File Size: 519 KB
Print Length: 384 pages
Publisher: ThornBerry Publishing UK (4 Oct 2012)
Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
Amanda Wilson is all geared up for an exciting gap-year, travelling across Europe. She soon finds her plans thwarted when she is abandoned in France with only a cellarful of Chateau Plonk, a large, orange Space Hopper, and Old Ted, the dog, for company.
Fate has intervened to turn her life on its head. First, Bertie, the camper van, breaks down. Then her dopey son, Tom, who is staying in their house in the UK, is wrecking it, one piece at a time. Next, the jaw-dropping video Skype calls that her irrepressible mother insists on making are, by contrast, making Amanda’s humdrum trip even less palatable. Finally, she discovers that her new-found, French friend, Bibi Chevalier, had engineered a plan to ensure that her philandering husband would never stray again; unfortunately, Amanda is unwittingly drawn into the scheme, becoming a target. Meanwhile, on a beach in Sydney, a lonely Todd Bradshaw realises that his first true love, Amanda Wilson, is definitely the only woman for him. Can he get back into her good books and hopefully back into her arms with his latest plan? Or will fate intervene yet again and turn everyone’s lives upside down?
We begin our journey with a blog post. Amanda has blogged on Fortifying Your Fifties about the impending gap year. Some of the comments make me chuckle.
Chapter One sees Todd Bradshaw experiencing a night of passion with Amanda. Waking exhausted he finds it was only a dream! Todd is a man who has missed the opportunities in the past but Amanda is still haunting him.
On the road, we learn from Phil about the night before. Amanda and her mother Grace (having recently got in touch) were up all night drinking and reminiscing. Amanda is feeling rather ill …
Next we meet Bibi and we’re introduced to her life and her relationship with husband Didier.
With all our characters in place, what follows is a fast paced and engaging story of how their lives end up weaving in and out, with moments that make you laugh out loud but others more serious and in one particular case, life threatening.
Phil has lost his place in the world after retiring and right from the start of their gap year is grumpy. After Bertie the camper van breaks down and they stay in a rustic village, what should have been idyllic only exacerbates his feelings. With son Tom texting with disasters at home, one such text sends Phil home leaving Amanda in France.
Bibi’s husband has been having an affair and she uses social media as a non-threatening way to try to win him back. Amanda and Bibi become friends … and two other connections become important to them both (not both in a good way!)
Grace’s zany front hides a vulnerability underneath. She is such a fabulous character. We could all learn something from her!
With each character narrating in the third person, we get to know them well. Interspersed with the story are the blog posts from Amanda, filling in information and garnering some funny comments. I was delighted to see DizzyC making a comment 🙂
Surfing with Stilettos touches on some very real and harrowing life experiences. Marital infidelity, false identities and how that can be used to prey on vulnerable members of our society … and how we in our culture identify strongly with the work we do.
I have enjoyed being transported to France and being a part of these characters finding their own places in the world. My imagination has been fired, I’ve chuckled and bitten my nails in tension. I have no hesitation in recommending you add Surfing in Stilettos to your reading pile.
I would like to thank the author for providing a Kindle copy in exchange for an honest review.