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Beautiful Day by Kate Anthony
  

Beautiful Day

Relationship Stories   Debuts of the Month   Family Drama   Literary Fiction   Relationship Stories   eBook Favourites   eBook Favourites   

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April 2014 Debut of the Month.

A gorgeously generous, warm-hearted read, which will hold your hand as you face a poignant wave of emotions. Take in Rachel’s everyday reality, a reality where she is desperately trying to wrest back control of her household, her emotions, her life. The author encourages you to actively care about Rachel and her extended family, you urge her to succeed and noisily cheer her on as she tackles each obstacle placed (and sometimes hurled) in her path. The descriptions, particularly of the Care Home residents, are so vivid and eloquent you can see, hear and sometimes even smell each character. With some genuine, laugh out loud moments to be had along the way, this book is a little treasure! ~ Liz Robinson

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

Reader Reviews

  • Susan Walsh - 'A family in Turmoil. A wonderfully portrayed tale of modern day living.  The rough with the smooth (more rough than smooth). A new job could be a new beginning.' Read full review >
  • Claire Simms - 'A very modern day down to earth book with parts that will make you laugh and also cry. A very enjoyable read.' Read full review >
  • Cathy Burman - 'A very touching book with a mix of drama, romance, sensitivity and humour.  A well written easy read that you won't want to put down. Highly recommended.' Read full review >
  • Sue Burton - 'What a wonderful, funny and touching book.  I absolutely loved it and would highly recommend this to other people.' Read full review >
  • Suzanne Marsh - 'I recommend Beautiful Day because it is a funny, heartwarming novel of family life, love and friendship.' Read full review >
  • Jayne Burton - 'A wonderfully insightful book about families, divorce and what life throws at you.' Read full review >
  • Christine Schollar - 'I found myself reading late into the night.  All the characters were completely believable. I envy new readers of this book, they have a real treat in store.' Read full review >
  • Rebecca Whymark - 'A surprisingly good read, I really enjoyed it and identified with the characters in various ways.' Read full review >
  • Julie Collins - 'You will be rooting for Rachel from the opening chapter as she tries to juggle returning to work with caring for her children whilst hiding her struggles from her boss, her ex and her useless au pair.' Read full review >
  • Sarah Tilley - 'A thought provoking read.' Read full review >
  • Bethan Townsend - 'A simply beautiful look at two paths that cross and how they become important to each other. The characters, bad and good, are simply wonderful.' Read full review >
  • Sophia Ufton - 'Brilliant book! The cover is beautifully designed and the layout perfect. The story amazing, wonderfully told, defiantly a must read.' Read full review >
  • Phylippa Smithson - 'This is a perfect book to take with you on a summer holiday.  It’s easy to read, the story flows with a mix of humour, tragedy and sadness.  This is not a book if you want something more challenging.' Read full review >
  • Rachel Hall - 'Ultimately this is an uplifting tale which leaves you with a warm glow and keen to read more of Kate Anthony.' Read full review >
  • Joanne Nuttie - 'A great debut novel... Even though this as quite a simple story, the author had a good use of words and she made her characters believable and very true to life.' Read full review >

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Synopsis

Beautiful Day by Kate Anthony

Beautiful day is Kate Anthony's poignant and heart warming debut novel. Today is the day that things are going to change for Rachel Bidewell. She will walk through the doors of Clifton Avenue Care Home and start a new life. Rachel is returning to work. And as she discovers, juggling a new job, three children and an ex husband can feel like drowning. Someone needs to throw her a lifeline...Philip doesn't seem like an obvious lifesaver. He has just lost the one person who ever cared for him and, even as an adult, he doesn't know how to live in the real world. But might Philip and Rachel each have something the other needs? This is a story of unexpected friendship; of the messy, muddy territory of those broken by life - and what it takes to fix them. It reminds us that the very darkest of days can be funny, heart-warming and even beautiful. Rachel finds hope in the places she least expects in Kate Anthony's stunning first novel, Beautiful Day. Kate Anthony grew up in the Midlands. On graduating, she began working as a residential social worker firstly with young offenders and later with vulnerable adults. She then joined the BBC, working as a producer in comedy for some years before moving to an independent production company as a drama producer. She lives close to Brighton with her family.

Reviews

It's not often you find a chick-lit book that genuinely makes you want to be a better person but this emotional, heart-warming story had just that effect on me. . . I loved it * Daily Mail *


About the Author

Kate Anthony

Kate Anthony grew up in the Midlands. On graduating, she began working as a residential social worker firstly with young offenders and later with vulnerable adults. She then joined the BBC, working as a producer in comedy for some years before moving to an independent production company as a drama producer. She lives close to Brighton with her family.

Below is a Q&A with this author.

You explore various themes in your novel Beautiful Day, such as the many repercussions of divorce, the challenges of being a parent and the bureaucracy of social services. Which were the most difficult themes to write about?
It was hard writing about Rachel’s short fuse around her children. Describing Rachel at her lowest ebb, taking her misery out on her children was a challenge; as soon as there is a child in a scene it is very difficult to keep sympathy with a character that is yelling, no matter what the extenuating circumstances are.

The theme of divorce – the impact it has on the children from the marriage, how it can change the financial situation of one or both partners and how a person can lose their sense of self and purpose through a marriage breakdown – is explored in detail in your novel. Did you find this theme interesting to write about and was it difficult to tackle any aspects of it?
Again, the hardest parts to write were the scenes when Rachel’s bitterness and exhaustion got the better of her. I wanted to put a footnote saying ‘Bear with her. Honestly, this isn’t like her.’ I suppose the aspect of Rachel’s break up that I found the most interesting to write, was that of recovery; of her realisation that by just keeping her head down, waiting it out and trying to keep doing the right thing no matter what, her strength would return. Plus, her accepting that one black day where you let yourself down and it all goes pear-shaped, is OK, it doesn’t mean you’ve irrevocably lost the plot and that you can’t make amends. I was also interested in looking at how the means to healing can come from the most unlikely of places.

As a working mother yourself, did your own experiences help you when writing about the challenges Rachel faces?
Yes, although my biggest fear is being beaten up by my friends who are PTA Reps. Who, I hasten to add, bear no resemblance to Rebecca.

You spent some time working in social services. How much of your own experience did you draw on when exploring this theme in Beautiful Day? Did you meet anyone like Philip? And did you ever work with anyone like Denise?
Of course, I drew heavily on my time as a Residential Social Worker. Especially when I was with an agency because you would get a phone call in the morning and be sent off to do a couple of shifts here, a week there and you got to see all sorts of different set-ups and meet a real mixture of people. Philip is probably an amalgamation of some of the residents that I got closest to and Denise an extreme version of the colleagues that I didn’t! In the main, the group homes that I found myself in were warm, friendly places to be but some weren’t, and those are the ones that have stayed with me and that I wanted to write about.

Rachel, to her surprise, finds love again with Rob – a man very different from her first husband Dom. Do you think she would have fallen for a man like Rob had she met him before Dom? Do you think people look for something different in a partner later in life?
Although at first glance Rob is a very different character from Dom, he probably embodies the qualities Rachel thought Dom possessed for all those years – only to find he didn’t. If my husband ran off with a Deborah tomorrow, initially I might crave a very public fling with a ski instructor half my age, but ultimately, I think I would end up looking for the same qualities that drew me to my husband before it all went wrong – plus the ski instructor might have me arrested. But then again I didn’t marry till I was in my thirties and so things might be very different if you marry when you are young and you may not have the same perspective and priorities. I think we tend to believe that if you lose a partner in later life or after the trauma of a divorce, you are more likely to settle for companionship and comfort, but in reality marriage or a partnership is such a massive commitment and takes up so much of your emotional energy, that embarking on it just to have someone to help with the washing up is probably pretty rare.

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Book Info

Publication date

10th April 2014

Author

Kate Anthony

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Publisher

Penguin Books Ltd

Format

Paperback
384 pages

Categories

Relationship Stories
Debuts of the Month
Family Drama
Literary Fiction
Relationship Stories
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780718178321

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