Sunday 24 January 2016

Book Review - Another Love by Amanda Prowse

Amazon UK
Title:  Another Love
Author: Amanda Prowse
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Publication Date: 16th January 2016
Rating: 5 Stars

In the early years, she was happy.

Romilly had worked hard for her stunning, modern house in one of Bristol's most fashionable suburbs. She adored her gorgeous, gap-toothed daughter and her kind and handsome husband. Sure, life was sometimes exhausting - but nothing that a large glass of wine at the end of the day couldn't fix.

But then, as deep-buried insecurities surfaced, everything started to unravel. A glass of wine became a bottle; one bottle became two. Once, Romilly's family were everything to her. Now, after years of hiding the drinking, she must finally admit that she has found another love...

When I was offered the opportunity to read an advance copy of Another Love, having looked at its description, I knew I would be a fool to turn it down. In the past year that I have discovered Amanda Prowse's brilliance, I have been continually impressed by her writing, her empathy while dealing with serious subjects, and the treatment that Romilly and Celeste's story has been given in Another Love is no different. 

Another Love is told in alternating chapters, from Celeste's point of view and Romilly. With Romilly we are treated to her life from when she meets husband, all the way through her love affair with alcohol. And from Celeste, its her looking back on how it was to grow up with Romilly as a mother, and just what it can be like living with someone who has an additional love. 

We see snapshots of Romilly's childhood, and how she felt at key points growing up, that formed the base of her adult psyche, and could explain some of her reasons for liking to drink perhaps a bit more than necessary at times. 

The whole story is told in a very compassionate way, and I really did feel sorry for Celeste, and also found myself caring deeply for Romilly and wishing that she had the inner strength to react to situations differently. 

This book does not glamourise alcoholism, and I have to assume took a lot of research to write about so clearly, as with some scenes, it feels as though there is a great level of insight being exhibited by Amanda Prowse, and this comes through clearly. 

Another Love is one woman's struggle with her love of a tipple, or two, or three, and how it affects everyone around her, from her immediate family, friends, and anyone who tries to help her. Some of the book would have been quite funny, if it wasn't for the deep rooted problems that Romilly has. 

I hesitate to  say that I enjoyed reading this, as I don't normally take pleasure from others suffering, however I did find this was a gripping story that I kept going back to as I didn't want to leave it alone for very long at all. 

It is a magnificent piece of writing from Amanda Prowse, and amazingly this is only her first release of  what I believe to be is a very busy year for the author. If this is the start, I can't wait to see what else is released. 

Thank you so much to Netgalley, Head of Zeus and Simeon Prowse for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

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