#Review by Lou of The Imperfect Art of Caring By Jessica Ryn @Jessryn1 @alliyabouyis @HQstories @HarperCollins #BlogTour #Fiction #ContemporaryFiction

The Imperfect Art of Caring
By Jessica Ryn

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Realistic, identifiable and heartwarming. The Imperfect Art of Caring shows so much in its character’s lives. Find the full review below the blurb. Thanks first to HQ Stories for gifting me the book and for having me on the blog tour.

Blurb

The Imperfect Art of CaringOne small act can make a big difference

Violet Strong is strong by name but not by nature, or so she thinks. She listens but never talks about herself. She’s friendly but doesn’t have many real friends. She’s become good at keeping people at a distance ever since she left home at eighteen and never looked back.

But when Violet is forced to return home to care for her estranged mother, Glenys, she quickly finds out that life as a carer isn’t easy. Feeling overwhelmed, she’s forced to turn to the other local carers, including childhood friend, Adam, for help.

Although returning home still feels like a mistake, maybe it will help Violet right some wrongs. After all, she can’t keep running from her past forever, and in learning to look after others, perhaps Violet can start to finally love herself…

Review

Caring, it’s a position so many people find themselves in and there are the challenging conversations to have with family for what to do for best. This is the situation sisters Violet and Jodie find themselves in, when it comes to the time to chat about what to do with their mum, Glenys. Then there’s also the added complexity that Violet hasn’t seen Jodie for years and what to do with her mum’s house, thinking of residential care and also caring for her in the interim period, whilst they decide what to do for best and sort out necessary arrangements. There’s also the assessments, when Violet, ends up looking into care homes and the way that Glenys is feels true to life.

There is some humour and some lovely descriptions and book series titles, blogs, life to be lived, which gives it a 3 dimensional feel, because when you’re dealing with caring there are other things going on too and the world doesn’t just stop. This book is heartwarming and shows kindness within its characters.

The book moves onto Tammy, who is also needing care. There’s only her and her mum and Tammy, who has a disability is trying to live independently, something that her mum finds a bit hard to get her head around at times. The descriptions of how silence is, is intense.
Their stories converge as they end up being neighbours. There are thoughtful, poignant moments throughout and some wise advice from a guy called Adam Croft.
It’s interesting seeing Tammy trying to get on with her life, but also bearing in mind all that her mum has told her. Violet also helps a bit and gives some sound advice. There’s also a search for Tammy’s father, but also a bit of doubt kicks in as to whether it is a good idea or not. In the meantime, it is interesting and positive seeing Tammy progress in life.

For both Violet’s and Tammy’s stories of how life is playing out for them, there is strength of character through the emotions and the getting through life the best they can. There is also a bit of potential romance in the offering.

There’s the highs and lows of caring that are within the book and whether you’re caring for someone or not, even though this is a fictional book, there’s lots both sets of people can take away with them. For carers, it is that it is an “Imperfect Art of Caring” that people try their best to muddle through, and also gives ideas of how to find some support.
For the cared for, there is the drive and determination running through life as well as support.
For those who don’t care for anyone in the sense that this book is talking about, it gives a pretty good picture of the situations faced, at least from a point of view, but without being too heavy.

There’s also the care shown for libraries and a campaign to support them, which is pleasing as so many are lost. It also demonstrates that they are places to ask people for help in. It’s short, but really stands out.

The book is realistic and shows that caring is indeed an “Imperfect Art”, which, anyone who is caring for someone in any situation will know and will have experienced some of what is in the book to a certain extent, depending on situations, including juggling their own life. I see the book as pretty realistic as I am an unpaid carer, writing a blog and juggling other life things as well as caring.

#BookReview by Lou – The Imposter by Anna Wharton @whartonswords @MantleBooks @panmacmillan @RKbookpublicist @RandomTTours #TheImposter #Thriller #PsychologicalThriller

The Imposter
By Anna Wharton

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Highly emotional, either experienced in at least part or very well-researched, The Imposter tells the story of Chloe and how she handles her nan who has Alzheimers and her job of newspaper archivist and the newsprint cuttings she discovers of a missing girl from years ago and how involved she gets with her parents. It’s compelling to the end with secrets to unravel… Please find more in the blurb and my full review below…
Published 1st April.

About the Author

Anna Wharton Author PicANNA WHARTON has been a print and broadcast journalist for more than twenty years, writing for newspapers including The Times, Guardian, Sunday Times Magazine, Grazia and Red. She was formally an executive editor at The Daily Mail. Anna has ghostwritten four memoirs including the Sunday Times bestseller Somebody I Used To Know and
Orwell Prize longlisted CUT: One Woman’s Fight Against FGM in Britain Today. The Imposter is her first novel.

 

The Imposter Cover Image

Blurb

A girl who went missing. A family who never gave up. A lonely young woman who only wanted to help . . .
Anna Wharton’s fiction debut, The Imposter, is a gripping story of obsession, loneliness and the lies we tell ourselves in order to live with ourselves . . .
Chloe lives a quiet life. Working as a newspaper archivist in the day and taking care of her Nan in the evening, she’s happy simply to read about the lives of others as she files away the news clippings from the safety of her desk.
But there’s one story that she can’t stop thinking about. The case of Angie Kyle – a girl, Chloe’s age, who went missing as a child. A girl whose parents never gave up hope.
When Chloe’s Nan gets moved into a nursing home, leaving Chloe on the brink of homelessness, she
takes a desperate step: answering an ad to be a lodger in the missing girl’s family home. It could be the
perfect opportunity to get closer to the story she’s read so much about. But it’s not long until she
realizes this couple aren’t all they seem from the outside . . .
But with everyone in the house hiding something, the question is – whose secrets are the most
dangerous?

Review

The Imposter Cover ImageChloe has work at the newspaper and her nan who has Alzheimers on her mind. It’s a tough gig as her nan’s care needs to move on a pace and the house to be sold. Having been there, done that, I can relate to this part of what Chloe is going through and I am sure many other readers will be able to as well.

Everyone’s worst nightmare would for their nan to disappear. Chloe’s nan, Grace Hudson goes missing in a cemetery, creating the upmost heart-rendering scenes and at work, to try and keep herself busy as the police investigate, but to compound matters further, her nan  is brought even more to the forefront of her mind as she finds a newspaper cutting about a woman called Angie who had gone missing; but her friend, Hollie tries to provide some comfort, until she is found. It signals a real need for extra care and Park House Care Home appears to be the chosen place to do it. These scenes, the emotions, the environment, the behaviours from her nan of her drifting off and back again as photos are shows, and the things that she doesn’t often wear, are keenly observed and accurate, either by  experiencing it all to some degree or another, or incredibly well-researched.

Chloe then gives herself time to work on the intriguing newspaper cutting in the archives, of the mysterious disappearance of Angel and how heartbroken her parents – Patrick and Maureen Kyle were and discovers more newspaper cuttings about a vigil and more and ends up plunging into investigative work herself as she reads how she wasn’t found. It observes grief and how everyone grieves differently, but also how hard and isn’t always understood compassionately by another who is different from you. I think there’s a lot that readers will be able to relate to in terms of loss and a sense of wanting to belong and a desire to reach the truth by character and reader really pierces through in the book as the secrets start to emerge.

It’s an all involving read that goes a quite a pace with some spine-chilling, evocative parts within it, especially in those final chapters, but ultimately it’s a story of one of the saddest books I’ve ever read, but a book that is a page-turner and one that I do think people will really like for all that is within it that compells the story always onwards.

The Imposter BT Poster