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Jayne Buxton is a consultant and spokesperson in the field of work-life balance. After her non-fiction book, ENDING THE MOTHER WAR, was published in 1998 she became a regular contributor to press, radio and conference discussions about working parents and workplace change. She co-founded Flametree, a specialist work-life balance consultancy and interactive web based community for working parents. She now lives in London with her husband and three children and is currently working on her next novel.
Single mother, Ally, juggling the problems of a neurotic boss, the sudden appearance of her exâ€™s new dolly bird and the endless demands of her children, finds life completely joyless. A good friend, Mel, takes her to a dating seminar and Ally rises to the challenge, adopting a more positive approach to life. Familiar ground, maybe, but this debut novel is surprisingly fresh, a thoroughly enjoyable read.Comparison: Anna Maxted, Allison Pearson, Lisa Jewell.Similar this month: Sophie Kinsella, Elizabeth Noble.
Libby always thought her life was well-ordered, charmed even: three gorgeous daughters, a husband who adores her, friends to see her through thick and thin. But lately, with one daughter in a constant fit of teenage sulks, a ten-year-old questioning everything in the universe and beyond, and a husband who seems to see her mainly as the manager of school runs, ironed shirts and a well-stocked fridge, motherhood is showing some of its distinctly uglier sides. But Libby soldiers on, taking her youngest to an environmental group to find answers to all those pesky universe questions, navigating egg-shells to confront her oldest about that tell-tale silver-foil packet of 21 tiny pills and cramming in some time for rekindling the spark in her marriage after the eight o'clock news. Until one day, she's had enough. She used to have more to talk about than the PTA and the price of apples at the supermarket; she used to have something to drive her life, a purpose behind things. And she wants that back - or at least some of it. So when she meets Daniel, attractive, passionate and engagingly spontaneous, she knows the turning point has come. But as domestic disaster and emotional calamity descend on the Blake household, Libby soon realizes that it's not simply a matter of starting all over again...