About the Book
Lizzie is fast approaching 50. Her once angst ridden teenage daughters, now grown and in their twenties, have flown the nest, Cassie to London and Maisy to Australia. And, although Connor, Lizzie’s sulky, surly teenage son, is now on his own tormented passage to adulthood, his quest to get there, for the most part, is a far quieter journey than that of his sisters. The hard years, Lizzie believes, are behind her.
At the centre of this book is 50-year-old Lizzie Lemalf, an author juggling the demands of her writing career along with those of her husband, children, parents and other extended family members. I did not realise that these characters also featured in Jordan’s earlier book 183 Time a Year. While this book can definitely be read as a standalone, I wish I had read the earlier book first to gain a better understanding of the characters.
With a cast of multi-generational characters, we experience the highs and lows, as well as the serious and ridiculous aspects of family life. The books is an emotional one with a liberal dose of humour added in. I found myself laughing out loud at moments – especially Lizzie’s reaction to Oliver – and also crying. Yes, there were tears. Tears of the snotty nose variety. Ultimately, this is an uplifting story, so even knowing the tough times were on the horizon, I was confident that the family would pull through.
While set in the present day, we get a glimpse of what life was like for Lizzie’s parents. In the book, Lizzie’s publisher mentions she should consider writing about her father’s experiences, and I wish Eva Jordan would consider this. I would love to read more about Salocin, Elle, Teddy and Marie.
Cassie aside, there is much to recommend about this well written account of families today. The families formed by blood and those formed by bonds of friendship and love.