Friday, 9 March 2012

Books Read: Tess Stimson - The Wife Who Ran Away

Source - Received from PR company to review

Kate Forrest is invisible… 
Ned, the husband she adores, doesn’t seem to know she’s alive, and her two charming children have grown into stroppy adolescents. Her boss is suddenly shunting her towards career Siberia, and her demanding mother is never off the phone. With her fortieth birthday fast approaching, all Kate wants to do is run away from the lot of them. 

And so she does. 
On impulse, Kate walks out of her job, her family and her life, and gets on a plane to Italy. With no ties and no responsibilities, she soon finds herself deliriously caught up in La Dolce Vita.  But when the unthinkable threatens her family, Kate is brutally forced to choose between her past and the future. 

Can she ever truly escape the ties that bind?  And is that really what she wants?

Thank you to Sophie at Midas PR for sending me a copy of this book to review.

At times I'm sure that we've all felt like we're being taken for granted but could you just pick up and leave?  That's precisely what Kate does in this story.  Whilst out shopping on an errand for her mother, who then phones to say it's no longer needed, Kate is pushed to her limit and decides there and then to take up and leave with literally just the clothes on her back.

She heads to the  airport and books a flight to Rome and turns up on the doorstep of her old friend Julia.  However, because of her busy work life schedule it's two days before her family even notice that she's gone, they just assume that she's busy at work and didn't come home!

We soon find out that Kate has recently suffered a tragic miscarriage a couple of months previously that she's still coming to terms with, her husband has been gambling and lost a large sum of money which she's had to work hard to clear the debt as he's not been working much as a freelance journalist, her job is under threat by a new younger colleague, her children Guy and Agness expect to be waited on hand and foot, and her mother and sister expect her to pay everything for them too because she's earning good money.  Everyone wants a piece of her and there's not enough to go around...

Whilst in Italy she is literally swept off her feet by a young lover who likes her for being simply herself, not the busy career woman, wife, housekeeper, mum or daughter.  But will this last or is it just simply a perfect distraction to get over the troubles at home?  

The story is told from different viewpoints from events prior to the day Kate left and afterwards, and each character reliving events that contributed to Kate feeling put upon by the whole family.  There is a shocking sub-plot which was the bullying of son Guy and it was horrifying to read the things that were happening to him especially as it's likely to be happening in real-life to some child somewhere.. 

However,  when Guy disappears Kate realises that she needs to go home to try and help find him and face the impact her disappearing has had on all the family.  Will they find him before it's too late?  Is it too late to try and mend relationships with her family? And does she want to try and repair her marriage or leave and start a new life with her young lover?

This was a book that had me gripped from start to finish wanting to see how it all worked out in the end for Kate. 

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