This book did the impossible – it left me speechless. For a few days after finishing it I had to sit still and find some words which would be fitting enough to talk about this epic book. This story will consume you, it will tug on all of your heartstrings and will leave you feeling like you’ve experienced something. You know when you leave the cinema after watching a great film and you can’t think about anything else for days – this is how you will feel with this book.
If you are longing for a powerful story which will be on your mind for days after you finish it – please read this.
Waiting to Begin
From the bestselling author of The Girl in the Corner comes a story that asks: what would you risk for a shot at happiness?
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?
Here’s my review
Amanda Prowse has a fabulous gift – she can make readers of her stories cry, laugh and get so invested with her characters they feel like close friends by the end. I don’t think I have had such an emotional attachment to a female character like the one I had with Bess for a long time. I wanted to reach out and hug teenager Bessie for what she endured. This is a sign of how good this book is – I felt the weight of her secret. We all carry pots of shame from the past around with us and at times they can get so heavy. I could also relate to her in the present day being visibly weary too and trying to make sense of her life, her marriage and her past.
The interactions between Bess and her family are so interesting. Amanda Prowse captures the family dynamics perfectly and you can sense this dark undercurrent of past issues, grievances and resentment bubbling away under the surface.
I loved the story alternating between two timelines of Bess at sixteen and at fifty-three. They just made connect with Bess even more.
I thought Mario, Bess’s husband, was so well written. His character arc was great. By the end I was such a Mario fan. He has some great lines especially where he recognises Bess and he ‘got lost somewhere along the line’, how they are ‘two different people now to the ones who waltzed up the aisle all those years ago’ and when he tells Bess he’s proud of her. Oh, God, Mario – YES!
This story keeps on giving right into the Epilogue. I swear every time I put down my box of tissues, Amanda Prowse had a wicked twinkle in her eye and created some more emotional parts of the story for me.
It was only until the very end I understood the title of this book. Very fitting.
Amanda Prowse – amazing work!
Purchase Link – http://bit.ly/WaitingToBegin_UK
Author Bio – Amanda Prowse is an International Bestselling author whose twenty seven novels and seven novellas have been published in dozens of languages around the world. Published by Lake Union, Amanda is the most prolific writer of bestselling contemporary fiction in the UK today; her titles also consistently score the highest online review approval ratings across several genres. Her books, including the chart topping No.1 titles ‘What Have I Done?’, ‘Perfect Daughter’, ‘My Husband’s Wife’, ‘The Girl in the Corner’, ‘The Things I Know’ and ‘The Day She Came Back’ have sold millions of copies across the globe.
A popular TV and radio personality, Amanda is a regular panellist on Channel 5’s ‘The Jeremy Vine Show’ and numerous daytime ITV programmes. She also makes countless guest appearances on BBC national independent Radio stations including LBC and Talk FM, where she is well known for her insightful observations and her infectious humour. Described by the Daily Mail as ‘The queen of family drama’ Amanda’s novel, ‘A Mother’s Story’ won the coveted Sainsbury’s eBook of the year Award while ‘Perfect Daughter’ was selected as a World Book Night title in 2016.
Amanda’s ambition is to create stories that keep people from turning the bedside lamp off at night, great characters that ensure you take every step with them and tales that fill your head so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades…
Praise for Amanda Prowse:
‘A powerful and emotional work of fiction’ – Piers Morgan
‘Deeply moving and emotional, Amanda Prowse handles her explosive subjects with delicate skill’ – Daily Mail
‘Uplifting and positive, but you will still need a box of tissues’ – Hello!
‘A gut-wrenching and absolutely brilliant read’ – The Irish Sun
‘You’ll fall in love with this…’ – Cosmopolitan
‘Deeply moving and eye opening. Powerful and emotional drama that packs a real punch.’ – Heat
‘Magical’ – Now magazine
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