I loved Jo Moyes previous book “Me before you” so when I saw this latest book reduced on kindle I bought it for my summer holidays. But couldn’t wait for summer to arrive. And still wanting a gentle read as I lulled myself from daily life into holiday mode. I felt the time had come.
This book was ideal holiday reading. It’s no doubt put in that awful book genre of “chick lit” but I think that does it a disservice and I hate the word “chick lit”. What does it stand for? Women’s reading? Then why call us chicks? Or does it stand for books that are light weight? Many of so-called “chick lit” are the most thought-provoking books I have read and the word “chick” demeans them. I object to it in the same way I objected to being called a “Hen” when growing up in Glasgow. I used to mutter under my breath “cluck, cluck”.
Anyway back to the book. I am sure that it is in the genre of “women’s reading”. But that said like her previous book it gets across life in the UK today and highlights topics such as working hard but yet unable to make ends meat. Bullying as your children don’t fit into the normal mould. And just going for an impossible dream as there doesn’t seem anything left to do. The dream doesn’t work out but along the way you find out lots about yourself and your kids. Without giving anything away it’s about a single mother and her two children who need to get to Aberdeen so that her daughter can win a math’s competition. They take a lift from someone she cleans for. Who is facing challenges of his own. It will make you laugh. It will make you cry and it will make you think. My only criticism was the road timings. Leaving Yorkshire at 7am driving at 40 miles an hour will not get you to Aberdeen at 12 noon. But apart from that a wonderful thought provoking book with characters I learnt to love and root for and at the heart a wonderful mother who fought for her kids and what she believed in.
Books for me should make you care for the characters in them at least one or two. They should bring you into another world and take you out of your own so that you don’t just think of me, me , me. But equally you should learn from them. The loftiest books in literature are not the easiest to read and you can get so caught up trying to understand them that you never really get them. The books that change you aren’t often those books. They are the ones as in To Kill a Mocking Bird when you put on someone else’s slippers and see things from their perspective. I did this reading this book.