on 22 March 2014
Tiny Acts of Love by Lucy Lawrie
Publisher / Wydawca: Black and White Publishing
Publishing Date / Data wydania: 6th March 2014
Source / Zrodlo: Received from the publisher, thank you! Od wydawcy, dziekuje!
Surviving motherhood? It's all about having the right network. Lawyer and new mum Cassie has a husband who converses mainly through jokes, a best friend on the other side of the world, and a taskforce of Babycraft mothers who make her feel she has about as much maternal aptitude as a jellyfish. Husband Jonathan dismisses Cassie's maternal anxieties, but is he really paying attention to his struggling wife? He's started sleep talking and it seems there's more on his mind than he's letting on. Then sexy, swaggering ex-boyfriend Malkie saunters into Cassie's life again. Unlike Jonathan, he 'gets' her. He'd like to get her into bed again too... And on top of all her emotional turmoil, she also finds herself advising a funeral director on ghost protocol and becomes involved in an act of hotel spa fraud, never mind hiding cans of wasp spray all over the house to deal with the stalker who seems to be lurking everywhere she looks. Marriage and motherhood isn't the fairytale Cassie thought it would be. Will her strange new world fall apart around her or will tiny acts of love be enough to get her through? Funny, perceptive and real, Tiny Acts of Love portrays the rawness of motherhood, the flipside of love and the powerful lure of paths not taken.
Tiny Acts of Love is Lucy Lawrie's debut work and I am very happy that she decided to write this book, really. I have enjoyed it immensely and I could just start reading it again.
Meet Cassie, an employment lawyer, who has just arrived home with her new - born Sophie (Sophie! Yay!). Everything is new, scary - hello! A brand new baby! - but on top of this Cassie's boss phones her and demands that she takes care of a new client immediately AND her husband has sent an email to all the contacts in her mail - box (including people with whom she dealt only once in her life, her clients and ex - boyfriend) with the info about the baby and a photo of breastfeeding Cassie.
What follows is a mix of work, sleepless nights (but sleepless not only because of the baby but also because Cassie thinks she is very ill and she can die, because Jonathan talks in his sleep about his deceased father, because he is sleep - walking, because Cassie thinks she has a stalker ... you name it), mood swings, ghosts in funeral home, ex - boyfriends and competitive parenting in her baby - group, family, oh and a husband going into his own personal space and dismissing all her fears and anxieties Yeah, and that's all only in one year. And let's not forget: hello! a brand new baby! With all the pluses and minuses of motherhood, hormones, moods, tears.
I must admit, I have expected Tiny Acts of Love to have a totally different plot. Looking at the cover, so nice, bright and optimistic I have thought it's going to be about babies, family, baby - blues etc. and nothing else. Which wouldn't be a problem because, as you all already know, since I'm a mum myself I just love reading about new parents, families, babies.
Perhaps there isn't much happening in term of action, although I am sure some of you won't agree with it: what with Cassie and her work, Cassie and Malkie, Cassie and Jonathan, Cassie and the baby, some subplots of Jonathan's parents... but for me it was a relatively slow read and the pace was very considerate. Nevertheless, this book has me hooked, literally. There was something deep in the writing, I felt like there was something much more than the plot itself, as if Lucy wanted to tell us much more and hid something behind her words and story. I don't often get that feeling, but reading this book I just felt it all, I felt like a part of this novel, actually I felt that I am Cassie. No particular reason, maybe because we took to the motherhood in similar ways? Because we both had the same anxieties? To be honest, the whole epilogue that Lucy wrote can be about me. Period. Those were one of the most beautiful and true words that I have ever read.
I warmed to Cassie immediately. All the feelings, all the questions about a new baby, her fear if she's going to be a good mother, I can relate to all of this. I guess every mum can:) I really admired the fact that it was relatively easy for her to come back to work, even if Sophie was still so small. Cassie was also unbelievably fair and honest, I'm not sure if I would be so honest to my husband about my encounters with ex - boyfriend. And she has also a great sense of humour, the Babycraft party scene when she talked about her ghost - case was brilliant!
While I liked Cassie, I had some issues with her husband and I must admit that I didn't warm to him till the end. Yes, I understand he had problems himself but I hated how he didn't pay attention to Cassie and how he dismissed her fears. He was, for my liking, too cold, although he was a great dad and yeah, well, he had some good moments when he helped Cassie.
There were also some other characters, like the Babycraft group and all of them were brilliantly written and all their feelings about being new parent were described in a fantastic, engaging and very real way. Both mothers of our main characters were women for themselves and it's only a pity that we got just a little of Cassie's mum.
The descriptions of the situations in the story, Cassie's job and Sophie's first year felt totally real. The book was written with a confidence, the author knew what she's writing about - she was an employment lawyer herself and is also a mum - so she has done her research and it reflects in her confident writing. The partly absurd sets of events, like Cassie and her ghost case, or her visit to the spa, or reconnecting with Malkie, or just trying to live up to the expectations of the ridiculous Babycraft group just added lightness and so needed fun to this book. It was a very, very emotional read, full of understanding and sensitivity, and also full of important information. Brutally honest about being a new parent and how it can affect the relationship between the woman and the man. A kind of read that is going to stay with me for longer and I am sure I'm going to re - read to this book. And looking for Lucy Lawrie - having her on my radar now!
Copy provided by publisher in exchange for a review.