I am so excited to be posting today as part of a book tour for a debut novel!
Amy Avanzino’s Wake-Up Call was published on September 1, 2015 by Henery Press.
About the book: Sarah Winslow wakes up with a terrible hangover… and a kid in her boyfriend’s bed. She makes the horrifying discovery that, due to a head injury, it’s not a hangover. She’s got memory loss. Overnight, five years have disappeared, and she’s no longer the hard-living, fast-track, ad executive party girl she thinks she is. Now, she’s the unemployed, pudgy, married, stay-at-home-mom of three kids under five, including twins. As she slowly pieces together the mystery of how her dreams and aspirations could have disintegrated so completely in five short years, she finds herself utterly failing to manage this life she can’t imagine choosing. When Sarah meets the man of her dreams, she realizes she’s got to make a choice: Does she follow her bliss and “do-over” her life? Or does the Sarah she’s forgotten hold the answers to how she got here… and how she can stay?
My Review: When Sarah Winslow wakes up and discovers her new life is no longer “single girl in the city”, but rather “stay at home mom in the suburbs”, she has to reconsider everything that’s important to her and start fresh. “Wake-Up Call”, a debut novel by Amy Avanzino, is a modern-day take on that old adage: “the grass is always greener on the other side”.
I loved that this book is honest about motherhood, the hardships, and the life you give up to raise children. Most of us have chosen this role, but I can’t imagine being Sarah Winslow and being thrown into the lion’s den so suddenly. At least for those who have (three or more) kids, it’s a gradual buildup. Sarah, who has experienced a bout of amnesia after a skateboard fall, has forgotten the last 5 years of her life. When she’s practically thrown into the lion’s den to look after her three children alone, she says “How hard can it be? I have a 12 year old girls’ job”. Not quite!
This book can be described as part chicklit, part coming of age/realization. There are plenty of humourous moments, with a serious undertone. I laughed out loud many times, probably because I could relate so much to the main character and her family. The relationships are real – hard times between Sarah and her husband, just like many of us go through. But, they’re a family and love each other, and that’s where this book really excels. Showing that the love of family – and not material things – is what’s truly important. Good friends, great kids and a loving husband are the real joys in Sarah’s life, something she has to discover and realize for herself (again). Sarah has a great group of friends, just not the ones she’s expecting. The divide between her past life and present becomes more obvious as she learns the new way of doing things, with lots of help from her children. The innateness of motherhood is hard to resist as Sarah leads her charges (her own children) from activity to playgroup to school. As Sarah tries to reclaim her old life, Sarah becomes a mother bear in the true sense, standing up for her son against a bully child AND her mother, for example. Basically, she’s doing her best to raise her children and exceeds her own expectations of what she’s able to accomplish!
My favourite laugh-out-loud part of the book –
“I can’t stand my shape”. Sarah exclaims!
“I love your shape”, says Kofi.
“Then you must love circles”, replies Sarah.
I flew through this book which is a pretty big feat for me. It helped that my toddler was napping on me…so, what else was I to do? Love that! Not all books are like that though, so it shows that “Wake-Up Call” is an engaging, fast-paced read with likeable characters and plot.
Even more exciting is that this book is first in series – the Wake-Up Call series. New series, and new authors, are always fun to discover.
Thank you to the author for providing me a with an ebook copy of ‘Wake-up Call’ in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
For more about Amy Avanzino, visit her website