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52 Reviews
5 star:
 (28)
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 (10)
3 star:
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous - highly recommended
Combined with writing a really great and interesting story the book touches on difficult topic in a light and funny way.. I really enjoyed and have now bought for 3 friends one of whom has a stoma and she says it helps to know and understand what others go through and she is not alone.. found it hard to put down
Published 12 months ago by A P Docherty

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars poorly written and mawkish
I bought this because of the good reviews in the press but I was really disappointed, I found it poorly written, stereotypical, predictably plotted and mawkish. I would not recommend this at all
Published 12 months ago by Luc


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous - highly recommended, 17 Aug 2013
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Combined with writing a really great and interesting story the book touches on difficult topic in a light and funny way.. I really enjoyed and have now bought for 3 friends one of whom has a stoma and she says it helps to know and understand what others go through and she is not alone.. found it hard to put down
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Surprisingly Entertaining and Satisfying Read, 17 Feb 2013
By 
Susie B - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Cecilia Banks, recently retired from her profession as a psychotherapist due to ill health, receives a rather large surprise when her forty-year-old son, Ian, a foreign correspondent, telephones her to inform her that she is a grandmother. Cecilia is shocked; she hadn't even known Ian's girlfriend was pregnant and she is even more shocked when Ian tells her that the baby is the result of a fling he had with a rather beautiful, but unstable woman, who has now disappeared and left his son, Cephas, with him. As Ian expected, Cecilia rises to the occasion and, once she lays eyes on Cephas, she bonds with him immediately and agrees to take him into her home and into her life; but Cecilia's life is rather complicated at the moment. For one thing, Cecilia is recovering from cancer; and then there is her husband and Ian's stepfather, Tim, who seems to be withdrawing from her as he fills his life with his work and his tennis. Added to this, there is her friend Helen, a writer, who shares Cecilia's illness, but isn't coping quite as well as Cecilia appears to be doing; and what's more, Helen has a secret from her past which she reveals to Cecilia, which gives Cecilia even more to think about. And then Ian receives a very unpleasant shock, which could have far reaching consequences - not just for him, but for Cecilia and Cephas, also.

This is a warm, absorbing, intelligent and entertaining novel which looks at morality and at those things that are really important in life: love, loyalty, family, friendship and, importantly, our health. What is really surprising is the way the author confronts a serious and life-threatening illness in such a straightforward and, in some places, humorous fashion and without becoming overly sentimental. I do have to say that there were some sections in the story which I, being very squeamish, found a little too graphic, but because the rest of the story is so warm and cheering, it enabled me to read through the parts that I found a little difficult. Bernadine Bishop has created some interesting and well-realised characters for her novel - even the baby, Cephas is particularly well-drawn, right down to his relationship with Cecilia's wonderful cat, Thor. I could go on, but I don't wish to spoil this story for prospective readers; so if you are looking for a satisfying family drama and one that is remindful of the important things in life, then this novel might well fit the bill for you.

4 Stars.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A completely wonderful read, 21 Feb 2013
By 
Butterball (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Unexpected Lessons in Love (Kindle Edition)
Bernadine Bishop, a beautiful woman, has written a lovely, warm, moving and funny novel where the characters and their personalities are even more interesting than the entertaining plot. I seem to remember that Bernadine Bishop is a psychotherapist and if she is then she is certainly the one I would like to consult if I needed therapy! I feel the book cover does the book a disservice by making it look like chick-lit which it is not. The main character is a woman in her 60s struggling with living with a colostomy and I am tempted to call it sick-lit but it was such a heartwarming read that would also be unfair.
I would urge anyone looking for a book that's hard to put down and which continually surprises with its understanding of human nature to get this book! Especiaslly in the Kindle version!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected Lessons in Love, 11 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Unexpected Lessons in Love (Kindle Edition)
It was a fascinating story, elegantly written and attention holidng from the first page to the last.. It left many questions unanswered, but perhaps that was part of it interest. I shall certainly reread it in the near future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lesson in truth, 3 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Unexpected Lessons in Love (Kindle Edition)
As someone who knew Bernardine, I cannot be completely unbiased. Bernardine was a psychotherapist first. The book is a testament to her search for truth. Lovely.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful., 23 Jun 2013
This review is from: Unexpected Lessons in Love (Kindle Edition)
This is a beautifully written book. Once the first page was started I had to finish it. It's heart warming, honest, thought provoking and beautiful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 12 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Unexpected Lessons in Love (Kindle Edition)
Enjoyed this book, well written and deals with love, families, coming to terms with cancer, growing old, mortality. Heavy stuff usually but she writes so well its a good read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting story to someone else who is "in remission" from Cancer, 9 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Unexpected Lessons in Love (Kindle Edition)
As I had experienced life for 9 months with a stoma, my interest in this tale was high. I identfiied with lots of the feelings experienced by the writer and wished that I had a "buddy" to share thoughts with during that distressing time of my life. The story was fascinating with its twists and turns.

The fear of this dreadful disease is omnipresent but Cecilia's doggedness in trying to live a "normal" life is impressive, so is her husband's unfailing support.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a good book!, 31 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Unexpected Lessons in Love (Kindle Edition)
This has been a complete pleasure. It moves the reader in many ways; to sadness, fear, laughter, joy. It is properly and suitably funny. It manages to be complimentary about an Archbishop of Canterbury and to make us consider the possibility of life with a herniated stoma, which is no mean feat.

I thoroughly enjoyed this deftly intelligent engagement with love, madness, hope, resignation and uncertainty - oh yes!, and cancer too.

Very highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really enjoyable book, 26 Sep 2013
By 
Book Lover (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
I enjoyed this book so very much. A tremendously good read of the sort that keeps you engrossed. I hated to put it down when real life called me away. I'm quite looking forward to her next one.
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Unexpected Lessons in Love
Unexpected Lessons in Love by Bernardine Bishop
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