Book Review: The Wife Who Got A Life by Tracy Bloom

You know when you start reading a book and you think – this is a bit close to home?!?

Let me introduce you to Cathy Collins – she’s:

  • Late 40s – check
  • An accountant – check
  • Resident in the Birmingham area (well, close enough to go to her husband’s colleague’s house in Edgbaston – I’m assuming the nice bit, not the red light bit I lived in after my divorce in the late 90s) – check
  • One of three sisters, and one lives abroad – check

And for those of your not quite as spooked as me by this point – here is the blurb:

“Cathy Collins is a mum on a mission – to change her life. 
When her husband drops a midlife-crisis bombshell,
Cathy decides it’s time to take control. 
No more laundry, teenage tantrums or housework.
After years of putting herself last, she’s going to be first for a change. 
Cathy Collins is carving a new path, and nothing is going to get in her way… 
From No.1 bestselling author Tracy Bloom, The Wife Who Got a Life
perfectly captures the joyous chaos of family life.

Cathy’s sister who lives in California, sends her a motivational journal in which to record her goals for the year. Initially Cathy is incredibly reticent – as she doesn’t want to write down goals like ‘learn Mandarin / bake your own bread’ etc to not achieve them and then feel even more fed up. But then she decides upon some monthly goals that she will try and achieve which are very much hers:

JANUARY – Write the list!

FEBRUARY – Ditch Periods

MARCH – Ditch Cooking

APRIL– Get a Life Outside the Family, preferably with ‘Young’ People

MAY – Secure My Son’s Future – i.e. Put a Rocket Up His Arse

JUNE – Teach My Daughter How to Not Get Screwed Over by Relationships

JULY – Reduce My Carbohydrate Footprint

AUGUST – Agree Who Will Clean Mum and Dad’s Toilet

SEPTEMBER – Make the Necessary Announcements about the Menopause

OCTOBER – Have the Really, Really Important Chat with My Husband

NOVEMBER – Fall in Love Again

DECEMBER – Dance with Hugh Jackman

I am so with Cathy on these goals!! The book follows each month as Cathy ticks off each goal in turn.

She used the pill to ditch her periods – I had an endometrial ablation.

She contacted the local catering college to get someone to come and assist with family cooking – I employed a friend to do our cooking (RIP Mrs Patmore – although I should add she’s not dead, just relocated to Cornwall!)

The book is so well written and laugh out loud funny. I loved the book – and Cathy – right from the start. I guess I was always going to be onto a winner having so much in common – but it was ace!!

I had a smile to myself every time The Mustard Factory trendy working space was mentioned – clearly not based upon The Custard Factory in Digbeth in Birmingham, nope, not at all!!!

The book made me laugh a lot (teenage parties / first love) but also have a huge lump in my throat (neighbour battling cancer) – I guess the roller coaster is what makes a book so great. The writing about life with teenagers is so true to life – as with the extended family / friends / book club / colleagues – it was really great.

A massive thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my ARC – but I was slightly slack, due to an overload of books, and it was out at the end of April 2021 – so you can buy it immediately if you fancy it – and it’s only 99p on Amazon – result!

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