Looking Back At August and Forward To September 2017

Firstly… I’m not sure how this post is going to look. The thirteen year old was acting very shifty last night when I took her to a sleepover. I realised this morning why… she’s took the laptop ( for Netflix no doubt ) Yep, there’ll be big trouble when she gets home! So excuse any dodgy formatting… I’m doing this on my phone! 

So this is it, summer holidays over and back to work tomorrow 😭. I’ve taken a few days off from blogging & social media this week to spend a bit time with the daughter – we’ve done theme parks, shopping, movie nights etc. She’s 13 almost, so it was nice to connect again. It feels a lot like she’s drifted away in the last few months… though I’m mighty pissed off with her right now! 

I set myself a challenge over the holidays to read 20 books and I managed 24! So I’m really pleased with that. Here’s some of the highlights. 


September is looking really busy and I’m lined up to take part in some fab blog tours and have some amazing sounding books to read. I’m particularly looking forward to these books! 


Autumn is the best time for reading I think, with crisp mornings and cosy evenings. September and Early October are beautiful here I Cumbria full of gorgeous colours. It really is my favourite time of year! So when I spotted @ canelo_co had an autumn themed photo challenge on Instagram, I had to join in! My first post combined day 1’s prompt of #Leaves and day 2’s prompt of #scarves 


If you want to follow me on Instagram, I’m @vicki_cosybooks and if you’re interested in Canelo’s challenge, here’s the details right here … 


So, August was a great month but I’m ready for September now I think. Give me a week or two though and I’m sure I’ll be moaning about having to go to work again! I’m off out soon, as I support in a club for people with Learning Disabilities on a Sunday, so apologies again if this post looks awful (I’m mostly worried about the images as I can’t format them on my phone!) I’ll be back later this afternoon to fix it once I’ve got my laptop back! 

#BookReview – The way Back To Us by Kay Langdale – @Hodderbooks

The way back to usSince their youngest son, Teddy, was diagnosed with a life-defining illness, Anna has been fighting: against the friends who don’t know how to help; against the team assigned to Teddy’s care who constantly watch over Anna’s parenting; and against the impulse to put Teddy above all else – including his older brother, the watchful, sensitive Isaac.

And now Anna can’t seem to stop fighting against her husband, the one person who should be able to understand, but who somehow manages to carry on when Anna feels like she is suffocating under the weight of all the things that Teddy will never be able to do.

As Anna helplessly pushes Tom away, he can’t help but feel the absence of the simple familiarity that should come so easily, and must face the question: is it worse to stay in an unhappy marriage, or leave? 

Published August 10th by Hodder & Stoughton (UK)  

It’s taken me forever to start this review. I had no idea where or how to begin. The Way Back To Us is such a touching  book, written with aching honesty and raw emotion, it feels as if nothing I can say can go anywhere near conveying how good it is.

I do not have a disabled child, and can not come close to knowing how it feels. I do work with families of severely disabled young adults though and what I can say is that I saw them in Anna. The weariness of the daily struggle and fight against the system, the intrusiveness of strangers flitting in and out of your life and making decisions, the loss of identity and becoming a ‘case’, the constant need to defend and justify oneself and the brutally honest fact of the unfairness of it all. I’ve seen it on the faces of others and I think that in this book, Kay Langdale gets it absolutely perfectly right.

The Way Back To Us tells the story of a family under incredible strain, and I found I had intense admiration for both Anna and Tom, parents of Teddy who lives with a life limiting and progressive illness. However, this is an incredibly frank account of the reality of  life with a disabled child, Anna and Tom are both flawed and while it’s easy to say “I wouldn’t be like that”, Kay Langdale manages to paint their faults in a way that the reader can understand and empathise with. I felt Anna’s frustration and anger at everyone, and felt Tom’s yearning to feel at ease. These character’s actions and feelings are not always pretty, but they are real and true.

The true star of this book though for me was Issac, Anna and Tom’s older child. The book includes chapters written from his perspective, and I found his voice utterly heart breaking. He takes on the responsibility of everyone’s happiness, silently watching out for his mother, always thinking of ways to include his brother, never asking for anything for himself. When the focus is on one child, out of necessity as it is in this story, it’s easy to forget the role that siblings play. I won’t lie, Issac made me cry, the quiet linchpin and peacemaker of the family with more wisdom than his years should allow.

The Way Back To Us is a beautifully told story of a fragile family searching to bring themselves back together as one. I took a lot from this book – Anna’s bristling at certain terms will definitely stick in my mind. I think the thing I take most of all though is a reminder that we can never know what other people are going through, defensiveness is a survival mechanism and the real barriers come from misunderstanding and miscommunication.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WWW Wednesday – 23rd August 2017

www wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Taking On A World Of Words to record and share our weekly reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?  

Currently Reading  

The way back to usI am a mess of tears on the train. Can’t remember the last time a book broke my heart so much… (Lucy Dillon on Away from You) Perfect for fans of Adele Parks and Maggie O’Farrell.

Since their youngest son, Teddy, was diagnosed with a life-defining illness, Anna has been fighting: against the friends who don’t know how to help; against the team assigned to Teddy’s care who constantly watch over Anna’s parenting; and against the impulse to put Teddy above all else – including his older brother, the watchful, sensitive Isaac.

And now Anna can’t seem to stop fighting against her husband, the one person who should be able to understand, but who somehow manages to carry on when Anna feels like she is suffocating under the weight of all the things that Teddy will never be able to do.

As Anna helplessly pushes Tom away, he can’t help but feel the absence of the simple familiarity that should come so easily, and must face the question: is it worse to stay in an unhappy marriage, or leave?

Published 10th August 2017 by Hodder (UK)  

I’m right between books at the minute – however I plan to start this on this afternoon. I’ve read some incredible reviews for it!

Recently Finished  

Another good reading week. I really liked them all, but I especially liked the charm and sheer happiness I got from Any Dream Will Do by Debbie Macomber. It was such a lovely, uplifting book! I also really enjoyed Broken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee and kicking myself a little at leaving it so long to read. It’s a creepy little book with a great twist!

Reading Next 

the pool houseSomeone lied. Someone died… 

This dark, twisting novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author Tasmina Perry will keep you on the edge of your seat. Perfect for everyone who’s been gripped by Showtime TV’s The Affair, Adele Parks’ The Stranger In My Home and J. P. Delaney’s The Girl Before. ‘Gripping… Great pace and brilliantly written. I loved it’ Daily Mail on The House on Sunset Lake

When you’re invited to spend summer in the Hamptons with a group of new friends, you agree – who wouldn’t? But then you realise you’re taking the place of another woman, a woman who died in mysterious circumstances, just the summer before. Your housemates tell you her death was an accident. But which of them has something to hide?

Published 7th September 2017 by Headline  

I was lucky enough to find a copy of this on Amazon Vine. I haven’t heard a great deal about it as yet, but the one or two reviews I have read are very positive! I want to fit it in while we can sort of say it’s summer.

So, how’s your reading week been?