Lizzie Buckley had it all - a huge house, handsome husband James and 2 beautiful twin children Ellie and Alex. But when Lizzie accidentally sends a moaning email meant for sister Janie in Australia to her husband, her life starts to fall apart around her. James doesn't want her anymore, she's left in a grotty cottage with 2 toddlers, no money, no job and feels very alone.
Lizzie is determined to win James back, so sets about getting a new body and career thanks to best friend Tessa, hoping it's enough to get James to fall back in love with her again. But is it all too little, too late to the couple? And was Lizzie really just the wrong sort of wife?
I first saw this book in the library where I work on the new releases shelf, so I knew I was going to get around to reading it at some point! The striking black, white and pink cover makes it stand out on the shelf from some of the more wishy-washy covers out there, so its definitely got that going for it! This is Elise Chidley's debut novel (which goes by the title of Your Roots Are Showing in the US) and what a brilliant debut it is too. Chidley has another book coming out last this year and I'm definitely going to be getting a copy of that as soon as it's released!
Anyway, back to this book. It immediately draws you straight into the story with Lizzie moving into her new cottage with the children all alone, and the break down of her marriage being hinted at. We aren't told immediately what happened between the pair (although it is on the blurb on the back of the book!) but the build-up to this is very well written and kept my attention. The story has little flashbacks throughout the book to happier times for James and Lizzie, so it sets the scene in your mind for the pair and makes you hope that they will get back together again as they seem such a lovely couple!
Lizzie is such a normal character, you can't help but love her. Anyone who has a toddler at home, let alone twins, will be able to relate to everything that happens to Lizzie in this book and she seems so down to earth, it's very refreshing! To really get into a book, I have to care about and like the main character, and Chidley has definitely delivered on both of these counts for me. James was the character I disliked, but didn't quite want to for some reason! His behaviour was bad, but because you could see why he did it, it didn't seem quite so bad... but because I loved Lizzie so much, I had to dislike him a little bit! Bruno was a real cad - I didn't like him from the minute he came into the book but couldn't put my finger on why! Tessa and Maria are Lizzie's lovely friends and are good supporting characters, albeit somewhat irregular throughout the book.
The book travels between Kent and Gloucestershire, and through various times of course, and it's very well written. Chidley clearly visited both places before writing this book because she brings both places to life with her vivid descriptions of the surrounding towns, countryside and the glorious mansion of James' parents. She uses such beautiful language that it puts the place straight into your mind and you can imagine you are in there with James and Lizzie watching the action happen before your eyes. Chidley writes with such ease it is just a pleasure to read, and the third person narrative works so well for the purpose of the story, yet we still feel right in there with Lizzie, which goes to show how talented Chidley is.
As you can probably tell, I really loved this book. It is well-written, there are a good few twists and turns in there to keep you hooked, although I would have been without these anyway! I loved the characters, they are all believable people who I came to care about and consequently I couldn't put the book down. I loved the day to day life of Lizzie which I could totally relate to as a mother of a 3 year old, and the friendships in the book were ones I wished I could have! There were some real laughs in there as well as parts to make you well up with tears - this book has it all! It'll leave you hoping for a happy ending, and you'll eagerly be turning the pages to get there, and find yourself so disappointed that its ended! This is definitely a super book, and I would recommend it for a great read, not just for summer but any time of the year.