When life falls apart all you need is…One Good Thing”
This summer I decided to take some time off to re-evaluate my focus points in writing and business, to spend quality time with my boys while they were off for summer and to take some much-needed downtime to get through my ‘To Be Read’ pile.
Life doesn’t go to your plan, it sticks to its own agenda and my plans went completely out the window. I instead have been dealing with the process of ‘Unmasking’ after confirmation I have ADHD and being diagnosed in adulthood, both my boys got chicken-pox one and then the other and all the summer has seemed to have been is one cancelled plan after another. I did however get through my TBR pile and even though I have now filled it back up again, (Hello, my name is Rochelle and I am a ‘neurospicy’ book lover with a need for the written word), I need to tell you about one book in particular; especially since my life these days could very well be written by Alexandra Potter herself.
A Thirty Something F** Up meets A Forty Something F** Up
I had heard a lot about a book called “Confessions of a Forty Something F**K Up” at the start of this year in the writing/reading communities and when I finally found it back in stock on the shelves of my ‘regular’ supermarket, I had to get it. I had just finished another book and so decided to get stuck right in and it didn’t fail to speak to me. That was my first experience of the brilliant author Alexandra Potter. After reading the above said book, I discovered not only did Alexandra have a back catalogue I needed to explore but she was releasing another book and it was available for pre-order. I didn’t hesitate, I pre-ordered straight away and awaited delivery.
“One Good Thing” is the name of the newest title and when it arrived it went on to the TBR to be devoured in due course.
I’m Not a Book Reviewer, I’m Just A Women Who Loved a Book
Now, this isn’t my ‘usual’ type of blog post but I needed to write this about “One Good Thing” because it has so many layers and I think it could appeal to so many because of it who may discard it without consideration because it is being called an ‘alternative love story’.
One thing I have loved about Alexandra’s writing style is that she gives you hope, gives you warmth even in reading about realities that you know can feel the complete opposite and she isn’t afraid to show the side of life that isn’t a fairytale. This book isn’t just written from the perspective of the main character, it has given many characters a voice and background story which appealed to my ‘neurospicy’ brain a lot as there were very little questions left unanswered at the end. Each of these characters then become a seamless part of the main character’s story and I felt a much stronger connection to the book overall because of this. There were twists that weren’t unrealistic either, which is another bonus point for me and it never got boring because of all the layers that were being discovered; this isn’t just an alternative love story.
Not Just One Good Thing but Many
Alexandra has dared to tackle so many different topics that can bring up so many emotions in this book and it so beautiful seeing not only how the characters have dealt with it upon introduction of them but how as the story grows, so too do the characters. In the book there is: Divorce, infidelity, childhood trauma, Dementia, death, the strength of marriage, community spirit, new beginnings, step-parent struggles, friendship, female power and of course, the love of a dog changing your life, to name but a few layers. My favourite however was that Alexandra tackled Neurodivergence and the relationship between a neurotypical parent and neurodivergent child. As a neurodivergent parent with a neurodivergent husband and children, I noticed the signs right away when the character was introduced but that was only because I’ve been there and I know it well.
I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone who wants to read this book so I’m treading carefully on the line of informative and vagueness here. The topic of Autism was so delicately handled by Alexandra and it was beautiful how she showed progress in the Autistic character but not so much that it became unrealistic and unrelatable. Even being a parent with an insight into neurodivergence, I totally understood the struggle of the child’s parent not knowing how to do the best for their child in regards to school and their education because you are trying to deal with the reality that it is a neurotypical world that just doesn’t have space for your child and it hurts beyond belief as well as brings about a lot of frustration and anger. I saw myself and my sons in both of these particular characters and it was really fantastic to read a book where this wasn’t treated like a ‘taboo’ subject and without any stereotypes also.
This book was a huge source of Dopamine for me, I read the whole thing in 2.5 days which is a huge feat and speaks volumes about the book as I’m neurodivergent looking after neurodivergent children at home right now and chronically ill. I didn’t want to put it down. It had such warmth, wisdom, humour and I saw the characters so vividly in my head, mapping out each scene like I was truly part of it all. I felt the bonds, I could smell the cold, fresh Yorkshire air, I wanted to meet Harry the dog and more than anything I felt like the characters were helping me make sense of my own world and it was truly a very life affirming journey. I’m very sad that book is finished and the journey is over but it is a journey I have gratitude for being on.
Love hard. Be fierce. Horns High.