Monday, 28 May 2012

Book Review - 'Daughters' by Elizabeth Buchan

From the back cover:

It is a truth universally acknowledged that all mothers want to see their daughters happily settled.

But for Lara, mother to Maudie and stepmother to Jasmine and Eve, realizing this ambition is proving far from easy.

With Eve's upcoming wedding, Lara has enough to worry about, without also contending with an ex-husband embarking on a new marriage and the surprising, late-blooming developments in her own love life.

And when she begins to fear that Eve is marrying a man who will only make her unhappy, and Maudie reveals something that shocks the entire family, Lara faces the ultimate dilemma. Does she step in and risk the wrath of her daughters? Or does she stand by and watch them both make what she fears will be the biggest mistakes of their lives?

I had never heard of Elizabeth Buchan's work but one day in the supermarket (where I seem to buy too many books when I have only popped in for milk) I saw this book and the back grabbed my attention. The family set up seemed complex and the subject matter of life changes intrigued me.

The family set up is indeed complex and well explained. Lara meets Bill who has two daughters from a previous marriage and they marry and have a daughter of their own. When the marriage breaks down unusually Lara keeps her stepchildren and raises the three girls in her house. Because of the marriage breakdown and the children/stepchildren mix, the relationships can be difficult and tense. Lots of resentment, lots of old hurts and lots of honesty in the writing.

Most of the book is written from Lara's point of view (in third person) and it was enlightening and humbling to read from what I guess would be my mum's point of view. The heartache and worry you experience when your children are finding their way in the world is something I have not experienced yet but I thought of my mum often when reading.

The women in this book are the focal point but the men in their lives are obviously important. Their attitudes and the way they are portrayed isn't overly flattering (apart from Lara's new love interest) but I think maybe this was done to show how important the relationships with other women were in the character's lives. I might be wrong but that is my interpretation!

I am not sure I am 100% happy with some aspects of the ending but in truth, the ending is probably the most realistic. Once I was a few chapters in I was engrossed and I love a book that makes me think about my own life and relationships. You can learn more about Elizabeth Buchan's work here.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

ROW80 Check-in 27th May 2012

Ok, not a perfect week but a better week.

My goals are:
1) By 11th of June have a finished first draft of my WIP.
2) Test mile - 250 words a day. (1,750 words in a week)
3) Read two books a week for 100+ reading challenge (or as much as I can!).
4) Review one book a month.
Here is how my week has looked.

Wrote 301 words

Wrote 325 words

Wrore 253 words

Wrote 532 words

I am aware there are three days missing but am focusing on the positives! Since I wrote double my word count today let's count that as Thursday's words. I was away with my Unversity friends for the weekend and I could have written on the train so I have no excuse but I had an amazing time in the sun, drinking pimms and putting the world to rights so I am happy.

Word count total is.....1,411! 339 short of my goal but alot more words than previous weeks. I kind of made some sprints but often came in after they had started to just jumped in and made my presence known later! Love the sprints and hope to make some this week.

So goal wise...
1) I am getting there with my WIP and am on track to finish by the 11th of June.

2)  Writing on four days is an improvement but next week I am aiming for seven!

3) I am reading book number 37 but should be finishing book 42 so still ground to make up. After this week I am on a week's break from work so should have lots of reading time although my niece or nephew is due and let's face it, baby cuddling is more important!

4) Book review. Not done yet but still 4 more days of May.

Feeling much more positive this end and thank you so much for all your comments. I really do appreciate them. I hope everyone has had a productive and happy week :)

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Row80 Check-in 20th May 2012

One of these days my friends I am sure I will check-in and actually achieve all my goals. Like I used to....remember those good old days? Well this week hasn't seen much more success through one reason or another. On Monday I sat down and wrote 279 words and that is all I have written this week. Many reasons why, I won't bore you with them now but getting into the habit of daily writing is proving hard at the moment.

I have thought alot about why I am struggling to make myself sit down and write and yes work is busy but it is only going to get busier. I think it is because I am heading towards writing The End and I kind of know I am rushing it as well as heading into my first ever time editing something which terrifies me.

But I have a plan.

I have two more weeks of School and then a week off (side bar - when my niece or nephew is due!) and then after that the first few weeks of school are all consuming with reports to write for each child, sports' day to organise and practise for, parents evenings, new children visiting amongst other things! Therefore after said week off I am no doubt going to struggle to write but doesn't everyone say once you write The End you should leave your WIP alone for a while? So really that would be a natural break. So really I need to finish my WIP in the next three weeks.

I am DETERMINED to do this!!

It seems mad since my writing has been so patchy but I am putting it out there, declaring my intent and I know you will all be supportive and I really feel like I can do it!

So, my slightly changed goals (note the lack of exercise.....)

1) By 11th of June have a finished first draft of my WIP.
2) Test mile - 250 words a day. (1,750 words in a week)
3) Read two books a week for 100+ reading challenge (or as much as I can!).
4) Review one book a month.
I am reading book 36 of the year and technically should be finishing book number 40 today so a bit behind but still in the game!! I was thinking of reviewing Insurgent for my May book but I am sooooo worried about accidently spoiling it even if I am careful so I will pick another book.

Oooooh....I just realised it is my blog's first birthday on the 13th of June! Finishing my WIP before then would be a lovely birthday present!!

I hope everyone is fully in the swing of the round by now and I look forward to chekcing out how everyone is getting on!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

ROW80 13th May 2012

Well there isn't much to say but I thought I should check-in so I don't go completely off the rails!

Recap of goals:
1) By end of the round have a finished first draft of my WIP. 
2) Test mile - 250 words a day. (1,750 words in a week)
3) Read two books a week for 100+ reading challenge. 
4) Review one book a month. 
5) Exercise twice a week.  


Monday started well and I sat down and the words poured out so I wrote well above my test mile at 449 words.

On Tuesday I wrote 276 words so still met my test mile. But man, these words were hard to get down and seemed to take me ages but I persevered.

On Wednesday I was out and stayed out much later than expected so nothing was done. Then Thursday I was shattered from Wednesday and had work work to do in the evening. On Friday I was out and yesterday I was out. Gosh that just seems like a stream of excuses.

I must have had time to write as I read on these days but I just didn't. Sigh.

So I did write a tiny bit but not enough and I really am closing in on the end of my WIP so I can't work out why I am not more motivated. Maybe it is the fear of finishing and having to deal with editing. Who knows! But I hope this week I write more, at least my test mile everyday.

I am reading book 35 of my challenge (which is Insurgent by Veronica Roth which may be my book review this month, I am loving it already!) and I should be finishing book 38 today so I am a few behind but there is a lot of the year left!

Exercise. Let's not go there.

So very mixed bag week and I hope to get into a better routine this week.
I hope you have all had good weeks!!!

Monday, 7 May 2012

ROW80 Check-in (late!) 7th May 2012

Not a lot to report again. I feel I have lost my way slightly this round through one thing and another but I am going to get back on track. I REALLY AM!!!

Goals are as before:

1) By end of the round have a finished first draft of my WIP. 
2) Test mile - 250 words a day. (1,750 words in a week)
3) Read two books a week for 100+ reading challenge. 
4) Review one book a month. 
5) Exercise twice a week.  

Today is a new day and I am aiming to get back on track starting with my 250 words test mile. I haven't written in weeks since I got that bug and was wiped out for a week or so. My laptop is still poorly so good old pen and paper for me which is fine as I was writing in a notepad anyway the last couple of months.

I have read lots though although think I am still behind where I should be for the 100 books in a year challenge. I am currently reading book 33 of the year. As it is already May that seems further behind than I should be! Eeeeek! But there is time :) Must stay positive.

I hope everyone is doing well and I am sorry I have been so absent recently but without a laptop I am struggling as my phone can only do so much!!!

Fingers crossed next time I beg, borrow or steal a laptop I will have more to report!! Have a great week!