Wednesday 24 November 2021

The Imperfect Art of Caring by Jessica Ryn Blog Tour

 Last November I had the pleasure of reading a novel by at the time a debut author, who I was also lucky enough to call my friend, that novel was The Extraordinary Life of Dawn Brightside.  And the writer, none other than Jessica Ryn.

I'm now even more excited to say that this is my spot on the blog tour for her latest release, The Imperfect Art of Caring. 

Before I share more detailed thoughts on the book I'll say this . . . prepare to feel everything!


One small act can make a big difference.

Violet Strong is strong by name but not by nature, or so she thinks. She listens but never talks about herself. She’s friendly but doesn’t have many real friends. She’s become good at keeping people at a distance ever since she left home at eighteen and never looked back.

But when Violet is forced to return home to care for her estranged mother Glenys, she quickly finds out that life as a carer isn’t easy. Feeling overwhelmed, she’s forced to turn to the other local carers, including childhood friend Adam, for help. Although returning home still feels like a mistake, maybe it will help Violet right some wrongs. After all, she can’t keep running from her past forever, and in learning to look after others, perhaps Violet can start to finally love herself.

This begins as a story about Violet Strong. A woman, who never quite got her dream life, returning to her hometown to care for her estranged mum Glenys. 

Not something that she'd choose to do willingly but when her sister Jodie moves half way across the world, she is left with no choice but to face her past.

But how it begins is not how it continues.

After keeping her distance from so many people throughout her life, Violet now finds herself facing not only her mother but so many other past friends and acquaintances that she thought she'd left behind.

What we learn early on is that Violet lacks confidence and self esteem. After events in her past, she has been left feeling as if she doesn't deserve true happiness. She considers herself 'bad news'. My heart instantly went out to her. I wanted to grab her and give her a huge cuddle whilst telling her that the how she perceives herself is not a true reality.

As the story moves forward we are introduced to a wonderfully quirky cast of characters. Each with their flaws and their own stories to tell.

These include Tammy (I definitely had a soft spot for her), Adam, who happens to be Violet's first love and Mrs R, all of whom arm residents of her mum's house which in recent years has been turned into four separate flats.

The question is can Violet learn to accept her mistakes are just that mistakes as she navigates her way through her new life as a carer?

It's no surprise that the overriding theme of this book is centred around caring.

What I really liked was how realistic it was. There was a detailed knowledge of the difficulties faced, there was no shying away from the negative side of being a carer in order to make the story more upbeat.

Jess has a magic touch as an author, she makes you really think about your own actions in life as you read. Violet as a character highlights the biggest challenges and the awful loneliness that carers can face when they don't necessarily have larger support system in place. 

Family, friends and frustrations arise and as truths are spoken, lives change for the better. 

The Imperfect Art of Caring is a truly heart-warming and uplifting novel, showing us that it only takes a small gesture to make a huge difference to others.

A novel to make you have a more varied outlook on life, a story that simply makes you want to help someone, anyone.

Endearing and engaging. 100% recommended.

Do follow the rest of the tour for more insights into this meaningful tale.


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