The trials and tribulations of family life are all captured beautifully within the pages of 183 Times a Year the debut novel by Eva Jordan. Look closely at the title and you may wonder what lies beneath the title of the book, apparently it is the amount of times a teenage girl will argue with her mother. Now I don’t know if this is a scientifically proven fact but I am sure there are mums out there who will actually think it could well be higher than 183 times a year.
Lizzie is a hard working mother, with a teenage daughter Cassie and a younger son Connor from her first marriage but now re-married her second husband has brought into the family fold his daughter Maisy, Connor seems to be the only child in the family who has a sense of balance but is that because he has not reached the dreaded teen years yet!
Jordan has written the perfect plot for what at first comes across as a dysfunctional family unit with Lizzie’s first husband not in the slightest bit interested in her new husband’s family, so Cassie vents most of the time at anything and most things, there is contained in the story some incredible wit and humour but most of all there is poignant. Each character has been carefully written into the story that reads like the perfect west end stage play as we the reader are invited into the family and watch every drama being played out. The mother/daughter relationship is one that will I am sure will resonate across the country as Cassie throws her toys out of the pram at every turn. I adored Lizzie the mother as she copes with everything that is being thrown at her from all angles and still manages some great humour along the way. Don’t get me wrong there are times as you read through there will be tears as well as laughter.
With Connor at times he was just confused and perplexed at the daily rantings between he sister and step sister you really felt for him at times as he tried to make sense of his family life often there for his mum with a hug and a ‘I love you mum.’ As I read through the first part of the story I just had this feeling we were being led down a path towards something more serious and this plays out as you become deeper into this truly outstanding debut. I am not going to give anything away apart from just how the family bond becomes strong and pulls together, some of the most poignant words spoken come at the end on the story that just fills your heart with hope for the future.
183 Times a Year is an emotional roller-coaster of a ride that details family life contained within 368 pages and is beautifully written debut novel from Eva Jordan that should appeal to men not just women. There are some very emotive comments contained within the story many will ring true for every reader. A highly enjoyable read.