My mum introduced me to Amanda Prowse and I began by reading What have I done? quickly followed by Clover's Child. I'm a fan of Jodi Picoult and Diane Chamberlain and if you are too then I think you'll love Amanda Prowse's novels too. And what's more she is home ground talent for all of us here in the UK.
In the two novels of hers that I've read so far I'm noticing themes of hope, redemption and grace. They don't offer perfect endings, but they do offer a happier ending than might have been and I felt I was left to believe that the characters had grown along the journey and there was an optimism for their future as I turned the last page.
What Have I done? tells the story of Kathryn, the wife of a headmaster in private school. She appears to have the picture perfect life and family, but looks can be deceiving. For behind closed doors and in private, Kathryn is living a nightmare. A nightmare she decides to escape from by taking a drastic step. Whilst Kathryn is released from her living nightmare and daily terror, her children struggle to come to terms with the reality that their perfect family was not perfect at all. And the man they called father was not who they thought he was.
I couldn't put this book down once I got started. It was at times an uncomfortable read as it dealt with the difficult subject of domestic violence and abuse. Rather than feed the common perception that doemstic violence is something that happens to those in less priveledged positions, Amanda Prowse paints a convincing picture of how even those we look up to and aspire to be can have dark secrets. This was a novel that despite it's hard-hitting topic managed to warm my soul as I followed Kathryn's transition to Kate.
Clover's Child deals with love and racism in the 1960s. When Dot meets Sol they fall in love, plan to marry and then live out their days in Sol's ancestrial home in St Lucia. However, in 1960s London racist attitudes are prevalent and East End girls don't go marry men of colour. And so, both Dot and Sol are forced to live the lives that their parents envisage for them even if it brings loneliness.
Amanda Prowse captures both a convincing picture of how we would like love to be and also the reality of a love that can be found through working at it and making a choice to love. At times it was a hard read emotionally and very moving. We particularly follow Dot and see her strength of character mature, recognising that love is not always teh heady passion she had with Sol, but satisfication and contentment can be had in two people choosing to love each other and making it work. I think that we need to remember that love is a verb, it is something we do and a choice we make.passionate love is not sustatinable, although Dot and Sol do not get the chance to test this theory, and when it fades we are left with the choice to love. We can choose to love a person and it is those actions of love that can bind us to another person and help love to deepend.
You can purchase both books via Amazon.
What Have I done? Kindle Edition
What Have I done? Paperback Edition
Clover's Child Kindle Edition
Please note that these are affiliate links.
Have you read any Amanda Prowse books? Which has been your favourite?
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