Maggie and Ibby make up a happy – if unconventional – family. After meeting at university, they now live in the village of Applecroft on the beautiful West Country coast.
Okay, so Ibby’s gay and prone to disastrous dates, while couples’ counsellor Maggie spends her days helping people with their relationship problems despite having no sex life of her own. Nevertheless, they’re devoted to bringing up teenage daughter Amelia – the result of a drunken one-night stand when they were students – in a stable and loving family.
Until a face from the past – in the form of hard-partying rock star Jordan Nash – disrupts their quiet lives. As Jordan struggles with his personal demons and old secrets are revealed, can Maggie and Ibby stay strong? Or will bringing back the past threaten all that they’ve built in the present?
Full length novel
This is a story about family, an unconventional but solid little family and their friends who are every bit as beloved. It's a story about losing yourself and finding yourself. A story about what makes a home and finding your home. It's a story about standing up for others and standing up for yourself. It's a story about acceptance and it is wonderfully written.
It was so easy to sink into this book and just forget that the characters weren't real.
Mags, Ibby, Melie, and Max, stole the show but Other Max, Nikki, Nat and Melie's friends each had their parts to play, and all felt like living breathing beings that left their mark.
The beginning of the novel effectively has two strands; one follows Mags, Ibby and their family and the other follows Jordan Nash.
Mags and Ibby are best friends who met at university.
They live together and they raise their daughter but they are not a couple.
Mags is single and not looking for love after her first love broke her heart and her subsequent relationships have been disastrous.
Ibby is gay and doesn't seem to be any more successful in the romance department than Mags.
Melie, their 13 year old daughter, is a typical teenage girl and is beautifully written. She's fierce and so grown up but also insecure and just a kid.
The three of them together are an awesome family that doesn't need anybody else (aka love interests for the parents) to function and be complete. They are complete and they're happy but there is always room for more.
Jordan Nash is a rockstar, front man of one of the UK's most famous bands and he's a cocaine loving broken mess of a human being at the beginning of the novel.
Lonely, friendless and completely burned out, he takes himself off to rehab and then begins to rebuild his life.
Eventually, you find out how Jordan Nash fits into the lives of Mags and Ibby and that is where the book really takes off.
Most of the twists and turns I guessed fairly easily but it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story but I'll admit there was one big twist I didn't see coming and didn't like very much (thus 4.5 stars instead of 5!)
I was invested in the relationships throughout the book and was routing for Mags and Ibby to find their happy ever afters but, to be honest, no matter how happy Mags and Ibby are with their respective partners, or how nicely everything was tied up in the end, for me, Mags and Ibby are freaking soul mates and that's what I loved most about this book. You don't need to be romantically attached to someone to love them fiercely. You don't have to be married or related by blood to be family.
Love is love: sexual, romantic, platonic, familial. And the world needs more love.
Basically, this book made me happy, warm, and joyful.
I think people should read it. Read it lots.
I love the cover. I love how it captures the sense of family and love that infuses the pages of the book.