Mary had a disastrous marriage and after her divorce she bought a old slightly run down house. It wasn't long before a local priest befriends her. She feels sorry for him and he calls to see her and one night after enjoying a bottle of wine together she ends up in bed with him. She was led to believe she couldn't have children. She regrets that night but doesn't worry about it. She then meats Winslow and falls for him and he for her but he is deeply religious and when she finds out she is pregnant she feels she must tell him. Things go from bad to worse she becomes redundant, her ex husband lands her with debts she was unaware she was connected too. He beats her up one evening after he found out she was pregnant he is sent to prison. Read on to see how it ends but I really enjoyed the twists and turns !!!!!!
I really enjoyed this book. It's not a normal romantic novel. I really enjoyed the story line. It's nothing like I read before. It was an easy going nice read... I got to about 85% & I was glued. A nice wee twist had me ignoring everything around me until I finished this little gem:) Received from author in return for an honest review.
Written with deceptive simplicity and sometimes brutal honesty, this book draws the reader into the difficult choices faced by the heroine, raw from the wounds of a failed marriage and now facing not only the threat of losing her livelihood but the difficulties faced by a newcomer in a small town where everyone knows - or wants to know - everyone else's business.
The characters are drawn with accuracy and clarity, achieving individuality with sometimes only a few strokes of the author's pen. They're human and fallible and believable, and Mary herself swiftly becomes someone the reader can identify with and care about. I enjoyed this book enormously and would recommend it to anyone who wants a thoroughly satisfying read.
I wasn't sure what I expected from this book, some soppy romance? But ended up totally amazed! Just loved it, plenty of twists and turns with a completely unexpected ending, will definitely read another book from this author
The Awful Mess: A Love Story by Sandra Hutchison My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I received this book from the author Sandra Hutchison in exchange for an honest review.
At first, I thought I was going to be reading yet another sweet and tender happy ever after love story. Not that there is anything wrong with that, there isn't, but I'm not into sickly romance. You know the sort, boy meets girl, they fall in love, they get pulled away from each other or something goes wrong where they end up meeting and marrying someone else......la la la, and then they meet again and everything falls into place, both are single now and they get married and ride into the sunset.
This book isn't what that is about, yes its romance and a love story but its much much much more than that.
I love that the characters are middle aged, my kind of age really and shows that we are all young at heart no matter what life has thrown at us we can still overcome and find joys in our life.
I was hooked from start to finish. The wife of a churchman I thought at the beginning was sick/ill, maybe she was in a certain kind of way, he was so very unhappy. Mary was so determined to remain as she was, the growing companionship between them was warm, slow and fulfilling. The handsome cop brought into the equation was explosive. The problems that fell from this for Mary was so well written.
I did the love the ending, never been skinny dipping!
It had so much in this read I was hooked from start to finish [oh I think I said that] but its true. I stayed up to read more of this. Fell asleep, but woke up a couple of hours later and couldn't get back to sleep so instead of just laying there, I picked up my Kindle and finished the book.
I think I've got another author to add to my favourite list and yes, most definitely I would read another of Sandra Hutchison's book. This book was my kind of read.
Reading the book description I realized that everything it says about the things the main character Mary experiences are the kind of happenings that are common, or at least not rare. Surely you’ve known women who have received attention from a married man or a person whose beliefs contradict stereotypes maybe even seem contradictory. We’ve all known people who have unexpectedly lost their job or women who have an unplanned pregnancy, even when they believed they weren’t capable of bearing children. And the scenario of someone going off-the-rails in the midst of a divorce, creating issues for their soon-to-be ex isn’t hard to imagine. I think I got drawn into Mary’s story so easily because I didn’t have to suspend disbelief for any of these things. That they happened all at once is the reason the expression “when it rains, it pours,” is now a cliché.
The Awful Mess was an engrossing, well written story. It’s made more so for being so easy to believe it could really happen. I just hope it doesn’t happen to anyone I know.
**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **
*This book was provided to me in exchange for an honest and unbiased review*
This was the sort of book that reminds me that I am completely unqualified to review literature. Sure, I know what I like and I know what moves me, but reviewing a book like this makes me feel inadequate. How can someone who can write this well, with such delicacy of sentiment and careful integration of personal and social commentary have any interest at all in what I can say about it?! Well anyway, here are my thoughts, for what they're worth!
I found this book absolutely brilliant! Mary was such a real character, flawed and human. Her personality was so delicately drawn out as we read about her escape from a destructive marriage, then finding her feet in a new life just to see it fall down around her. I loved Mary. She was a cynic and downhearted but a good person who found herself lonely and struggling to let others in to help her. This was her story and it was lovely to see her finally accepting the love all around her. Oh and her dry wit had me chuckling too. I'd like her as a friend actually, no nonsense and honest, but caring and mildly self-deprecating without losing her self worth.
Not just Mary, but the other characters too, were unique in their ordinariness. I've read too much recently where authors feel the need to paint their characters to be extraordinary. It's refreshing to read about characters that seem like they could actually exist, who I can actually relate to, and for once are closer to my own age! Yes at 31 I should perhaps stop reading NA romance but honestly I don't always feel like adult romance has enough intensity. I guess this book doesn't have that passion or intensity but what it does have is heart and soul and tenderness. Most importantly it has believability, in it's characters, settings, scenarios, reactions. You could imagine them being your sister, or friend, or neighbour, or yourself.
The book also offers a lot of commentary on family, marriage, religion etc. that is well cemented into the story and without being dogmatic in any way. I understand that it's based on an American classic but being English the reference escapes me. What I can say though is it reminds me very much of Iris Murdoch novels. There's the same small town focus and it reads like an existential novel, the main character slipping out of societal expectations and finding out how to live and love.
In summary, I was completely enchanted with these characters and their struggles. This is a real life love story not some ridiculous affair between a rock star and a super talented cupcake baker (or some such other cliche). Sure there were times where it was sad and the attitudes and actions of others were frustrating, but it had an ultimate message of love, of family, of community and of faith (in ones self that is, although the more religious of you may also find some food for thought here).