Wednesday, 16 October 2019

The Family Gift by Cathy Kelly Blog Tour

I've always been a lover of books, I don't really have a favourite genre or even a most read author, I just love a great story and that is just what Cathy Kelly's latest novel The Family Gift is. I was lucky enough to have the chance to join this blog tour, which meant receiving an advanced reading copy, and now I get to share my thoughts with all of you.

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Freya Abalone has a big, messy, wonderful family, a fantastic career, and a new house.

But that's on the outside.

On the inside, she's got Mildred - the name she's given to that nagging inner critic who tells us all we're not good enough.

And now Freya's beloved blended family is under threat. Dan's first wife Elisa, the glamorous, manipulative woman who happily abandoned her daughter to Freya and Dan's care and left the country, has elbowed her way back into their lives.

But Freya knows that when life gives you lemons, you throw them right back.

Can Freya put her family - and herself - back together?

What Cathy Kelly has created here, is a book perfect for this time of year because it is ultimately very warming.

Told entirely from Freya's point of view, this is a tale of families, friendships and ultimately real life goings on.

The story begins with a house move.

A change of location (not far down the road) but this new home has walls, tall walls, that in Freya's mind will keep all danger out and leave her family to remain safe behind them.

You see a few months prior to this Freya Abalone was involved in a mugging and this horrific event left her fearful, angry and unable to truly move on.

Social media portrays something different. A confident, care-free chef who is living what others would see as the perfect life.

However, this is a woman who is fiercely independent and ultimately she believes that her problems don't trump those around her so whilst she continues to battle these anxieties by herself - with the help of sleeping pills - she plows on trying to juggle family life and everyone else's problems.

The saying, 'don't believe everything you see and hear', comes to mind.

What does family mean to you?

Freya's father has had a debilitating stroke and her mother is trying to cary on being his primary carer but it isn't just him because she also has her cantankerous ancient father in law and her elderly mother to keep out of trouble. Then there's Scarlett, Freya’s sister, who is falling into depression and debt due to endless IVF treatments that have not worked, that situation has reached boiling point because she and her husband have now suddenly separated despite from the outside being the ideal couple.

Freya wants to help everyone.

She also needs to finish or should I say start on her latest recipe book (did I mention she's a famous chef) but writers block has well and truly set in.

Oh and just one more problem to add to the list, Elisa. Her daughter Lexi's biological mother is back on the scene. What are her motives? Is she back to ruin Freya's family?

This book is filled with drama and despair yet when reading it I felt a certain comfort.

Cathy Kelly has managed to create a little piece of magic.

Each chapter begins with a little nugget of wisdom, a small quote to inspire positivity as well as wise words from Freya's inner voice Mildred. As Freya navigates her way through the trials and tribulation place in front of her, as the reader I felt my mood changing with hers.

By the end of the novel I felt a real joy.

The Family Gift is a really lovely story which is both compassionate and humorous. It is a story of life and change and knowing to accept when things can't be changed and you simply need to learn to adapt, to roll with the punches.

A real feel-good read.

If you like the sound of this book from my review, I recommend you follow the rest of the blog tour outlined below for more reviews and insights.

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