Posted 20 hours ago

Mothers and Daughters: From the Sunday Times bestselling author comes the most captivating new family drama of 2022

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I’ve been reading Erica James novels for over 20 years – hers were the first adult books I ever read, and her books are always fun and enjoyable.

She and her husband have been trying to start their family but, after almost a year, nothing has happened. Her eldest daughter, Martha, is sensible and determined - just like her father was - and very much in control of where her life is going. Whilst the three women share a very close relationship, there are things that are kept hidden, especially by Naomi.The youngest and the most indecisive, who drifts along in life not really having a focus of what she wants to do. Ms James has the knack of making her characters feel real – as I said I have read her books for years and still remember the names and personality of some of them. The initial struggles are interesting as both Martha and Naomi are strong and know what they want in life, Martha desperately wants a baby whilst Naomi is concerned how her children will react to meeting her new boyfriend. A keen gardener herself, Erica lives in Suffolk and has a fondness for Lake Como, Formula One motor racing and travel.

Family, sibling rivalry, fertility, infidelity, domestic violence, narcissism and finding happiness were a few of the subjects which were intertwined throughout the story. In that way it’s quite slow paced, a gentle lumber through the countryside on a warm spring day; the odd cloud blowing up, but subsiding without too much of a chill. I feel I’ve been on a writing journey with Erica as her style developed through her earliest books into something quite special.Naomi meets her new neighbour, Ellis, who is actually an old acquaintance, and thinks that now is the time to move past the death of her husband, Colin, and have Ellis by her side.

She was also her father’s clear favourite whilst younger and more empathetic sister, Willow, was happy to drift along. The insecurity in relationships and hidden secrets means that the women are more connected than they realise, even when Willow and Martha are opposed to Naomi’s connection with Ellis.Thank you to everyone who wished me well yesterday, I can report that the cataract surgery was over in ten mind and didn't hurt.

Whilst there are some emotional issues explored in this story, I thought the ending was uplifting and optimistic. Erica is one of my all time go to authors, one whom my mum used to love and one of the first adult authors I ever read. Since her husband Colin died a couple of years ago, Naomi has quietly rebuilt her life in Anchor House in the coastal village of Tilsham. Naomi’s daughters are very different: Martha is determined and driven like her father, while Willow is a free spirit. Naomi and her daughters Martha and Willow are introduced; this is a powerful and dramatic storyline that is splendidly presented.Her eldest daughter, Martha, is sensible and determined – just like her father was – and very much in control of where her life is going. She tries to enlist Willows help who is not so sure and feels her mum should stay in their family home. Heartbroken, she flees London to go to Larkspur House in Suffolk to be with her great aunt Bess and the renown garden designer Elfrida Ambrose. The last 20% turns a bit more gritty, you do feel a storm cloud on the horizon, so it’s predictable and requires nothing more than a rain Mac and a huddle with a loved one under a tree to weather it out. Perhaps because Naomi is presented as so caring and selfless, in contrast to Willow and Martha’s sometimes selfish or erratic behaviours.

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