The woman who upped and left by Fiona Gibson.
Published in February 2016 by HarperCollinsPublishers (AVON).
Available to buy on Amazon in multiple formats (e-book/paperback).
‘Forget about having it all. Sometimes you just want to leave it all behind.
Audrey is often seized by the urge to walk out of her house without looking back – but she can’t possibly do that. She is a single parent. She is needed. She has a job, a home, responsibilities, not to mention a slothful teenage son’s pants to pick up. But no one likes being taken for granted – Audrey least of all. So the time has come for drastic action.
And no one’s going to stand in her way….’
After a quick glance at the blurb, I did the ultimate sin by judging a book by its cover. Straight away I assumed that it would be about a woman who leaves…everything…forever. But I was wrong! With it being the very first time I had ever read one of Fiona Gibson’s books, I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of style and quite clearly the content!
After reading the first paragraph about pants, you might find that you’re nodding in agreement because of how relatable the scenario you’re imagining is. Fiona Gibson nailed the relatable factor straight away because of the teenage circumstances that can happen every day, or so I’m told!
The main character whose life you follow in the story, is called Audrey. Audrey had some heartache as a young child due to her parents and the lack of stability that her childhood was given by them. She is a 40-something, divorced woman who lives with her teenage son in a house she rents from her friend. Judging by the second chapter, Audrey takes a personal ‘liking’ (a man) to motorways in her free time from working two jobs. Her main job is working as a dinner lady, a job she has carried out for ten years, one that is about to send her on an amazing venture.
Audrey finds herself able to take an opportunity of a lifetime for HER, not her son, or her friends. Something she is able to proud of. Unfortunately, it turns out that the opportunity wasn’t going to be as relaxing or personal as Audrey might have hoped. Not only has she left her incapable, circus loving teenage son to fend for himself, it seems that he landed himself in a bit of a pickle whilst trying to do so! When Audrey returns from the trip, she is bombarded with problems to do with her family, her second job AND some truths to do with her motorway man. Unfortunately, some problems may be some you and I have had to deal with throughout our years, but that’s what makes it so real.
The issues that Fiona Gibson has written about in the book are raw, real life problems, which is what makes the novel such a relatable read. Fiona Gibson captures the heart of Audrey in such a way that you are living her life alongside her, and I found myself getting annoyed when Audrey did! Personally, I found the book to be such a warm and humorous read. Many times I laughed out loud at the weird and wonderful things Audrey got up to, or the situations she found herself in with her friends, family and colleagues. The one liners and comeback’s Fiona Gibson managed to give her characters were a work of art, so well thought out that I could actually imagine them saying it.
I am so pleased I came across Fiona Gibson and her modern writing. The book was a breath of a fresh air because it was real. The situations weren’t all sunshine and flowers, but because of that, so many people will be able to agree and relate to them. Despite the hurdles that had to be jumped over, there were many wonderful things happening which genuinely brought smiles to my face. It is definitely worth a read if you fancy a light-hearted book to snuggle up in bed with after a hard day, or just because you want to read, of course. This might have been the first of Fiona Gibson’s books I have read, but it certainly will not be the last!