Alex is a woman no one should ever aspire to. She wants to be the perfect wife, be the perfect mother and feels it bitterly if there are any shortcomings. Permanently playing catch up, with a demanding job, an ailing husband (whom she has just donated a kidney to) and not recovering well herself, she pushes herself more and more trying to keep up with the very growing list of chores and things to be done.
What Alex does not do is listen to her children, both young - one a precocious teenager and one a very young girl. Both desperate for a mother to just listen to them and give them the opening they need to confide in her. Subjects which they cannot bring up as it is not cool enough or they are not comfortable with. Sam on the other hand, the husband who is now well recovered after surgery is blithe, having left it to Alex's capable hands for the last two decades he is quite willing to continue in the same vein.
The fact that Izzy is being bullied mercilessly and does not know how to cope and that Jenna is trying to cope with her budding sexuality are the two topics that are so well handled that it should be compulsory reading for all mothers and fathers. Whilst their children try to cope as best as they could, Alex and Sam both involved and focussed on their careers as they feel that this is what they do best, damage their family so much that it is a wonder that they did not all disappear into a black hole.
Honest to goodness day to day life for a typical first world family very well depicted.
Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Hodder & Stoughton.