Picking up the Pieces

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Pub Date 10 Jan 2023 | Archive Date 24 Jan 2023
Amazon Publishing UK, Lake Union Publishing

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In this heart-warming story from million copy bestselling author Amanda Prowse, Nora has given up on finding happiness. But has it been waiting for her all along?

As Nora and her British Army officer husband, Gordy, pack up yet another home and leave the sun of Cyprus for the drizzle of England, she can’t shake a feeling of regret—at her failure to follow her own dreams, but also, if she’s honest, at having ended up an officer’s wife at all, drifting through a life of temporary homes and temporary relationships.

Since losing her parents at a young age, Nora’s life has been lacking an anchor: someone or something to make her feel secure. Her marriage has been her only permanent relationship, and just as even that appears to be fizzling out, a tragedy forces Nora into the role of legal guardian to her seven-year-old nephew, Ted. Faced suddenly with a responsibility she never dreamed of, how can Nora possibly offer the boy the kind of unconditional love he deserves, when she’s never experienced it for herself?

But as she navigates the precarious and unfamiliar world of parenthood, Nora begins to see herself through Ted’s eyes, as someone worthy of love and even joy. When she’s welcomed into the previously intimidating huddle of mums at the school gate, she has to wonder: is it too late to smash down the other barriers she’s built—and to have a second chance at a happy marriage with Gordy?

In this heart-warming story from million copy bestselling author Amanda Prowse, Nora has given up on finding happiness. But has it been waiting for her all along?

As Nora and her British Army officer...

A Note From the Publisher

Amanda Prowse is an international bestselling author of twenty-eight novels published in dozens of languages. Her chart-topping titles What Have I Done?, Perfect Daughter, My Husband’s Wife, The Coordinates of Loss, The Girl in the Corner and The Things I Know have sold millions of copies around the world. Other novels by Amanda Prowse include A Mother’s Story, which won the coveted Sainsbury’s eBook of the Year Award. Perfect Daughter was selected as a World Book Night title in 2016, and The Boy Between (a memoir written with her son, Josiah Hartley) was selected in 2022. She has been described by the Daily Mail as ‘the queen of family drama’.

Amanda is the most prolific writer of bestselling contemporary fiction in the UK today. Her titles consistently score the highest online review approval ratings across several genres.

A popular TV and radio personality, Amanda is a regular panellist on Channel 5’s Jeremy Vine show, as well as featuring on numerous daytime ITV programmes. She also makes countless guest appearances on national and independent radio stations, including LBC and talkRADIO, where she is well known for her insightful observations and infectious humour.

Amanda’s ambition is to create stories that keep people from turning off the bedside lamp at night, that ensure you walk every step with her great characters, and tales that fill your head so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades…

Amanda Prowse is an international bestselling author of twenty-eight novels published in dozens of languages. Her chart-topping titles What Have I Done?, Perfect Daughter, My Husband’s Wife, The...

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ISBN 9781542024815
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Average rating from 162 members

Featured Reviews

This book was sent to me electronically by Netgalley for review. This is a character driven novel written by a talented author. The setting, of course, adds to the story in a positive way. What will happen next? Will the main character find herself or forever be lost in her family life? Enjoy this book. It does go slowly at times…

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I couldn’t wait to get stuck into the latest Amanda prowse book and read this in one sitting as usual this author gets right to the heart of human emotion and also brings the topic of mental health out into the open with sensitivity and feeling. and reiterates the message that it’s ok to not be ok and no shame in asking for or needing help

This author has a way of writing about everyday experiences and real people in such a beautiful and heartfelt way and addresses topics and situations that lots of people are able to relate to and this book was no exception. It was also a story of rebuilding relationships and finding happiness and a way to find peace with the past and move forwards.

I read this in a day a couldn’t put it down and was like being on an emotional rollercoaster. I cried a lot and laughed at other times as there was also the odd bit of humour thrown in to break up the sadness.

Am already eagerly awaiting this authors next read.

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A powerful story as we meet Nora and in some way we all can relate to her.
A husband in the military, life with the endless temporary homes. The hours of being alone, the formal ceremonies to attend to. Now things change within her when a new challenge, and responsibility came. The doubts of how does one raise her nephew. To finding within herself the walls she had to protect
herself with all the changes. A heartwarming story, well written, readers will enjoy
Given ARC.by Net Galley and Amazon UK for my voluntary review and my honest opinion

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Another Amanda Prowse book to dive into? Don't mind if I do! I am a huge fan of her magnificent writing, and I was not disappointed at all by the beautiful story that is Picking Up the Pieces.
Nora is a military wife, used to accompanying her well-decorated husband Gordy wherever he is stationed, but life is beginning to feel tiresome. She's lost all sense of roots.
They are on the brink of collapse when a phone call shatters what was her life, as she rushes to be a support for her sister, Kiki, and little nephew, Ted.
I don't want to reiterate the story to you. What kind of review would that be?
But what I will say is that Amanda Prowse has sensitively dealt with the fragility of mental health here as well as delving into how childhood experiences can shape your thinking and way of life more than you know.
Nora and Gordy are two people you could be friends with. Kiki and her masquerade as a happy single mum remind you that you should never judge a book by its cover.
And I have to mention the little diversion to the story that comes in several snippets from Spain, that weaves another layer of magic into the inevitable ending.
Beautiful story. I read it in a day, and I have to admit to being a little sad when it ended, too!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Picking up the Pieces is a beautifully written book. Amanda Prowse takes a tragedy and turns it into the coming together of a family. I love how she also potrays how people can have an affect on other's lives even if they don't know it. I enjoyed seeing Nora and Kiki's perspectives of their childhood and how the same events can look very different to different people. I will be looking up more of Amanda Prowse's books.

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Heartbreaking, bittersweet and funny in places. Amanda certainly writes the type of book that tugs at the heartstrings without being emotionally draining. I love the relationship between all the female characters and you don’t need to be biologically related to have that sister bond which is how it should be.

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This is novel that doesn’t shy away from difficult subjects. Written sensitively and with compassion, I loved it. A really fabulous read!

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Picking up the Pieces by Amanda Prowse

Another wonderful book by the author. She always manages to get to the very heart of what makes the human tick . All aspects of relationships are covered including the ones we experience with ourself.in this case mental health .
As Nora and her British Army officer husband, Gordy, pack up yet another home and leave the sun of Cyprus for the drizzle of England, she can’t shake a feeling of regret—at her failure to follow her own dreams, but also, if she’s honest, at having ended up an officer’s wife at all, drifting through a life of temporary homes and temporary relationships.
A great storyline which really pulls you in and is totally believable . I wanted life to turn out well for Nora.

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Picking up the Pieces by Amanda Prowse has written a brilliant, gripping, spectacular book.

This book takes us on a journey through Nora and Gordy's story.
With real life experiences and raw emotions that one faces in life.
Dealing with some rough decisions and hardships her journey only makes her stronger in the end.
Her story is one that will touch you and leave you feeling all sorts of emotions.
Prowse knows how to write an awesome story and I loved this one from the beginning to end.
Exquisite, heart-warming, emotional and engaging... This was one I absolutely enjoyed the hell out of.

"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."

Amazon Pub UK,
Thank You for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!
I will post my review to my blog, platforms, BookBub, B&N, Kobo and Waterstone closer to pub date.

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This was a fantastic read. The author did a perfect job blending the characters and the background. It was a great read.

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This book has left me in a puddle of emotions ..I've been on a wash and spin cycle and its left me wrung out! I was totally invested in Nora' s story and it threw up so many long buried memories and emotions of my own childhood and my own beloved sister Nora (Noreen). How damaged we all are in our way and how unaware we are of what's happening in the lives of those closest to us. Even the cameo roles in the this sumptuous book were intriguing, relatable, lovable and totally absorbing. I love the circle of friends surrounding Kiki and how much better life would be if we all had such friends. The description of army live, along with its constant moves, loneliness and impermanence was so accurate. I wanted to throw my arms around Nora and Gordy and ease the pain bubble they were both locked within. Such believable, well fleshed characters who's pain was so raw it broke my heart. I don't want to spoil the story but I stayed awake all night unable to leave them until I knew their ending. There's only one thing I would have changed..with the power invested in the author's pen, I'd have made Nora pregnant. Amanda leaves so much of herself on every page, just how much I realise ,as I'm also reading Women Like Us at the moment which is her own life story. This writer just gets better and better and no experience goes to waste. Every thing she endures, everything she experiences or observes gets woven into the most magical, spellbinding books. Bravo!

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Another 5 star book from Amanda, which I was privileged to read as an arc. A lesson to be learned about family ties and mental health. Highly recommend

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what a fantastic read, thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to review this book. I could not put it down.

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Another great read by Amanda, beautiful, sensitive and totally pulls at your heartstrings!
Childhood experiences past and present, mental health issues, marriage and relationship problems and the wonderful gift of friendship, community and family!
Nora and her sister Kiki are not particularly close due to having had very different childhood upbringings and memories, their adult lives couldn’t possibly be any different, Nora married to Gordy a military man is well travelled, comfortably off but not happy in her relationship and feels lonely! Kiki is a single mum to Ted surrounded by friends living paycheque to paycheque.
When Nora is unexpectedly called upon to look after her nephew Ted, realisation hits as she softens, embraces friends, reconnects with her sister, experiences the love of a child and ultimately rekindles her love for her husband as barriers are lowered and a new feeling of acceptance and happiness takes over!
Although sensitive mental health issues are involved overall you are left with a heartwarming uplifting read that I would highly recommend.
Thank you net galley for this early read.

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Another exceptional book by Amanda. I have read and loved every one of her books and this is no exception. An emotional storyline that wrenches at your heart. Very sensitively written about mental health issues and the effects it can have on close friends and family. An easy 5 star read.

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Emotional, heart wrenching and beautiful, all wrapped up into one story, where the difficult subjects of mental health and attempted suicide are driving the story forward and dealt with sensitively.

Nora puts her own life on hold to step in and cover her sister's whilst she is recovering from her suicide attempt. With no children of her own, Nora is thrown in at the deep end when she has to go and look after her seven-year old nephew Ted.

It's heart warming how Kiki's friends rally around Nora to help her with Ted, but gut wrenching how they are all trying to understand why they didn't notice that Kiki was unhappy and struggling.

In the process Nora's own marriage goes through a transformation, and in an extra layer to the story, we are given snippets from her childhood in Spain. Everything is brought together in a beautiful, feel-good ending.

Trigger warnings: mental health and suicide attempt

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What a fantastic read. I loved Nora's story she is married to a soldier and they move around a lot and just when they start having some problems a tragedy occurs and she finds herself looking after her sister Kiki's seven year old son Ted. Dont want to give anything away because its a wonderful read, loved the way her background was written into the story Amanda Prowse really draws you in so you get invested in the characters.and there is always an important subject at the heart of the story which really resonates with the readers. There is always difficulties in families and misunderstandings happen and sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself so that you can be there for each other and with the help of some fantastic friends of her sisters ,Nora and Kiki finally come to terms with the events of the past so that they can finally start being close again. A brilliant ending to a great story which was emotional ,heartwarming and healing. Highly recommend this book a well deserved 5⭐read .

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A coming of age story but in the case of Nora it's coming in adulthood. After the early death of her parents she's been scared of letting anyone get close including her husband. When she hears her sister is in hospital she drops everything to care for her Nephew Ted. During this time she starts to realise what she's missed in her life, but is it too late to make amends?
As with many Amanda Prowse books she tugs at your heartstrings and gives her readers a lovely tale with relatable characters.
Thanks to Netgalley and Amazon Publishing for the advanced copy of which I'm under no obligation to review

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A really great heartwarming book showing the lives of two sisters and the different perspectives they both had on their early lives. Nora has to struggle with a lot of issues from her childhood and has a very loving husband who had to deal with her. I felt sorry for Kiki but I fell in love with little Ted.

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Having been an Army wife for 20 years, I recognised many of the situations in this book. Being a mum is the default setting for an army wife, so not having children really marks Nora out - and would have made her life more challenging.
An enjoyable book, great for a holiday or long train or plane journey.

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This is the fourth time I have read a book by Amanda Prowse and again I am really impressed with a story that celebrates the strength of women in a variety of circumstances. I really love the way the author tends to write about older, middle-age women, because I think it adds so much depth to the story and their experiences.

Picking Up The Pieces is the story of Nora, married to military man Gordy, who feel as though their marriage is on the brink. When Nora returns to England to care for her sister’s son whilst her sister is unwell, Nora realises just how much she’s missed out on in her life by not having children. The book also looks at Nora and Kiki’s early life and the experiences they had by having very distracted, neglectful parents.

The storyline of Kiki’s mental illness was approached with great sensitivity and I liked the way things were resolved in the storyline which reflected both how hard it can be to have a mental illness and see a path forward but didn’t feel as if it was too quick to be resolved in the story.

I thought the most genuine and heartfelt scene of the whole book was when Nora and Gordy talked and argued as they were on the brink of divorce. The dialogue seemed so real and I didn’t know which way they would go with their relationship. I did really feel that things worked out in a way that made a lot of sense for the book and for the characters and I admit to being in floods of tears by the end of the book. It’s a beautiful story.

Thank you to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Amanda Prowse has written another wonderful novel in Picking Up the Pieces. Long married Nora and her husband Gordy are set to return to England after their latest military posting in Cypress. When Gordy announces that he thinks they should consider a divorce, Nora is shaken. She knew things hadn't been great between them, but she didn't think it was THAT bad. Then she receives a call saying her sister is in the hospital after a suicide attempt and she is needed to take care of her young nephew. She quickly heads back to England in turmoil. Can she take care of a child? She never wanted children, so how will she cope? And most importantly, WHY would her sister try to take her own life?

As she walks through the next few weeks she realizes she was wrong about so many things, but is it too late to save her marriage, settle in one place and find true happiness? Thank you to the author,Amazon Publishing UK and NetGalley for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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I'm a fan of Amanda's books anyway so I was excited to read this one. I loved it! Nora is a great character. I laughed and cried throughout. Brilliant.

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Another brilliant book. Some of the topics covered in this story are close to Amanda's heart: military life and mental health issues.
Strong, lovable and realistic characters are cemented in this story.
Hidden family issues surface in the lives of sisters Nora and Kiki. Both have struggled to accept the past but with different aspects.
Gordy and Ted need to feel needed but they have plenty of love to give. Can the four of them overcome the past and look to a solid future?

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This is the first Amanda Prowse book I gave read and I chose it because of how much my friends rave about her. Unfortunately, this just didn't hit the mark for me - I found it very difficult to get into the actual story which made it difficult for me to want to pick it up. As such, it was a hard slog to complete. Whilst there is nothing exactly wrong with the book, it just wasn't for me. I felt the story was slow but then the ending was rushed.

I've chosen to give it 3 stars as once I did get into it, I enjoyed parts of the story and actually felt a connection with Nora. I'm hoping to try another Prowse book before giving up entirely as I do hear lots of good things.

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Wow, another great Amanda read, loved every page, the characters, the story line, everything came together for a wonderful read

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A book that is exquisite, delicate, and really touches the heart.
Past and present childhood experiences, mental health concerns, marital and relationship troubles, as well as the beautiful gift of friendship, community, and family ties.
Due to their very dissimilar childhood experiences and memories, Nora and her sister Kiki are not incredibly close. Nora is married to a military man named Gordy and is well-traveled and financially comfortable, but she is unhappy in her marriage and feel empty.

Once Nora accepts the unexpected responsibility of caring for her nephew Ted, she begins to soften, embrace her friends, reestablish contact with her sister, feel a child's love, and ultimately rediscover her love for her husband as her barriers are broken down and a newfound sense of acceptance and joy takes hold.

This book is great for readers who enjoys heart-warming story about family and friends.

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What a wonderful book. I have not read any of Amanda Prowse previous books so wasn't sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed reading this book. It is a book that anyone in a military family can relate to but everyone can enjoy reading.

The story of a woman, Nora, being away from family, wanting to support those who need her but also needing to support herself and her life and marriage. It has all the events life through at us and covers details and emotions most people can relate to and have dealt with at some stage in their lives.

It is such a well written book and the characters are people you feel you know and you can feel their angst and pain as well as their happiness. And it wasn't by any means predictable so the story kept me involved and wanting to read more.

A great book and an author who I now need to read more of. I highly recommend this wonderful book.

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Another absolutely stunning and heartbreaking book by Amanda Prowse. This book is beautiful.

It tells the story of Nora whose husband is in the army. They are currently on the move again, uprooting their lives in sunny Cyprus and moving back to England. Nora has started to question her life and the regrets that she has at not following her own dreams. Questioning if the life she is currently living is the one she really wants at all.

It is at this point that tragedy enters Nora's life and she suddenly becomes the legal guardian of her seven year old nephew. Navigating the unfamiliar world of parenthood Nora begins to see the world and herself through the eyes of Ted. Knowing that she deserves to give him the life she never had Nora starts to rewrite the story of hers and Ted's life.

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Amanda Prowse has done it again in producing another super story. This time I’m sure she drew on her experiences she witnessed as an Army wife which enriched this tale.
Nora and her British Army Officer husband Gordy have moved home so many times, as expected with his job, but when he is stationed back to England after Cyprus Nora starts to have doubts if this is the life she wants to continue with. Nora dreams of settling in a permanent house where she can follow her passion and garden to hearts content.
Just as they begin to pack up Nora receives a phone call that turns her life upside down, as she suddenly finds herself responsible for her seven-year-old Nephew Ted. Nora decided very early on that mother hood was not for her but faced with new experiences she begins to realise that this decision affected both hers and Gordy’s life.
This heart-warming story explores loneliness, relationships and mental health showing that support can come from surprising sources. I loved this story and its characters.
My thanks to Net Galley and Amazon Publishing UK for the advanced copy.

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Picking up the Pieces is another Amanda Process triumph. It's a story of loneliness, learning how to love and be loved and finding family, whatever that means to you. Would highly recommended.

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I’ve just finished this beautiful book well past my bedtime. Amanda has done it again, I was left with a warm feeling and an admiration of how great a storyteller she is.

Nora is married to Gordy a British Army Officer. It has been her job to support her husband and follow him from post to post. She has reached a point in her life when she begins to question her life and happiness. Past childhood experiences have left an imprint on her life and Gordy provided a safe haven for her to escape those experiences but she now wonders has she lost her way along the way.

Nora’s younger sister Kiki has been a distant part of her life. She has always seemed happy and carefree to Nora but a phone call reveals Kiki is far from happy and in fact she in hospital following a suicide attempt.

Nora travels kiki’s home to help look after Ted her seven year old nephew. Navigating the unfamiliar parenthood role gives Nora a purpose and joy she never expected. It leads her to open up more and allow others to come into her life, making unexpected friends and reconnecting with her sister and her husband in turn.

I loved the second story based in Spain which was a large part of Nora’s story and one which ran throughout the book . It really made me understand Nora more. I was willing the beautiful letter to wing its way to its rightful owner and what a story it created itself as well.

This book covered so many topics all which most people will experience in their own lives. One in particular, mental health was portrayed in an enlightening and informative way. It touched my heart and made me feel like I knew the characters personally. A truly beautiful book and one which I didn’t want to end.

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A tale not to my taste. Too wordy and over written. Did not finish the book as I found it too ling winded. Thank you for the opportunity to read this book.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this emotionally-drawn story of two estranged sisters and their complicated lives. I kept turning the pages and my heart was warmed and satisfied as I saw each of them growing and changing, and moving towards each other.

Thanks to NetGalley, the author and publisher for an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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"Picking up the Pieces" covers so many issues, including the difficulty of being a military wife and mental health. Nora and Kiki are sisters but there is a 12 year age gap. Whilst Nora knew their parents, although not that well, Kiki was a baby when they died. There are 2 broken/breaking marriages in this story; Kiki is divorced and a single parent, while Nora's relationship with her husband has issues. We see the women struggling with parenting (as a crisis requires Nora to look after her 7 year old nephew Ted), family relationships and friendships.

Both of the main female characters are complex, which doesn't help with Ted's confusion. Luckily there are friends, friendly teachers and Nora's husband Gordon on hand to help. A question is raised, which will get many thinking, as to whether some couples should actually have children. This is a complicated and thought provoking book which is well worth reading.

Thanks to Net Galley and the publishers for the opportunity to review this book.

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This was a sad but heart warming story. A broken family brought back together after a family emergency.
I loved all the characters and sympathised with them all.
The ending was amazing. Definitely recommend

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The story of two sisters, orphanned at an early age and who due to circumstances are not close. Nora, the older sister, steps up to care for her nephew when her younger sister is admitted to hospital.
The book concerns the long reaching effects their parents deaths had in the lives of the sisters, as well as the time before and after. In true Prowse style emotions are dealt with sensitively and realistically and the story is theartwarming . It makes for a great read, with plenty of advice along the way.
Thanks to Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review

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4.5 stars

First off, thank you to Amanda Prowse, Lake Union Publishing, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a Kindle ARC of this book.

This is the eleventh book that I have read by Amanda Prowse. Yes, I love her gift for storytelling, her beautiful writing, and how strong her characters are. She is one of my very favorite authors, and I am slowly reading the books she wrote BEFORE I discovered her. I still have quite a few to read - YEAH, ME!!

All of her novels, so far, have involved the intricacies of family, marriage, and life. I love that I can relate to the characters and their lives even if they are usually somewhere in England. Her books are one of the reasons that I really am working on researching my family genealogy - I have a LOT of English in me that I never knew about!! These beautiful novels just transport me - sometimes books are read for joy and this book is THAT!! Just joyful!

This novel was no exception to the incredible stories that Amanda writes. Another beautiful summer read or mid-winter read - it is just a lovely book.

HIGHLY recommend!!!

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Picking Up the Pieces, by Amanda Prowse, is a moving novel about the bonds of family and being there for each other. The characters were interesting, well written and most of them were extremely likeable. Nora is understandably a bit standoffish at the beginning but she slowly allows herself to open up throughout the story in such a beautiful way.
*I'm not sure if there's a stigma with psych meds but I've noticed a pattern of them being a bit misrepresented in books from the U.K.. Nora's sister talks about trying such meds, once, but they zoned her out so she never tries any others again. It doesn't go into any depth but it sounds like her doctor sent her home with "controlled" meds instead of "non-controlled" daily meds and never followed up.*
Nora’s been struggling since her parents died back when she was a teenager. Not to mention how neglectful they were while they were still alive. The only stability that she's had in her life has been her husband but now that relationship seems to be hanging by a thread.
Then a tragedy has Nora running back to England to take care of her nephew, Ted. She never even wanted to be in a parental role but now that's exactly what she needs to be for her nephew. Suddenly she's learning how unconditional love works, as well as how wonderful & stressful it can be.
Now as she starts learning to let others in, she's also seeing another version of herself. Since she likes this version of herself better, she starts to hope that maybe it can lead to hope for her marriage, after all.

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This title is perfect!
The main character, Nora, is just not happy with her life.
What changes does she need to make to find contentment?

Then.... Nora is abruptly thrown in to the role of "parent" when she is called to help care for her seven year old nephew. She doesn't even know this young boy or how to be a parent.
Nora sees some of what she has been missing in her world these past years.
Unconditional love, and helping others as well as being loved are what Nora needs.

This book is well written, emotional and definitely so well done.
I quickly got absorbed into this broken family. It is a wonderful family story that all will enjoy!

Thank you to NetGalley and to Amazon Publishing UK for this ARC and allowing me to read and provide my own review.

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4.5 Stars

Amanda Prowse is the UK Queen of women's heartfelt fiction. This is my sixth book by the author and every single one of them has been a four or five-star read and Picking Up the Pieces is no different.

In this tale, Nora goes to help look after her nephew while her sister is recovering in the hospital. Nora is not close to her sister and she barely knows her young nephew, Ted, at all. At the same time, she has taken all this on her marriage is in crisis. We also get a look at Nora's childhood and how she lost her distant parents at such a young age. I know it seems like a lot is going on but it all makes sense and weaves together beautifully in the end.

I liked how the book touched on the mental health aspect, it was portrayed in such a realistic manner and with such sensitivity. I also felt I learned something from it, never be ashamed of needing or asking for help. It can be such a touchy subject matter but the author writes about it in an educational and sensitive manner.

With her life falling apart at the seams, can Nora handle what life's thrown at her? You'll have to read the book to find out! This was such a heartwarming and uplifting read and I enjoyed every page of it, Ms. Prowse is such a magnificent teller of tales. I hugged this when I was done.

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Another thoroughly enjoyable book from Amanda Prowse. However, I did find that it was a little slow in places but overall, a good read. The sub-plot about returning a painting to the rightful owners I found a little unnecessary and the subsequent endings to that part of the story a little rushed however, this did not detract at all from the main plot. All the same, this is a book to enjoy

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‘the beautiful thing about life, [is] it begins when we let it. ‘Picking up the Pieces’ is about learning to rebuild yourself when life shatters you.

Nora is a lonely child, born to Bohemian parents who seem to have little care for her existence. She seeks stability by marrying a military man. However, ultimately, because Nora felt unloved as a child, she feels unloveable; keeping everyone at a distance. ‘It’s hard to love when you have grown up without being loved.’ When her sister Kiki reaches a crisis point, Nora is forced to step in, step up and question her own misconceptions. She realises that it’s human connection, shared memories and vulnerability that makes life meaningful.

Amanda Prowse has written a poignant book which gracefully deals with mental health, love and connection. I did find the first half of the book slow to build, but the second half unfurled to reveal real warmth and honesty. Overall a good piece of contemporary fiction.

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This novel is set from the perspective of a military wife seeking permanency and longing for that. The wife is questioning whether or not she wants a more permanent placement and begins to question her marriage. She is surprised when she becomes the custodian of her nephew despite never having desired to be a mother. This was a good ready! This was read as an ARC from NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing.

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A well written book that deals with a sensitive subjects in a very considerate way, exploring how an event can affect everyone differently, from laugh out loud moments through to some very raw stuff . Nora, the main character, is very believable and I thoroughly enjoyed her journey through some difficult times. Thoroughly recommend.

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Amanda Prowse never fails to provide insight into life, relationships and human nature in her own style. This is beautifully written and engages you from the outset.
Her exploration of the relationship between husband and wife, mother and son, nephew and aunt, and sisters is honest, heartbreaking and moving.
A wonderful read.

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I'm sort of emotional right now. This book has them all over the place.
This new to me author has captured this story in a way that's realistic and it's definitely believable. I liked it because some hard truths are explored in this novel with Nora at the helm.
Life's changes are suddenly thrusted at her in ways she never expected. I kept rooting for her the whole way through.
Life's lessons and journey is a part of living and some can be an adventure while others are a struggle especially with grief.
Grief is the hardest thing. That's the part I hated. Sometimes I just wanted to give Nora a big hug for stepping in where she was needed. I admired her for that.
I enjoyed this book very very much. I finished it in a day because I couldn't put Nora's story down until it was finished.
5 stars for a job well done! I highly recommend!
My thanks for a copy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Another great 5* book from Amanda. Following Norah an army officer wife as she battles with relationships and an unorthodox upbringing. At the same time her sister tries to take her own life and so Norah looks after Ted her nephew whilst trying to get back with her husband. Wonderful characters who are easy to like. My only negative is the long chapters.

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As with most of Amanda Prowse's books, i loved this one. i get excited each time i see a new one appear and cant wait to get my hands on it and this was no different. We meet Nora and Gordy at a rocky time in their relationship and things change very quickly for them when Nora returns to the UK from Cyprus to care for her nephew Ted. He brings a different meaning to her life and she realises what life could be like with friends and family around you and not just operating on temporary residences and friendships.

I loved the developing relationships in this book and the character driven plot line, This shows a significant delve into mental health and the surrounding issues, very apt given her recent book written with her son. Its very touching and emotional in places but also show how good, strong relationships can help and bring untold amounts of love, care and support.

I loved this and can't wait for her next book!

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This story was beautifully written, told through multiple time periods and focused tightly around military spousehood, mental health, and the impact of childhood trauma. I really enjoyed the glimpses into the main character's childhood, and the duality shown between friendship, sisterhood, and what you would do for family. I really enjoyed this: unlike some reviewers I thought this took a bit to really pick up steam, but by about page 100 I could not possibly put it down.

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I love Amanda Prowse as an author as she brings all her characters to life. I enjoyed this book but felt that it was. A tad on the slow side at places. The characters were all well described and fairly easy to relate to and partly related to real life issues. As much as this was a good book to read I felt that the ending was to sudden and incomplete s I wanted more to know what happened after Mario came to the UK.

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This is my 7th book by Amanda Prowse. I thought it was just ok, I had a very hard time getting into the story and I even tried starting over 3 times and just never got connected with the characters. I'm definitely in the minority here so maybe it just wasn't for me. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this early release in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Another beautifully written book by Amanda Prowse.
Written with such sensitivity, and covering every day issues.
Amanda has such a gift in her writing, in which she draws you into the book, and keeps you there long after you have turned the last page, and this book certainly did that again!
My thanks to the author and Netgalley for my Arc copy, in exchange for an honest review.

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Amanda Prowse is one of the authors I know when I pick up the book I’m going to have a good read. Her writing is eminently readable, very descriptive and has a way of conveying real emotion. This book is no exception. It’s a wonderful heartwarming story but with some very emotive drama based on rejection, lack of love, grief and the effect this can have on mental health. An enthralling read that I finished in two days despite being on holiday with a very packed schedule!

Briefly, sisters Nora and Kiki have never been close but when Nora gets a call asking her to return to the UK to look after her nephew Ted, as Kiki is in hospital, she is straight there. Army wife Nora has just been told by her husband they should consider a divorce and she has no experience with children so she is all at sixes and sevens! However, despite a few disasters she soon finds that, with the support of Kiki’s friends, she is able to provide Ted with the love and support he needs. But can she repair her marriage and her relationship with Kiki.

Despite all the sadness in the story it’s the resolution of the sadness and the ensuing happiness that is the overriding emotion I got from the book. As always the writer has a wonderful way of conveying emotion in words and you really feel for the characters all of whom are so well described I could see them as I read. A wonderful read and it was a perfect holiday read, I genuinely loved it.

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I love Amanda Prowse's books, and this is up there with the best of them. She has taken two topics which she knows about first hand, and woven then into a novel which is contemporary, heart warming, at times unsettling, and I just couldn't put down - and read the whole book in just over a day!

Nora is married to an army man through and through. In fact Gordy has risen so high he has recently become a Colonel. This has involved several moves of home, and country, and somewhere along the line they have lost themselves as a couple. She had a somewhat unusual childhood, with bohemian parents who died in a car accident, which has left her not wanting children, and wary of making friends. Gordy was her world until he became a workaholic and they drifted slowly apart. During the latest move, from Cyprus back to the UK, Gordy voices what they are both feeling and suggests a divorce, which rocks Nora's world. At the same time her world gets totally spun of it's axis when she gets a call that her sister in the UK has tried to commit suicide and she needs to come home quickly and look after her young nephew.

She is the only family her sister has, but she has hardly seen her for years, and wouldn't really recognise her nephew, and has no experience of children. Nora is thrown into a world completely alien to her, all with the spectre of divorce looming over her.

This book deals with some very difficult subjects sensitively and with great insight due to the Author's own experiences. It is beautifully written with very real characters who I will miss. A great book to curl up with on a cold winter's day, in front of a roaring fire, and escape into another world. I loved it.


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This was a cute story about how a boy came to live with a family and he didn't have really any family around him. It goes to show you can find love onee In unexpected places. This book was approved for me to read and review by netgalley and the publisher.

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This is a book of second chances. Nora and her husband Gordy, an officer in the Army, are struggling with their marriage and where to go next. As Nora struggles with this, she learns that her sister has been hospitalized, and Nora jumps in to take care of her nephew Ted. Faced with a potentially difficult situation, Nora begins to find joy and comfort in the caretaker role. She begins to enjoy the different experience and new people that this situation is bringing into her life.

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This book was a bit disappointing, have read other books by thd autor which were more interesting.Needs polishing up and a lot of description that was not needed.

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Thank you Amazon Publishing UK and Netgalley for an ARC of Picking Up the Pieces in exchange for my honest review.

My first Amanda Prowse novel. Definitely not my last. I found the subject to be heartbreaking. 2 sisters, Nora and Kiki, born years apart. Never getting to really know each other. Nora being raised by her alcoholic, drug addicted parents. Craving attention from them and only feeling like a burden until they die. Kiki being spared by the neglect from her parents, sent to live with her grandmother after their death. They end up growing up to live very different lives.

Nora lives the life of a military wife, constantly moving and never letting anyone get close to her. Kiki, a divorced mother, surrounded by friends that adore her. Seeming to live a very happy life, hiding depression and mental illness from everyone around her. When tragedy brings Nora back into Kiki’s life.

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Nora is a military wife and is used to the frequent transfers from place to place. It does make life challenging at times but that's what is expected of the military and their families.

Gordy is the military man recently promoted to Colonel.

Nora is about to get two major shocks. Her husband voices his desire for a divorce right before Nora gets the call telling her that her sister Kiki has tried to take her own life. With so much going on, Nora is struggling just to cope.
Due to her childhood, Nora never wanted to be a mother. She is now in charge of caring for her nephew until her sister recovers.

Although Kiki and Nora are not close, they will find that they have much in common that the other didn't know about. A story of loss, love, second chances and overcoming obstacles. A heartfelt story that took a while to get into but was worth it n the end. I could sympathize with Nora for what she was going through with her sister due to similar circumstances in my own life. Kiki's story was difficult to read, but gave me some insight into what it is like to live with severe depression.

Thanks to netgalley and Amazon Publishing UK for the arc.

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This is a new to me author and I have to say I am looking forward to reading more by this author! I loved this book

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Main Characters:
-- Leonora Brightwell – mid-40s, goes by Nora, grew up in England, orphaned at 12, raised by one grandmother (Granny Magda), married for 18 years to Gordy, studied botany and horticulture, but has spent her entire marriage as a military wife, following her husband around the world to every command
--Gordon Brightwell – goes by Gordy, just promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and reassigned from Cyprus to England
--Kristina Morris – goes by Kiki, Nora’s sister who is 12 years younger and was just a baby when their parents died, raised by their other grandmother (Nana Dilly), single mother to Ted, still lives in England
--Ted Morris – Kiki’s seven-year-old son
--Santiago Agostí – 86 years old, increased the Santiago fortune by investing in the arts, which included allowing Nora and her parents to live in his villa for a time while he was a patron for Nora’s father, who was a painter

Trigger Warning: attempted suicide, substance abuse

Amanda Prowse’s newest work is another emotional addition to her prolific collection of novels. Picking Up the Pieces takes us on quite a journey with Nora Brightwell, who has to pick up the pieces of not only her own marriage but also her sister’s life, her nephew’s life, and her own childhood. There is a lot going on for a lot of characters in this story, and everything brings us back to Nora.

The book begins with a glimpse of Nora’s life as a child before her sister is born, living in Agostí’s villa La Fosca, adored by her Nana Dilly and La Fosca’s housekeeper Luna. Nora remembers life at La Fosca as her happiest time. But after her parents’ untimely death shortly after Kiki is born, Nora spends her time at boarding school and lives with her Granny Magda when she comes home, while Kiki stays with Nana Dilly. Because of a near accident when Kiki is a toddler, Nora believes that she isn’t capable of taking care of a child, and she and Gordy never have children of their own.

Nora’s story as an adult begins at a celebration of Gordy’s promotion to Lieutenant Colonel and his new commission in England. Gordy encourages Nora to spend the evening out with the other officers’ wives since they’ll be moving, but Nora has always felt out of place when the conversation centers around their children.

When Nora returns home for the evening, she and Gordy argue. She loves Gordy but is angry that he pushed her to go out when he knew she didn’t want to. When she tells him she has nothing in common with all the moms, the argument escalates to why they never had children. Nora is hoping for a fresh start in England, and Gordy says he thinks they should get a divorce. With those words hanging in the air, Nora gets a phone call about her sister Kiki’s attempted suicide. Nora is needed in England to care for her nephew Ted while Kiki is hospitalized.

That’s a lot of emotion in a couple of chapters, and there’s a lot more to come. Nora’s perspective drives every chapter, with a short section at the end of each chapter centered around Santiago Agostí trying to find Nora and Kiki to return a painting to them.

Thrown into caring for Ted while Kiki recovers, Nora has to come to terms with being a mom to Ted (who she barely knows), interacting with teachers and the other moms who are Kiki’s friends. We know from the argument with Gordy that she is completely out of her element, but she has to make it work for Ted and for Kiki.

But what of her marriage? An hour away in their new home, Gordy has to unpack their belongings, which has always been Nora’s role. He makes it clear to her that they will make sure Ted is ok, and that confuses Nora even more because she isn’t even certain about the future of their marriage.

Nora battles so many demons in this story. At one point, she talks with Ted’s teacher and tells him something her mother told her before Kiki was born. “…my mother told me that when my world fell apart, I had two choices: I could either collapse and sink into the ground, as if I were never really here at all, too broken to be, disintegrated, back to the earth. Or I could pick up all the little pieces and rebuild myself.”

We get to see what Nora does. She sorts through her relationships with her sister, her nephew, her husband as she does it all as she sifts through the pieces of her own childhood. This is truly a journey of self-discovery for Nora, and I loved every word of it.

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I loved this book. Everything was so real and relatable, it’s the story of an Army wife, Nora’s marriage crumbling and her much younger sister, Kiki, fighting off demons as she attempted to take her own life. Nora, who never had children of her own took up the mantle to care for Kiki’s little boy Ted while her sister recovers. The back story is the dying landlord of Nora’s now deceased parents temporary home in Spain searching for the two children to bequeath them a painting done by Nora’s father.

This is a riveting story, sad at times, about the strength of genuine friendships and family support and learning how to love.

My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this sensational novel.

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Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an early review copy.

Born to Bohemian parents, Nora is left feeling that her parents have forgotten about her existence.

She gets wed to someone who’s in military in order to have some security. But after a while, due to how she felt as a child, she keeps herself away from others.

But when her sister Kiki comes to a critical point, Nora has to step in and then starts to think about what she’s believed and whether she misunderstood things.

Finally, she begins to understand that being around people, connecting with them and sharing things which make life worthwhile.

The author has written a beautiful book, that has dealt with some hard issues like
mental health and connection.

I recommend this book.

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Amanda Prowse, Picking up the Pieces, Amazon Publishing UK, Lake Union Publishing 2023.

Thank you NetGalley for providing me with this uncorrected proof for review.

Amanda Prowse writes novels that are readable, have some engaging characters, and often include some social commentary. Generally, I am happy to read them, providing as they do a pleasant whiling away of an afternoon or two. However, Picking up the Pieces provides quite a lot more than usual. Every plot line is charged with issues that demand thinking though, each character has something new to say as the narrative progresses, and the satisfying ending is woven so well from what has come before that it is provides a genuine outcome for the characters. Rather than being predictable and contrived to achieve a happy ending based on wishful thinking the narrative remains realistic and thoughtful to its conclusion.

Two sisters, born many years apart, experience their lives with their parents very differently. Both are traumatised – the elder because she was neglected, the younger because she has no recall of her parents who died in a car accident when she was a baby. The prologue features Leonora (Nora) who awakens in the home in which she is fearful, sees evidence of her parents partying and its aftermath of vomit, empty bottles, prone figures, and drugs. A calm authority figure rescues her, and his admonition to expect pleasure resonates alongside her feeling unloved and unwanted by her mother, and her substitute, her grandmother.

Those feelings impact on Nora’s her life with Gordy, her ambitious army husband, her potential friendships, relationship with her sister, Kiki, and ability to adapt happily to a lifestyle that leaves her to her own devices. Here, the impact of army life and the requirement to continual move from locations overseas and within the UK becomes a theme that turns the story from the personal to a more general understanding of the complexities of army life for spouses. The intricacies of married life are also mined, including questions about both Gordy and Nora’s role in her failure to adopt a career of choice.

Depression is also dealt with, through Kiki, again bringing the personal together with the general difficulties of understanding and dealing with depression. Kiki’s hospitalisation leads to Nora having to learn to deal with her nephew, Ted, his irresponsible father and negotiating with mums at the school gate. Nora moves awkwardly into a different world.

Negotiating the changes in Nora and Gordy’s lives, which includes separation and potential divorce, coming to terms with the past, and caring for Ted, and eventually the sisters’ joy at receiving a painting from the past is an engrossing story. Alongside is the story of the kindness of Senor Agosti, from his meeting with Nora in the prologue, and his determination to ensure that the sisters receive their father’s painting. This is another intriguing storyline.

Picking up the Pieces is a thoroughly satisfying read. The plot lines are woven together well; the characterisation is layered and believable and the way in which social commentary becomes an essential part of the fabric of the narrative is admirable. For me, Amanda Prowse has really excelled on this occasion.

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This story takes a close look at the lifelong effects of childhood neglect. Kiki and Nora's parents lived a Bohemian lifestyle and were the center of each other's worlds, leaving little time or attention for their daughters. When they died in a car accident, the girls were separated as Nora went to school and Kiki lived with one of their grandmothers.

Now they're adults, trying to make sense of their own lives and dealing with their own mental health issues. Nora is on the verge of a divorce she doesn't want, but she's kept everyone out for so long, she doesn't know how to let her husband Gordy in, which is all that he's asking for.

Then Kiki attempts to take her own life, and Nora must step in to take care of Kiki's young son Ted while she's in the hospital.

This seems to be the wake-up call they all need to reevaluate what they want out of life and how to rebuild their family into something meaningful.

Overall, it was a good story, although difficult to read because of how much pain everyone was in. I'm not a huge fan of intense stories, which this certainly is. But it has a good message about love and belonging and how important friendships are.

Thank you to Amanda Prowse, Amazon Publishing UK and NetGalley for an advance review copy.

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Yet another beautifully written story from Amanda Prowse, written with compassion and sensitivity about a tricky subject of lives, love & loss

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😓Beautiful story of family tested🤗

I found Prowse's powerful story of two sisters sensitively done, exploring the depths of depression and a child's lasting memories of a family tragically broken. Nora and her much younger sister Kiki have never shared their impressions and insecurities about their childhood which was suddenly upended by the deaths of their parents. When Nora faces marital problems and races to support Kiki and her young son Ted after Kiki barely survives a suicide attempt, Nora has an attitude refit and spearheads a new start for their relationship.

Nora's transformation, especially as she grows close to young Ted and tackles the problems in her marriage, was what kept me glued to the novel. Prowse created a character who survived a lonely childhood, ignored by her parents, and built high defensive walls that, ultimately, distance her from Gordy, her military husband, and stifle friendships. By the book's close, she's so changed; it's inspiring.

Excellent, thoughtful read.

Thanks to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for sharing a complimentary advance copy of the book; this is my voluntary and honest opinion.

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Nora is married to Gordy, who has just been promoted to Colonel of the British Army, they are currently stationed in Cyprus and will shortly be relocating back to the UK, but she feels like her life has no meaning and doesn't know where her marriage is heading, then Gordy announces it may be best to call it a day, she is still reeling from this revelation when she receives a call from the UK about her sister Kiki being rushed to hospital and Nora is needed to take responsibility for her seven year old nephew Ted. Having no children of her own and not having the best relationship with her own parents when she was a child, or a close bond with Kiki due to their age gap, Nora is unsure whether she's capable of being the right person for the job, and she also needs to figure out what to do to save her marriage...

In Picking up the Pieces Amanda writes about two subjects, of which she has first hand experience, and deals with them sensitively and compassionately. As with all her other books she puts pen to paper and creates characters that are so authentic they come to life on these very pages and become real to her readers. This story follows two sisters who are struggling with life in different ways and much of it stems back to their childhood before they lost their parents and the effect that has had on them since, even though on the face of it they appear to be happy, this just proves that you never know what's going on behind the smile. I took an instant liking to Nora and the way she stepped up for her sister and nephew, even though she was floundering, I absolutely adored Ted and the love that Kiki's friends had for her and Ted, and even enveloping Nora into that love too. This beautiful book played on all my emotions, smiling one minute and crying the next, because this is what Amanda's books do to you and I absolutely loved it, another top notch read from this amazing author.

I'd like to thank Amazon Publishing and Netgalley for the approval, I will post my review on Goodreads now and Amazon on publication day.

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Nora didn't expect to end up caring for her nephew Ted but her sister Kiki- well, no spoilers. Nora and Kiki were ophaned young and they've both been somewhat adrift. Nora is a military spouse who has moved multiple times and not built strong relationships with anyone even, really, her husband Gordy, Now, though, things have changed, Prowse has a way of pulling the reader into a story and making you care about the characters and that's true here. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A good read.

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If you are looking for a book that gives you all the feels then look no further.
Writing about topics that she has experience in, namely mental health and army wife life, Amanda Prowse has woven another beautiful, heart-warming and brilliant book with an amazing cast of characters who you feel a deep connection to.
It is a story of family, friendship, love and new beginnings and I highly recommend it!

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Adore this author and read most of her books. Another wonderful book by the author. She always manages to get to the very heart of what makes the human tick . All aspects of relationships are covered including the ones we experience with ourself.in this case mental health

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TRIGER WARNING FIRST: This book telling story about depression, mental health and suicide.

Nora feel overwhelmed, not happy, preoccupied with her own thoughts and reflections all of that because of childhood trauma. It is effect her marriage, 18 years and close to the end. Until her younger sister reach out with shocking news. It is give her new perspective and chances to be better person.

This book is heavy especially for people who through this probleme. Beside that briging enlighment too. You are not alone. You matter.

Thank you to NetGalley for provide this book, it is pleasure to review this book.

#PickingupthePieces #AmandaProwse #Amazon #AmazonPublishing #AmazonPublishingUK #Lake Union Publishing #NetGalley #ARC

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I’d like to thank Amazon Publishing UK and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read ‘Picking Up The Pieces’ by Amanda Prowse in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Nora and her husband Gordy, an Colonel in the British Army, are packing up their belongings in Akrotiri to move to Wiltshire in the United Kingdom but when she hears that her sister Kiki is in hospital she leaves Gordy to deal with their move and returns home to look after Kiki and her six-year-old nephew Ted. Not having had children of her own, Nora is nervous about being in sole charge of Ted but her life is soon enriched as Kiki’s friends welcome her into their group and Ted becomes an important part of her life as he gives her his love and trust.

‘Picking Up The Pieces’ is another beautiful family drama written by this very talented author that tells of Nora as she faces challenges and new responsibilities that come with caring for a child that she never believed she’d be capable of. The story is slow and gentle dealing sensitively with the issue of mental health and its treatment, and a child’s perception of an adult. It’s a heart-warming story that’s perfect to lose oneself in on holiday or even wrapped up in a blanket in front of a fire on a cold winter’s day.

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Oh! Another fantastic novel by Amanda Prowse!! "Picking up the Pieces" is amazing, sad, interesting, conveying depression in the most empathetic way and filled with incredible characters. Lonely people, buoyed by the love and support of family and friends. Despite hard beginnings, this book brought individuals inflicted by despair, insecurities, and troubled marriage, through day-to-day life, in a glorious manner into the light. I really enjoyed this book. Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the early review copy. All opinions are my own

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A delightful story. Nora Brightwell and her husband Lieutenant colonel officer Brightwell Gordy are heading back to Westbury Wiltshire from Cyprus. She get the call to say her sister Kiki is in hospital and she becomes legal guardian to her nephew Ted and starts to see herself in Teds eyes. Not wanting children of her own, she makes a bond with Ted who is his own character, and she makes friends that are always on hand for her she was never living in one place long enough to make friends. This book reflects on family situations and brings her and Kiki closer and also to her husband Gordy too.
This book was such a joy to read, that will pull at your heart strings more than once. loved it 5 stars.

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This was such a raw and heartfelt story,i felt dealing with a very difficult subject. I loved the character development i was pulled into the plot i loved hNora transformed throughout the book it grip me . The topic of attempted suicide was handled with such care and I know is a personal story for Amanda Amanda you write this so well All in all, this was an engaging, thoughtful and so good another heartfelt read my Amanda love it all

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This was such a raw and heartfelt story, dealing with a difficult subject. I loved the character development and how Nora transformed throughout the book. The topic of attempted suicide was handled with care and I know is a personal story for Amanda. All in all, this was an engaging, thoughtful and well written story.

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Another heartwarming book from Amanda Prowse.
I normally read crime books but I can never resist books by this author.
Nora is struggling in her marriage to Gordy and just as he mentions the possibility of a divorce, she receives a phone call.
Her sister, Kiki has tried to kill herself and Nora is asked to look after her nephew, Ted.
Due to her childhood, Nora never wanted children and is scared of the prospect of looking after Ted. She goes to him and is surprised how much she cares for him in his time of need.
Nora takes him to spend time with Gordy while his mum recovers and the child starts to reignite the spark between them.
This is a brilliant book that I really enjoyed.
Thanks to Amazon Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.

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A powerful story that highlights the the side of mental illness that is often not spoken about in books, those one plans to leave behind. Nora, an easily dislikable character, has built a wall around herself to protect her from those could could possibly hurt her, even those who love her. Her wall creates a crack in her marriage that has been crumbling and looks like it is about to shatter. When she gets a call saying her sister, Kiki, has attempted suicide, she is to become the caretaker of her nephew while Kiki in in the hospital. Amanda Prowse touches a sensitive topic from the perspective of those left behind and how their world also can shatter in an instant. While a beautifully written piece, my distain for Nora kept me from fully loving the book. Prowse does too good of a job creating a dislikable character that I could not get pass this. I think many others would enjoy this book, but overall it was not for me.

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I haven't read much by Amanda Prowse, but I was really impressed with this book. You can tell in this book that she has first hand knowledge of military life, especially being a military wife. The social demands put on the wife of a higher ranking soldier is fairly unique and I could certainly see from having been there myself, that her knowledge and feelings were right on.

In the book, Nora is feeling like her husband's military life has sort of gone on without her--that she doesn't really matter. He has just brought up the discord between them when Nora is notified that something has happened to her little sister and she needs to go take care of her young son. The two sisters are the result of a dysfunctional family at it's worst and their relationship is almost nonexistent. Taking care of Ted is quite the challenge for Nora, but in the process she discovers what real friendships and relationships can be.

This beautiful book deals with trust, love, opening your heart and allowing others close to you.

I was gifted a copy of this book. All thoughts are my own.

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I think many women will relate to Nora. She married Gordy, a British Army Officer, and she moved every time he moved. Along the way, she focused more on what she should do for her husband rather than thinking about what she wanted out of life. As they were leaving Cyprus to move to England.
A tragedy happened, and she became the guardian of her seven-year-old nephew, Ted. She knew she had to do it, and she did. What she discovered, was what she and her life could be, when she was looking at it through her nephews eyes. Sometimes it changes everything.
I received an ARC from Lake Union Publishing through NetGalley.

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I love Amanda Prowse's writing and this is another beautiful book.

well written and a wonderfully touching story.

Nora is a lovely character that feels like she is lacking something that makes her feel secure in her life.

This story is about her finding herself a little bit again and starting to love who she is.


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A wonderful book. A rollercoaster of emotions, tears for me at times. Just beautifully written, I was carried along with all the characters with their different perspectives of the story. I loved Nora's relationship with Ted, and how it grew. It was an insight into depression for me, and I feel like I understand it more. Thank you Amanda, for the hours where I can just sit and read your fabulous stories.
Many thanks to NetGalley, Amazon Publishing UK, Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read an early copy. I give my honest opinions.
I absolutely loved it.

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Amanda Prowse knows how to combine different subjects and make the connections seamlessly.
This latest tackles a rocky marriage, grappling with the past, and mental health.
It’s a touching, tender story about two sisters who reach out to finally connect and one sister has to decide whether she wants to save her marriage to her career army husband.
Her story demonstrates that while our pasts shape us they do not define us.
I enjoyed reading this book and I couldn’t wait to find out what harkened.

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Amanda Prowse is a fantastic writer so when I was accepted to read this ARC early I couldn't have been happier. This was such a beautiful story and I couldn't put it down. This book will pull at your heartstrings and will make you get emotional but it is worth it. I will be recommending this book to all of my friends and family.

Thanks NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK, Lake Union Publishing for allowing me to read this ARC early.

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What a magical book. My heart is heavy, yet happy! I cant even put into words how this book touched my heart. Dealing with mental health issues in such a touchful way..beautiful. I cant tell you
How much you have to ready this book...once you do... you will feel the magic.

Thanks to the author, the publisher and Netgalley for an early release of this book.

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Another fantastic book by author Amanda prowse. Very character driven! Thank you for another great read.m

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I have loved allof Amanda's books and this did not disappoint.
This story deals with some emotional hard-hitting topics which made me laugh and cry!
I loved Noras relationship which grew with Ted, my favourite characters for sure!
Heartbreaking sweet and funny emotional this story left me all warm inside, after reading in one sitting!
Thank you to the publisher and the author for my advance copy in return for an honest review

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I really wanted to like this book. The synopsis sounded very interesting. As I began reading I got a sinking feeling that it was not going to work for me. I continued anyway and still was not interested. Nora is just too unconnected for me. Gordy has no backbone. I realize it’s probably all part of the story but I can’t get past my lack of interest in the characters. Also the use of the f word is an automatic DNF for me. I did continue to read 2 more chapters and it popped up again. I will not be finishing the book.

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Nora and her husband Gordy are struggling in their marriage. She wonders if she was wrong not to pursue her dreams instead of becoming an Army Officers wife. Losing her parents at a young age and not having anyone who made her feel secure and loved, she has chosen not to have children. When a tragedy forces her to become the guardian of her nephew, she is not sure she is able to take care of and love him. Can she let go of her feelings from the past and be a temporary mother to her nephew and have a second chance at a happy marriage!

Thanks to Amanda Prose and Lake Union Publishing!

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I’m always happy to immerse myself into an Amanda Prowse book, a wonderful read with perception and emotion!
Picking Up the Pieces is cleverly written to show Nora’s life as a military wife to her husband Gordy. The storyline follows Nora’s feelings and thoughts on moving around, not having a sense of belonging and what happens to her self esteem as life goes on!
Life changes when Nora is called on to support her sister and nephew.
Amanda Prowse has delved into mental health, how our adult life can be tainted by our upbringing and gives questions and answers to some of life’s mysteries.
The characters are relatable and warm and leave the reader feeling a part of the story!

Thanks to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing, NetGalley and the amazing Amanda Prowse for the opportunity to read and review this book.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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How sad for your childhood memories to be of feeling unwanted, unloved because your parents were so in love with each other and their lifestyle. Leonora (Nora) grew up this way and her parents untimely deaths led to her building walls to keep from getting hurt - even walls for her husband Gordy. When her much younger sister Kiki attempts to take her own life, Nora who's husband has just mentioned divorce, goes to her sister's home to care for her nephew, Ted, while Niki recovers. Nora learns a lot about herself during the weeks she is with Ted and the unhappy circumstance that brought everyone together makes them all stronger.

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would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for letting me read this thought provoking book

this was a first for me by this author and i have to say it wont be the last

i have to admit struggling at first with this book but then all of a sudden i was pulled right into the storyline and very much invested in the lives of nora and kiki

i dont want to give to much away but how the author handled the sensitive issue of mental health within this storyline was very illuminating and brought the reader to more understanding of what people feel and go through and the uphill battle that everyday people face

but this storyline is more than that its also about relationships from every generation and its about families and friendships

will be keeping an eye out for more of this authors works

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I've loved every book written by Amanda Prowse and this was no exception although it did take me longer than usual to get fully into it and there were some slow parts here and there in the book. However, this didn't detract from what was an excellent story. Two sisters with damaged past lives. Nora, a military wife never really settling in each place she and her husband moved to and Kiki with mental health issues. Kiki's little boy, Ted, is adorable and some of his 'moment's were really touching. I was rooting for this family throughout as they faced past and present issues and wondering and hoping that they would find the love and stability that was denied them as children. A lovely story with a mix of humour, sadness, hope, healing and love. I thoroughly recommend it. My thanks to Netgally and the publisher for an ARC which I happily and voluntarily review.

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I enjoyed this book but did find it to be quite long winded. I liked the exploration of the relationships between different family members - especially the 2 sisters. The parts in the past were quite strange and although added to the modern story, weren’t my favourite part of the book.

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The prologue starts with a very young Leonora and an old gentleman called Senor Agosti taking her back to bed when she’d got up scared in the night. The stories of Leonora / Nora and Senor Agosti then become clear as the book begins.

Nora and her army office husband are leaving Cyprus to be stationed back in the UK – and having relatives who’ve lived in forces accommodation – the descriptions of them and the furnishings are perfect! Their relationship is not great – but all of that is put on the back burner when Nora’s sister Kiki has a crisis, and Nora has to go and look after her nephew, Ted. Nora and Kiki don’t not get on – but just haven’t really been in each others lives much – so Nora and Ted don’t really know each other at all. Nora also hasn’t had her own children – so dealing with a seven year old is a whole new ball game for her.

The book looks at familial relationships – and siblings who perceive their own individual ‘truths’ from their upbringings (oh how relevant #WilliamandHarry) – along with the power of friendships. Exploring mental health issues is obviously something close to the author’s heart – and she’s been open about her own son’s issues with depression and suicidal thoughts – and that is very evident in the powerful and ‘real’ descriptions of Kiki’s own troubles in this book.

Interspersed with the main storyline of Nora’s family – there is also a series of chapters and letters from Senor Agosti trying to track down Nora and Kiki to return a painting to them that their father did when they were children. This is a lovely other strand to the book – and I do wonder what happens to M&M after the book finishes. Maybe a sort of sequel?!

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed Picking Up The Pieces and would definitely recommend it.

Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for my ARC.

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Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read this book. It is a heartwarming read but does also deal with some sensitive issues as well , making it a perfect book in my opinion. I must admit that I struggled to gel with Nora in the first half of the book, not sure why but did adore her by the end! The ending ties up beautifully and I did shed a few happy tears. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for this author’s other books. 5 stars from me.

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Second chances!

Ever fall in love with a story? Well it’s rare for me to be totally smitten by a story. But with this I was. A story that draws you in, reveals and holds your hand as you stand in the shoes of an abandoned child, a broken marriage, and the rediscovery of family and friends and joy.
Leonora’s parents had been wildly in love, ultra bohemian, and her father a talented artist. They’d died in a car accident, an accident their six year old daughter Nora was sure would happen. Not the accident per se, but that something bad would happen.
Years later their father’s old patron, Santiago Agosti, is trying to trace Leonora and Kiki. He wants to give a painting of their father’s to them before he dies. This continues to play out through the story.
Meanwhile, now an adult, Nora, is completely blindsided when she receives a phone call saying her sister Kiki was in hospital and her seven year old nephew Ted needed help. Kiki had named Norah as Ted’s guardian.
Nora ‘s husband Gordy is with the army. They’re stationed in Cyprus and about to ship back to Wiltshire, England to take a promotion. Not only that, their marriage has hit a down turn and they’re drifting apart. Nora doesn’t fit into the role of army wife that well. Oh, she follows the drum but can’t relate to the other wives. Gordy’s mentioned divorce. All that is sidelined as Nora rushes to England for her sister and nephew’s sake.
A story of facing the realities of life, of second chances and emphasisng the need for a community to help and hold you. A timely book of hope that shows we are all wounded. I loved it.

An Amazon, UK ARC via NetGalley.
Many thanks to the author and publisher.

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What a fabulous read!

Amanda Prowse is just fabulous at writing about friendships and relationships, and I felt like this book just went to a whole new level with the way it was covered and the theme it followed.

I always know that when I pick one of Amanda’s books up, the characters will find their way into my heart and I just cannot let them go. This book did exactly that with so many of the characters that I met along the way.

I just wanted to grab Nora and hug her throughout this book! I love her character so much and at times I have cried for her, and with her throughout her story.

Another fabulous read from the very fabulous,Amanda Prowse

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Nora's career military husband has just received another promotion and they are about to move yet again. She has lacked grounding since her childhood. Her parents were cold and uncaring. Her grandmothers weren't particularly nurturing. Her marriage seems be be crumbling and she keeps potential friends at an arm's length. Suddenly this shaky world is completely upended because her distant sister has a medical emergency and Nora needs to go take care of her young nephew.

This break from her normal life forces Nora to accept help from others. She starts facing her problems and begins to understand how her early life affected her current life. Ted, the nephew, needs her unwavering support.

The colliding circumstances make Nora come out of her shell and start reaching out. She realizes what she truly wants from her life and takes the necessary steps to bring about the changes.

This book allows the reader to feel her despair and cheer her advances to having a full and loving life; all the while nurturing her nephew, her sister, and new relationships.

Well written, well thought out and engaging story.

I received an advance copy of this book. This is my honest review.

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Dear Amanda,

Yet again you have written a story that not only pulled at my heartstrings, but your insightful knowledge into such a delicate subject has inspired me to start every conversation with a few words of kindness.

Nora faced many difficulties during her childhood which left her feeling isolated and unloved. Being an army wife and having no permanent base has also contributed to her sense of being insignificant. But Nora’s ordered life is about to change! Her husband has just muted the word “divorce” when she receives a call that she is needed to take charge of her seven year old nephew, Ted.

I became so involved with Nora, Ted and Gordy that I read this book from cover to cover in one sitting. As Nora begins to trust her own instincts when it came to caring for Ted, I could sense the wall that she had built to protect herself falling slowly away brick by brick. My heart melted at how Gordy took Ted under his wing and the way he and Nora drew strength from each other.

What I appreciated most about this story is the way the women at the school gates bring Nora into their circle. Their friendship and kindness towards her, and each other is like a shining beacon which beckoned me to come and join them.

Mrs Prowse tackles a tough subject head on but with a sensitivity that ensures her crown as a top selling author remains in place!

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Nora grew up as a somewhat lonely child, with distant parents who showed her little care.
As an adult, Nora married, but found herself just as unhappy and feeling unloved as she had as a child.

When Nora’s sister finds herself in hospital, she needs Nora’s help. Despite the pair not being particularly close, Nora steps up to help her sister by taking care of her young nephew.

As Nora is thrown into a world that is totally unfamiliar, can she find, and build bonds with those closest to her? And is it too late to save her marriage?

This is another outstandingly gorgeous book from Amanda Prowse. There are few authors who write with such fluid beauty in their words.

This book is an emotional read. It’s all about second chances and learning to love yourself.

I was so touched by some of the themes in this book. Not for the first time, Amanda Prowse spoke to me with her writing and stirred some deep rooted feelings within me.

Overall, this is a story that will take your heart, and squeeze it with a range of emotions.
Picking Up The Pieces will envelope you and consume you. It will uplift you and charm you.
An utterly exquisite read.

With thanks to Netgalley and Amazon Publishing Uk for a digital arc of this title.

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EXCERPT: .....she did what she always did in this situation: drank more coffee, stared at the Grecian-blue horizon, and wished she wasn't so damn lonely. Maybe Sophie Cosworth was right: it was easier to make friends if you could join a mummy-club, but if everyone in that club was as fixated with their kids as Jasmine and her crew were, Nora knew she wouldn't fit in anyway. Besides, how did that work? Choosing friends based on the fact that you'd all managed to reproduce? It really was as ludicrous as it sounded. She had friends from university whom she rarely saw but knew that if ever she were in Colorado or Milton Keynes, she could look up her old roommates and be assured of a friendly welcome and a bed for the night. But the kind of mate she could call up for a chat, meet for coffee, turn to for advice? They were a bit thin on the ground. She saw the fact that she was not quite one of the gang as further proof of her oddness, and it hurt.

ABOUT 'PICKING UP THE PIECES': As Nora and her British Army officer husband, Gordy, pack up yet another home and leave the sun of Cyprus for the drizzle of England, she can’t shake a feeling of regret—at her failure to follow her own dreams, but also, if she’s honest, at having ended up an officer’s wife at all, drifting through a life of temporary homes and temporary relationships.

Since losing her parents at a young age, Nora’s life has been lacking an anchor: someone or something to make her feel secure. Her marriage has been her only permanent relationship, and just as even that appears to be fizzling out, a tragedy forces Nora into the role of legal guardian to her seven-year-old nephew, Ted. Faced suddenly with a responsibility she never dreamed of, how can Nora possibly offer the boy the kind of unconditional love he deserves, when she’s never experienced it for herself?

But as she navigates the precarious and unfamiliar world of parenthood, Nora begins to see herself through Ted’s eyes, as someone worthy of love and even joy. When she’s welcomed into the previously intimidating huddle of mums at the school gate, she has to wonder: is it too late to smash down the other barriers she’s built—and to have a second chance at a happy marriage with Gordy?

MY THOUGHTS: I can always rely on finishing an Amanda Prowse book with a big smile on my face and my tear ducts in overdrive. Picking Up The Pieces was no exception. I felt all the emotions as I was reading - more than once.

I loved Nora's character; she is initially prickly and standoffish, unsure of both her place in the world and her future. She is not close to and is resentful of her only and much younger sister, Kiki.

But when Kiki is rushed to hospital, Nora finds herself suddenly responsible for her beguiling young nephew Ted. Never having been, nor ever having wanted to be a parent, Nora is out of her depth. How does she relate to this child who has only an occasional and tenuous relationship with his father, who is not to be relied on, and who is now also without his mother? And what does she say to the question, 'When's mummy coming home?', a question she cannot begin to answer.

Gordy, Nora's almost estranged husband is a wonderful character, as are all Kiki's friends, who surround Nora with support and friendship despite her best efforts to push them away.

This unplanned parenting experience, with all that it brings, will either make or break Nora. Which will it be?

Amanda Prowse has written a beautiful and touching book that has something in it for all of us. It deals with mental health problems, the isolating effects of depression, and the value of friendship.


#PickingupthePieces #NetGalley

I: @mrsamandaprowse @amazonpublishing

T: @MrsAmandaProwse @AmazonPub

#contemporaryfiction #familydrama #romance

THE AUTHOR: Amanda Prowse was a management consultant for ten years before realising that she was born to write. Amanda lives in the West Country with her husband and their two teenage sons.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Amazon Publishing UK, Lake Union Publishing, via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Picking up the Pieces by Amanda Prowse for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage

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My eyes are still full of tears. I have JUST finished Picking Up The Pieces by Amanda Prowse. I have read many of Amanda’s books and I am immediately drawn into the stories that she cleverly crafts. Picking Up The Pieces was no exception, and from page one I was transported into Nora’s life as an Army Wife and her not so happy marriage to Gordy. Suddenly her sister needed her, and Nora’s label shifted from Army Wife to Auntie Pickle to 7-year-old Ted. As Nora immersed herself into this new life, acquiring new skills, she pondered on her unusual, dysfunctional upbringing and worried about her marriage.

When I realised I was a couple of chapters away from the end of Picking Up The Pieces I wondered how Amanda would piece together all the parts of her wonderful story – and then my aha moment – the book is called “Picking Up the Pieces.”! And of course, it was cleverly done. A brilliant title for a beautiful story.

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WOW! I really loved this beautifully written book! This is the first book that I have read by Amanda Prowse and I really felt it on a personal level. Even though my life is quite different from Nora’s I could very much relate to her!

Nora had a rough start to life with bohemian parents that were so in love with each other and thought of her more of a nuisance. She felt unloved and replaced once they had a second child when she was twelve years old. Tragically, her parents died in a car accident soon after her baby sister, Kiki was born. Nora was shipped to a boarding school while Kiki was raised by their grandmother. Life changes for her once she meets her husband, Gordy where she truly feels loved.

Fast forward 18 years, their marriage is rocky. There is no communication, the love for each other has fizzled and she is always irritated with Gordy. When they are in the middle of an argument, he mentions divorce and Nora gets a devastating call that her baby sister has attempted to take her life. Nora has to go take care of her nephew until her sister is released from the hospital while trying to figure out the future of her marriage. Their life is truly changed forever!

What a heart-warming story with realistic characters! I couldn’t put this book down! I think that in today’s society having a mental illness is often shamed and not often talked about openly. I thought it was very powerful that Kiki’s mental illness wasn't kept secret and that her close friends openly discussed it and provided the support that both Kiki & Nora needed. I feel like we need more books with this kind of openness.

Thank you to NetGalley, Amazon Publishing UK and Amanda Prowse for the Advanced Readers copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!

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This was an entertaining, well-written book. It was bittersweet, heartwarming and thought provoking. I enjoyed this book and would read other books by this author.

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Another wonderful novel by Amanda Prowse. Nora has built emotional walls so high, that now her marriage is in trouble. Then she gets a call that her sister has tried to commit suicide and she is needed to look after her young nephew. Nora finds that the events of her own childhood have caught up with her and if she is to be happy again, she must deal with her own past.

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How does one rebuild when everything in their life is falling apart? “Picking up the Pieces” is a lesson in believing in yourself, trusting others, and finding your way back home. . Sisters Kiki and Nora are forced to reunite and find some sort of family connection by looking beyond what they always believed about the other. I loved this book and the emotions it evoked

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This is a beautiful, touching story of healing and love.

Nora’s growth in this story is breathtaking. Her and Gordy’s love is beautiful. They are going through a rough patch and my heart ached watching them navigate their marriage; but what a beautiful love they share.

I loved watching the relationship between Nora and her sister, Kiki, and her nephew, Ted, blossom and bloom. The struggles they had to overcome to get them to where they need to be were heartbreaking, but the relationships and bonds stunning.

Amanda Prowse writes with such beauty and depth that you feel so many emotions throughout these journeys. I felt everything these characters were going through. There are many sad and tearful moments but also so many heartfelt and beautiful moments.

I loved the writing of this story. The glimpses of the past and, the story within the story, it is just fantastic. A story of rediscovering family, friends, and love, and of second chances. It’s a heartfelt, beautiful story that left my heart smiling.

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Amanda Prowse returns with another emotionally rich novel. Nora was raised by neglectful parents who died young, leaving her and her much younger sister to be raised by grandparents. Decades later, Nora is married to a career officer, while--she thinks--her sister is happily raising her young son. But as Nora prepares for yet another move with Gordy, he drops a bombshell. He thinks they should talk about divorce. Before they can, though, Nora receives more shocking news--her younger sister is in the hospital and Nora must serve as guardian for her nephew, Ted.

As Nora walks into a new life, in which she has to help a young boy navigate tremendous uncertainty, she becomes fond of Kiki's friends and adores Ted. And when she and Ted visit Gordy, she sees another side of her husband, who would clearly have been a terrific father.

Amanda Prowse has such an amazing gift for creating stories that suck you right in and don't permit you to stop reading until the very last page. #PickingUpthePieces #NetGalley

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