Friday, June 11, 2021

Book Review: Waiting to Begin

By Sara Steven

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? (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

Waiting to Begin felt like a slow burn into chaos. At first, we’re given two different viewpoints from Bess; who she’d been at the age of sixteen, and who she is now. Sixteen-year-old Bessie is eager to grab life by both hands and live it to the fullest, certain of her future. Fifty-three-year old Bess is sitting within complacency, and it’s not unexpected to see someone middle-aged and wondering what happened to the last few decades of their life. Yet, I could feel an undercurrent of something sinister stirring beneath the surface of it all, just waiting for the bomb to hit. And, when it hits, it hits hard.

It’s astonishing how events from our past can dictate who we become in the future, and that is obvious here. Bess has been trying to find a way to live some sort of normalcy, carrying around not only the secrets from her youth, but memories that have led to what could be considered as post traumatic stress disorder. I really felt for Bess, considering that so much of what she’s gone through and dealt with was during a time when there weren’t many outlets in seeking out guidance or solace. Like a ripple effect, it extends out to nearly everyone in her life, destroying family, friends, and herself.

About three fourths of the way through, during a pretty epic scene between Bess and Mario, I couldn’t help but feel emotional over witnessing a relationship that had appeared to be so strong, but as Mario points out at one point, he’d fallen for someone else. The Bess he was allowed to see, is not the person he’s married to. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted a couple to stay together as much as I rooted for Bess and Mario. 

I felt drawn to the characters within Waiting to Begin. Whether Bess and Mario, or Bess and her children, or Bess and her childhood friends--they were all written in such a way that you instantly feel as though they exist in reality, and I wanted nothing but the best for all of them. The deep-rooted connections made the scenes stand out, and I wanted to see what would happen for Bess, if she could truly be honest with herself and with those who love her, giving her the chance to finally move on. This was a moving five-star experience!

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US * Amazon UK

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 panelist 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...

Visit Amanda online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

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

Visit all the stops on Amanda's blog tour:

No comments: