Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Instructions For Bringing Up Scarlett by Annie Sanders (fiction, 10E/10E)

July 2012, Orion
352 pages, Paperback
Review copy

Themes: bonds of families, different family values, different social circles affecting life choices, finding that you can do things you never imagined, dealing with heartbreak, learning to be a mother, hardship of not being able to conceive, feeling alone, ditzy friend with a few hatable habits eclipsed by her energy, journaling, discovering what you really want in life, dealing with dementia & meningitus, a few brief moderate adult situations, occasional inuendo, occasional swearing, tragedy, heartbreak, grief, lots of tissues needed especially in last 100 pages

Summary from Orion

It's not the promises we make that count, it's the ones we keep...

Alice is living the life she always dreamed of: a travel guide writer, her life is one of carefree adventure, with no ties, no constraints and no worries.

Virginia finally has everything she ever wanted. The loving husband, the beautiful daughter and the successful career. Life hasn't always been easy, but she knows that her family can weather any storm.
They have been best friends since university - so much so that Virginia trusts Alice with all she holds dearest. Then tragedy strikes, and Alice finds she must honour a rash promise she made to her friend. It's then she discovers that it can be the people you think you know best who hold the most closely guarded secrets...

Nayuleska's thoughts
I love this book! I'd braced myself for more adult content, especially with Alice but it wasn't like that. It was mostly a doors closed policy. I loved Alice more than I expected. She is free and easy but she has her own worries, especially with Scarlett on the scene. I figured out some of the end, but was really touched by little moments between Scarlett & Alice. The change of Alice's feelings about Scarlett was a pleasure to read and made my heart happy. I think every reader will identify with the aspects of life explored in the story, I certainly had a few things clarified by both Alice & Scarlett.

I enjoyed the style of the book switching from Virginia's past to Alice's present. It gave an insight into what Scarlett had gone through. Virginia finds a beautiful way to convey her thoughts in life, which are also the source of a big misunderstanding at the end. She suffers a lot because of her husband's family. I felt really sorry for her. Scarlett. She is so quiet, it's a relief when she does rebel. I like the part in the shoe shop - Alice starts to learn how tricky being a mother is. Scarlett does rebel which causes a lot of anxiety for Alice, but Scarlett's showdown helps everyone in the end. I needed lots of tissues for this 10/10 read.

You can find out more on the Annie Sanders' (who is actually 2 authors) website.

Suggested read
For another book on parenting try Daughters by Elizabeth Buchan

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