I read this during November when I was doing Nanowrimo (national novel writing month) because I’d heard from various sources that it tackled some of the issues I was writing about. It did tackle those issues, but not deeply and not until quite a way through.
The story revolves around Amy whose husband, Hugh, has decided he wants to take a break from their marriage and kids and go travelling. What prompted this was his father and friend dying, so apparently he wanted to seize the day. During this break he wants to act like a single man in every way, so infidelity comes into the story, too. Amy agrees to this, reluctantly and Hugh goes off on his travels.
The characters were very realistic and I really liked Amy. Her mother was fantastic, as were her daughters. I would say the character formation was the strongest element.
I was quite angry through a large part of the story as I couldn’t believe Amy had agreed to this. She was very upset for a long time and that’s one of the things that dragged a little bit. For the first quarter of the book she was very depressed about Hugh's scheduled leave. Understandable, yes, but her dissemination of it went on rather a long time. I was also wondering why she agreed to it if it bothered her so much. Her reasoning was that if she hadn’t agreed their marriage would have failed anyway.
A large part of the story revolves around Amy’s family, her friends and her job. Her family comprises of her two daughters, plus one girl who she’s raised for many years, but is her brother’s child. One of her daughters, Neeve, has a YouTube channel and reviews make-up. Amy’s mother goes on Neeve’s channel as a guest and rises to stardom and ends up helping out with one of Amy’s clients at her P.R firm. I really enjoyed this sub-plot as Amy’s mother was a brilliant character, so quirky and witty. It was great to see her character more. Amy’s father has Alzheimer’s and this is handled in a humorous way. I have no first-hand experience of Alzheimer’s, but in my opinion it was handled decently. It was a very minor element, though, as was so much else. Most of the sub-plots weren’t developed much and almost felt like they were added on in the editing stage. There didn’t need to be quite so many, either. A few less, with the one’s that remained being developed further, would have been much more beneficial in my mind.
The issue I was reading it for, a young girl travelling from Ireland over to the mainland to get an abortion, was handled okay, but it wasn't delved into properly or given much thought seemingly. Considering it’s such an important issue, that was surprising. I wouldn’t have read the book if it hadn’t been for that sub-plot, so it was rather annoying that I had to wait so long for it and when I did get it it was kind-of an afterthought. As a whole it did provide some light relief while I was doing Nano, though, which was much appreciated.