and harder, and sometimes the situations that were thrown at her with her ‘new’ step-daughter Camille were so difficult – I won’t give away any key plotlines but it just felt like things got more and more difficult for her with Camille’s behaviour and insensitive  - although well-meaning - comments from family and work colleagues. Her partner, Jonah, is also really likable, even though I didn’t always agree with how he acted, and at times he really messed up. However,  when reading The Idea of You I felt it was really important to remember that no one knows how they’d feel in this situation until it actually happens to them (and hopefully it never will). The issues in this novel are dealt with really sensitively, and without any undue ‘drama’ to make it more impactful - it didn't need that as it was so moving anyway. It felt like any of this could happen to someone you know – and indeed it probably is, sadly – but the story line didn’t feel hammed up or over-exaggerated; it just portrayed the heightened, upsetting emotions which show in some limited way how going through this feels – and, as we see at the end of the book, Amanda herself has experienced miscarriages too, which therefore must be so difficult to write about. There are plenty of different examples of mothers in this novel, which I felt was great as it demonstrates that motherhood comes in many forms – and not always as actually giving birth yourself. I felt for Lucy strongly and to say I ‘enjoyed’ reading it is probably the wrong word, but it made for an absorbing and heart-wrenching story. Full of raw emotion and honesty, The Idea Of You is a touching novel that really highlights an issue that isn’t always discussed as openly and in as much detail. Many thanks to Amanda Prowse for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Fenton

    http://www.compulsivereaders.com/revi... The Idea of You is the latest emotional, domestic drama from the exceptionally talented Amanda Prowse, who always creates such powerful and realistic stories about real life, heartbreaking situations and tragedy with such empathy and compassion. I wasn’t able to put this book down, totally engrossed in Lucy and Jonah’s lives and desperately hoping for a happy ending. With a theme of love, loss and family, The Idea of You reminds us all to value what we hav http://www.compulsivereaders.com/revi... The Idea of You is the latest emotional, domestic drama from the exceptionally talented Amanda Prowse, who always creates such powerful and realistic stories about real life, heartbreaking situations and tragedy with such empathy and compassion. I wasn’t able to put this book down, totally engrossed in Lucy and Jonah’s lives and desperately hoping for a happy ending. With a theme of love, loss and family, The Idea of You reminds us all to value what we have in our lives.

  24. 4 out of 5

    KarenK

    I received this ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a review. From the book description... With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter thinks 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 of course life has its own agenda. A quick read, the writing flows nicely. I can't imagine having at baby at 40, maybe that is why this book didn't really click for me. 2.5☆ rounded up t I received this ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a review. From the book description... With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter thinks 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 of course life has its own agenda. A quick read, the writing flows nicely. I can't imagine having at baby at 40, maybe that is why this book didn't really click for me. 2.5☆ rounded up to 3☆

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ellana Thornton-Wheybrew

    Two stars is generous, so I'm giving it one. I strongly believe I was pre-approved for this on NetGalley just because I'm a woman. The book deals with miscarriage, but doesn't deal with the slut shaming, misogyny, and the potential abuse and alcoholism that are also touched upon in the story. (view spoiler)[ The entire book follows one woman with little personality who has one desire in life: to have a child. Except she already had a child when she was sixteen, but never tried to get in touch wi Two stars is generous, so I'm giving it one. I strongly believe I was pre-approved for this on NetGalley just because I'm a woman. The book deals with miscarriage, but doesn't deal with the slut shaming, misogyny, and the potential abuse and alcoholism that are also touched upon in the story. (view spoiler)[ The entire book follows one woman with little personality who has one desire in life: to have a child. Except she already had a child when she was sixteen, but never tried to get in touch with her. Then, after she has three miscarriages, her seventeen year old step daughter has a baby boy and suddenly everything is good. Child-as-punishment and child-as-reward tropes are both covered, and not even in a great way. (hide spoiler)] Full review to come on www.ellanathornton-wheybrew.weebly.com

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mairead Hearne (swirlandthread.com)

    ‘A Loving Husband A Perfect Marriage A Family Incomplete…’ The Idea of You is the latest release from Amanda Prowse published by Lake Union. Inspired by Amanda’s own experiences, and described as'heart wrenching and poignant', I knew picking this up that some tears would be shed. Amanda Prowse writes about issues that affect so many women around the globe and with The Idea of You, the topics dealt with will strike a chord with many many more. Please read on for my thoughts….. Lucy Carpenter is real ‘A Loving Husband A Perfect Marriage A Family Incomplete…’ The Idea of You is the latest release from Amanda Prowse published by Lake Union. Inspired by Amanda’s own experiences, and described as'heart wrenching and poignant', I knew picking this up that some tears would be shed. Amanda Prowse writes about issues that affect so many women around the globe and with The Idea of You, the topics dealt with will strike a chord with many many more. Please read on for my thoughts….. Lucy Carpenter is really a symbol for many women in the world we live in today. Caught up in a society that has us reaching for the ‘glass ceiling’, while also endeavoring to maintain a family with strong relationships, Amanda Prowse’s new release The Idea of You exposes a few of the realities that are faced by today’s hard working women. Lucy had given up on ever finding ‘The One’. As a hard working thirty-something with a very successful career, Lucy was used to attending social events on her own. Looking upon many of her friends who had now settled down with a husband and young children, Lucy was always quietly envious of their lives. Her’s was a life lived in a pristine apartment with a wardrobe to envy and the tranquility of peaceful evenings stretching before her. To many her life appeared perfect. But Lucy was lonely and at a Christening party she unexpectedly finds love with a chance of true happiness. Jonah is everything Lucy is looking for and soon Lucy begins to live the life she had always dreamed of. Jonah has a teenage daughter, Camille, who now lives with her mother in France following a divorce many years previously. Now, Jonah and Lucy look forward with joy to the day when they can hold a baby of their own. Lucy is convinced that having this cherished baby will complete her idea of the perfect life. But plans don’t always work out as expected and it isn’t long before Jonah and Lucy realise that they are about to face a very difficult struggle. Pregnancy comes easy to certain women but for others it becomes a traumatic experience filled with anguish, pain, humiliation and regret. Amanda Prowse has written about this issue in The Idea Of You with such sensitivity. Using her own personal understanding of the range of emotions a couple are faced with, Amanda Prowse portrays the difficulties and despair with such clarity and heart-wrenching sorrow. Lucy and Jonah are faced with the extra challenge of Camille moving in with them. Camille appears to be carrying her own baggage and try as she might, Lucy finds herself unable to break down the invisible wall between them. This rocky relationship inevitably puts an additional strain on Lucy and Jonah’s marriage. Lucy’s family have a strong role to play in this story and the fragile bond between Lucy and her own mother is heartrending. There are secrets being kept hidden and truths being covered up, all adding to the already delicate state of Lucy’s life. As a mother of two beautiful young girls, I can empathise with each and every woman who has experienced any of the issues mentioned in The Idea of You. I shed a tear when I finished the book but in my case it was a tear of joy….I consider myself extremely fortunate and it made me realise how important it is for me to savor every minute spent in the company of my two fabulous girls For others, this book will unleash emotions that will cause pain and anguish but also hopefully it will help to sooth and bring hope. Lucy and Jonah are forced to look at their relationship closely and figure out exactly what is important. Jonah mentions on a number of occasions how fissures in a relationship, if not dealt with, can become irreparable cracks over time. Can Lucy and Jonah prevent these cracks from appearing? Can Lucy have it all? Does the perfect marriage truly exist? All this and more is examined with a compassion that I now have come to expect from Amanda Prowse. Using her own very personal experiences, Amanda Prowse is standing up and uniting herself with all women who have suffered and continue to suffer with similar difficulties across the globe. The Idea of You is tender, poignant and written with passion. It is a fictional story. It does have light-hearted and gentle moments but it is also a very personal journey. Life can be very cruel but it can also throw up some very unexpected surprises along the way. My only advice on purchase is a cuppa, a warm blanket and a box of Kleenex!!

  27. 4 out of 5

    book bruin

    This is probably the most emotional book I have read in some time. I knew going in that this would be a gut-wrenching story, but I was still unprepared for the overwhelming feelings that I would experience while reading about Lucy and Jonah's journey. The characters were relatable, the grief palpable, and the honesty of the words left me stunned. I firmly believe that I would not have had such a visceral reaction to this book had portions of it not mirrored my own life. The first half of this bo This is probably the most emotional book I have read in some time. I knew going in that this would be a gut-wrenching story, but I was still unprepared for the overwhelming feelings that I would experience while reading about Lucy and Jonah's journey. The characters were relatable, the grief palpable, and the honesty of the words left me stunned. I firmly believe that I would not have had such a visceral reaction to this book had portions of it not mirrored my own life. The first half of this book was like a terrible trip down memory lane, and the raw accuracy of the author's words as she described not only the feelings and emotions of Lucy, but of Jonah as well, were like a vice on my heart. I felt vindication, however, that I was not alone in how I had once felt/acted, but I also suffered the loss right alongside Lucy and Jonah more profoundly. I do not wish these experiences on anyone, but I do not think that a reader can fully appreciate the brutal honesty and beauty of the author's words without some kind of personal knowledge. In some ways I feel it would be so cathartic for people with similar history to read this to help cope, understand, and heal, yet at the same time re-hashing these feelings made me want to run and hide. So why not 5 stars? If this review was based solely on the representation of miscarriage and loss, I would give this 10 stars. I enjoyed the overall story and message a lot, but there was almost too much detail (ie: the decorations in a room or on a cake, what's for dinner, etc) that made the flow of the story a little choppy. The heavily foreshadowed storyline with Bella also seemed to be dragged out unnecessarily, but I was satisfied with its resolution. These things didn't take away from my overall enjoyment of The Idea of You, but it did make things feel a little too drawn out. This was a truly a heartbreaking and yet uplifting book. It delves into experiences and emotions not normally freely discussed and deals with them in an honest and meaningful way. The conclusion was moving and brought the story full circle. This is the first book I have read by the author and I look forward to reading more. *I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this book*

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lynsey Summers

    The Idea of You is yet another poignant and moving novel from best seller Amanda Prowse.  The beauty of this author's writing is that is so very real.  Amanda has a knack of taking an issue and pin-pointing the beating heart of it, she then writes a true and heart-rending novel around it. This book is another case in point.  Motherhood.  This is something many people are able to take for granted.  They try for a baby, have a good pregnancy, have the baby and off they are on the road of parenthood The Idea of You is yet another poignant and moving novel from best seller Amanda Prowse.  The beauty of this author's writing is that is so very real.  Amanda has a knack of taking an issue and pin-pointing the beating heart of it, she then writes a true and heart-rending novel around it. This book is another case in point.  Motherhood.  This is something many people are able to take for granted.  They try for a baby, have a good pregnancy, have the baby and off they are on the road of parenthood.  But Amanda stops, with The Idea of You, to look at those not so lucky, the one's who can't just go through the natural course and rhythm of conceiving, carrying and delivering a child.  She unravels the emotional upheaval this can create, the distress and misery grief can cause when one hope after another is dashed and how this can filter out and tarnish every inch of life.  Protagonist Lucy is in an emotional minefield throughout the course of the book.  Her longing for a child with husband Jonah threatens to overrule everything, as her heartache and sorrow of not being able to successfully carry a child becomes ever more the reality of her world.  On top of this she undertakes a stressful job, having been highly successful within her career and is trying to cope with her new role as a step-mother to a teenager girl who has issues of her own.  As a main character I did not overly warm to Lucy, but that is hardly surprising given how strung out the poor women is.  Sometimes she seems tightly wound, and that is because she is, for good reason.  Amanda has skilfully and very realistically managed to demonstrate how very good relationships can fall apart over, what may seem trivial things, but that are huge if not discussed, or if the people trying to deal with them are already so emotionally stretched they can't see the wood through the trees.  If communication breaks down, then nothing works. This novel, sensitively written, looks at the issue of motherhood in full circle, which I really enjoyed.  Although told from the point of view of Lucy, the author has cleverly dealt with all aspects of motherhood throughout the other characters in the book with each mother in the book representing a different aspect or dilemma.  I always enjoy the pace and fluidity of this novelists work, it makes her books so easy to read and digest even though they are very often dealing with controversial and emotional subjects.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Arlena Dean

    Title: The Idea Of You Author: Amanda Prowse Publisher: Lake Union Publishing Reviewed By: Arlena Dean Rating: Five Review: "The Idea Of You" by Amanda Prowse My View: A good read that covered 'parenthood and family.' The author gives the reader quite a story that dealt with Lucy, Jonah[newly married] and Camille who was her step-daughter[coming to live with them]. But for some reason or another Camille took a instant dislike toward Lucy. Now, why was that? I found this read very tear grabbing with all Title: The Idea Of You Author: Amanda Prowse Publisher: Lake Union Publishing Reviewed By: Arlena Dean Rating: Five Review: "The Idea Of You" by Amanda Prowse My View: A good read that covered 'parenthood and family.' The author gives the reader quite a story that dealt with Lucy, Jonah[newly married] and Camille who was her step-daughter[coming to live with them]. But for some reason or another Camille took a instant dislike toward Lucy. Now, why was that? I found this read very tear grabbing with all that came out of this very intriguing emotional read. The characters were developed but also complex and complicated with human needs and wants. The author brings all of this out in such a unique way giving the reader such a heartbreaking read that you could feel as you are drawn into this emotional story. Will this marriage be able to stand against all of the trauma that they were going through especially with Lucy wanted most of all to become a mom? From the letters from Lucy's POV being full of emotions and then finding out what was the reason for them being presented was so very important and the up and down of feelings were so very important in this read. How was Lucy's relationship with her mom and sister? Were these insecurities and conflicts normal for Lucy and Camille? Yes, there was heartbreak with devastating effects of the ultimate loss, but also there was 'love, hope, courage and family.' I found that this author delivers to the reader not only the right characters to deliver such a important story but also does a wonderful job at giving the readers the right words that could only help one truly understand just what one goes through at a time like this. What will happen as this family has problems with 'anger, guilt, pain, and past secrets that will come out ['is what they don't have worth risking losing what they do have?'] and threaten all that this marriage as been built on? This is where I say you will have to pick up this emotional and challenging "The Idea Of You" to see how well this author presents it all out to the reader to see what Lucy gets as the end. This author really works this story so well with covering the subjects: 'miscarriage, [suffered a loss or infertility], teen pregnancy and relationship breakups.' By the end the reader will gets a 'poignant love story that carries hope, love and forgiveness for all if it can only be accepted' as this love grows ever so stronger as it is given and received so freely. This is definitely a wonderful story of the ray of hope, happiness and love that needs to be heard every single day! Thank you to Netgalley, lake union publishing and Amanda Prowse for the opportunity to read this book for an honest review. This novel was well done by this author!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Betty

    Lucy Carpenter and her husband, Jonah, are happily married and planning to have a baby. When she becomes pregnant, Lucy spends her evenings knitting baby clothes. She has a pregnancy book she reads to discover how her baby is developing week by week, and imagines how happy their lives will be once their baby is born. Her heart is broken when she has an miscarriage, but they are determined to try again. Sorrow strikes a second time when she has another miscarriage. As Lucy struggles to deal with Lucy Carpenter and her husband, Jonah, are happily married and planning to have a baby. When she becomes pregnant, Lucy spends her evenings knitting baby clothes. She has a pregnancy book she reads to discover how her baby is developing week by week, and imagines how happy their lives will be once their baby is born. Her heart is broken when she has an miscarriage, but they are determined to try again. Sorrow strikes a second time when she has another miscarriage. As Lucy struggles to deal with the pain of her losses, she must also adjust to the arrival of her teenaged step-daughter, Camille. Lucy hopes to build a relationship with her, but instead finds herself feeling like an outsider in her home. Envious of the relationship Jonah has with his daughter and fearful that she will never be able to have the baby she desperately longs for, Lucy begins to resent Camille’s presence. The rocky relationship she has with Camille causes a rift to form between Lucy and Jonah, and Lucy is less than thrilled when Camille announces she’s staying. A shocking turn of events brings about a situation that will either bring them together, finally, as a family… or tear them apart. The Idea of You is a beautifully written novel you won’t soon be able to forget. Intensely emotional and painfully realistic, this is a book guaranteed to wring every ounce of empathy from you, and then some. Lucy’s dream of motherhood are especially poignant when she writes of what she imagines it would be like to have a child… dreaming of the possibilities, of the things she would do with her child at different ages. You’ll definitely want to have a box (or two) of tissues handy when you read this book, because I don’t think it’s possible to read this one all the way through with dry eyes! Simply put, this is a book worth reading. I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley and Lake Union Publishers.

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