Once upon a time, Jacks Morgan had dreams. She was going to have a successful career and travel the world. She would own a house on the beach, and spend long nights with her boyfriend strolling under the stars.
But life had other ideas.
First Martha came along, then Jonty. Then Jacks' elderly mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and had to move in. Now their little terrace in Weston-super-Mare is bursting at the seams. Jacks' dreams were put on hold long ago.
But if she can save up enough to give her teenage daughter a bright future, then all her sacrifice will be worth something... won't it?
Amanda Prowse is a relatively new author to me and when I read the synopsis for her latest novel Perfect Daughter something stuck a cord with me and I couldn’t wait to try another book by this author and having finished this book now I have to say I wasn’t disappointed and it has to be my favourite one by this author so far.
Jacks has a less than glamorous life, juggling looking after her two children Martha and Jonty as well as being a full time carer to her mother who has Alzheimer’s it doesn’t leave room for a life of her own. Her life has turned out completely different from what she dreamed of and so she is determined to insure that her daughter Martha has a bright future.
I was sat all day absorbed by this book, the author has taken a number of topics from Alzheimers to difficult family dynamics which many readers will be able to relate to which makes this book such a realistic read. The characters were each so well developed and they each brought something different to the storyline. Little Jonty brings a touch of humour to lighten the storyline at times, Pete is a rock to Jacks even if at times she doesn’t realise it and he is such an easy character to love and as more of his back ground was revealed I loved him even more.
Jacks and her mum both pulled at my heart strings for many reasons from their relationship with each other which I could 100% relate to, also the feeling of Jacks feeling so low and worthless and looking to the life she could have had and also having her silver lining pulled from beneath her. It was heartbreaking to see her so low which then didn’t allow her to see that what she already has is what really matters and that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. I also feel that the way the author wrote about the constant care and demand on looking after someone with Alzheimers was delivered with such detail and grace.
The chapters alternate between the present day and nineteen years earlier when Jacks was younger and this worked perfectly for this storyline, as we get to see a part of Jacks’s background we can then see why she was keen to push Martha to do well in school and make something of her life and in a way live the life she didn’t have through her daughter.
This was simply a stunning read that was so beautifully written with characters you love and want to wrap up in cotton wool. You will be reaching for the tissues one minute and chuckling away with Jonty the next.