7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
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This review is from: Mummydaddy (The Pan Real Lives Series Book 7) (Kindle Edition)
This book is very well written and brought out mixed emotions for me. It's hard to feel anything other than compassion and admiration for a family that has overcome such adversity and a father who has managed to raise two girls, who in his own words are 'undamaged' by their mother's murder. At times I found it difficult not to cry when reading this book.
So much of the book I related to - my sister, brother and I were brought up by our father, alone, after our mother left when I was indeed four years of age, as Lucy was at the time of the loss of her mother. We never saw her again. I know just what that feeling of loss is at such an early age. I know that chaos, feeling different and my father's feelings of complete hopelessness. Unfortunately, he tried to 'swim' but at times life overwhelmed him too much. He never remarried and died aged 45 a broken man. I know how hard things must have been for Jeremy Howe just managing on his own to bring up two daughters, even before he had to manage his grief for a lady he clearly loved deeply, and, I feel, he conveys this well.
I liked the way he manages to inject humour into his story where he can, so the reader doesn't get dragged down with the sheer grief of his challenge - 'I felt pleased with myself that I was clinically mad enough to have passed my interview', I chuckled out loud at that.
However, If I was rating this book on Mr. Howe's sheer grit, determination and courage I'd give it 5*s , but I want to remain objective about the actual literary content.
Although I found this book a good read, (I really find it hard to say I liked it - it just seems inappropriate somehow given the subject matter), it was articulately written and an easy read. But, I can also understand why JJ Spencer (another reviewer) felt offended by some of the comments and gave a 3* review and his/her indignation over disparaging remarks about Northern Ireland. At times I literally cringed when reading certain passages. I had already picked up on the negative comments on the north of England. Not York particularly, anyone would understand that Jeremy Howe would be happy to never step foot there again. But the passage 'The sun shone in that hard, bright, heatless way it does in the north.' I've lived all my life in West Yorkshire so know what a beautiful place Yorkshire is.
Time and again I cringed and thought please, please let there be name changes for people such as Kerry 'built like a street-fighter's gal', the lady with the bottle blonde hair, the poor neighbour who wanted the bath, all the neighbours whose cakes had ended up, rotting and uneaten in the cupboard. Perhaps there will be a few embarrassed people out there.
For that and also the fact that no relationship(s) were mentioned until the end, giving the impression that none had existed, I felt was misleading. I know this is, of course, Jeremy Howe's prerogative as to what he wishes to include but it just didn't sit right with me. I'm glad I purchased and read the book, but as the Kindle Daily Deal, so paid 99p rather than the full price.