Wednesday 9 March 2022

Guest Review: Waiting to Begin by Amanda Prowse

1984. Bessie is a confident sixteen-year-old girl with the world at her feet, dreaming of what life will bring and what she’ll bring to this life. Then everything comes crashing down. Her bright and trusting smile is lost, banished by shame—and a secret she’ll carry with her for the rest of her life.

2021. The last thirty-seven years have not been easy for Bess. At fifty-three she is visibly weary, and her marriage to Mario is in tatters. Watching her son in newlywed bliss—the hope, the trust, the joy—Bess knows it is time to face her own demons, and try to save her relationship. But she’ll have to throw off the burden of shame if she is to honour that sixteen-year-old girl whose dreams lie frozen in time.

Can Bess face her past, finally come clean to Mario, and claim the love she has longed to fully experience all these years?

Review: This is a story covering 37 years and focusing on two birthdays. It begins on Bessie’s 16th birthday, when she is excitedly waiting to find out her school exam results and meet up with her boyfriend later. Suddenly, in a matter of just a few hours, her world comes crashing down around her and she feels that nothing can be the same again. Then we see Bessie, now Bess, on her 53rd birthday. She has been married to Mario for thirty years and has two grown-up children. The dreams she had of becoming an air hostess were shattered by events all those years ago. She is unhappy, her relationship with her husband is strained and she knows it is all because of what happened and the fact that she has kept it hidden from everyone since. If she is to save her marriage and herself, she knows what she must do.

This was a truly emotional story that will surely have the reader’s heart breaking for Bess and the hard decisions she had to make, firstly at such a young age and then after having had a burden kept inside for such a long time. The situations and indeed the characters in the book were totally believable. I liked the way in which the story is told, switching between the past and the present until the whole truth is revealed. Bess had just one ally who knew the whole story, and sadly even that relationship had been damaged by the need to keep the secret. There are some lighter moments in the story, particularly involving Bess’s parents, who are marvellously supportive of their daughter; I loved the fact that her mother was ready with a cheese and tomato sandwich in any situation. I can recommend this well written and moving story with a central character and events that many readers will relate to, and which will draw you in from the very beginning.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

No comments:

Post a Comment