Goodness,Grace and Me by Julie Houston.
When Harriet’s husband, Nick, throws in his safe, but boring job in order to set up a new business during the current recession, Harriet is distraught. More so when she realises Amanda, her and best friend Grace's old enemy from school is back in their lives. Amanda, it turns out, is Nick’s new boss’s wife and, because of her legal and language skills, will be accompanying Nick on his business trips to Italy. How will Nick not succumb to the ruthless charms of the utterly gorgeous Amanda once he’s away from Yorkshire and in glamorous Milan? Knowing Nick is being seduced is bad enough, but when Grace falls madly in love with Sebastian, Amanda’s precious, much younger son, it can only mean trouble ahead. Determined to fight for her man, Harriet’s seduction techniques go into overdrive. Unfortunately she is hampered in her attempts by two bolshy teenagers, an increasingly eccentric mother and a job teaching horrible children. Not to mention something very strange going on at the bottom of her garden! Can Harriet save her marriage, and also her friendship with Grace? And what will happen if Nick’s new venture fails, especially now that the one thing Harriet has not even considered in all this mess appears to be staring her right in the face…?
I always enjoy reading a book by a new author and Julie Houston's book did not disappoint. One of the first things I noticed was the book is slightly larger than usual with an almost laminated cover, the bright white paper and good sized black type inside made this an easy read for someone like me who reads into the wee small hours of the night.
Harriet's life has changed since her husband lost his business,she has had to go back to teaching full time and her mother in law has moved in taking over the best part of the house to help pay the bills which has rescued them from having to selling it. Nick has taken a job he is not happy with but needs and Harriet just knows he's about to throw it away to go into business with a man she's been advised not to trust. It only get worse when she finds out that Nick's potential business partner's wife Amanda is a face from her past she would rather not see again. With two teenagers and a five year old thrown into the mix it's no wonder life is hectic for Harriet.
There is so much going on in this book. Harriet and Grace's friendship, Grace's struggle to have a baby, a mother who is becoming stranger by the day and a husband who may be having an affair with her nemesis.
I laughed my way through this book from bonfires and girl's nights out to problems with parents and a neighbour with binoculars. It has the right mix of believable fun and sincerity.
Harriet is a wonderful character,someone you could imagine you would be friends with. She is so scared that if things go wrong in her husband's new venture that this time they will loose everything.
There were lots of funny lines from the children in Harriet's class at school and I would have loved to have heard more from them. There are many life changing events in this book and a few brought tears to my eyes.
I absolutely loved the ending and also the last chapter telling us what was happening after six months has passed.
A little bird tells me that Julie Houston is now writing a sequel and I can't wait to find out where Harriet and Grace and their families are now.
The author has showed herself to be great at writing comedy but also a sensitive writer when the storyline calls for it. This book is well worth a read and will cheer you up after a hard day Christmas shopping.
Thanks go to the author who sent me a copy of her book in return for an honest review.