183 Times a Year by Eva Jordan (Book Review)

183 Times a Year

Mothers and daughters alike will never look at each other in quite the same way after reading this book—a brilliantly funny observation of contemporary family life.

Lizzie—exasperated Mother of Cassie, Connor and Stepdaughter Maisy—is the frustrated voice of reason to her daughters’ teenage angst. She gets by with good friends, cheap wine and talking to herself—out loud.

16-year-old Cassie—the Facebook-Tweeting, Selfie-Taking, Music and Mobile Phone obsessed teen—hates everything about her life. She longs for the perfect world of Chelsea Divine and her ‘undivorced’ parents—and Joe, of course.

However, the discovery of a terrible betrayal and a brutal attack throws the whole household into disarray. Lizzie and Cassie are forced to reassess the important things in life as they embark upon separate journeys of self-discovery—accepting some less than flattering home truths along the way.

Although tragic at times this is a delightfully funny exploration of domestic love, hate, strength and ultimately friendship. A poignant, heartfelt look at that complex and diverse relationship between a Mother and daughter set amongst the thorny realities of today’s divided and extended families.

183 times a year

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My Thoughts

This is the story of Lizzie a forty-five-year-old Librarian, divorced with two children, a partner (Simon), and stepdaughter called Maisie (who likes to be known as Mania).

Lizzie has a typical mother/teenage daughter relationship with Cassie in that every single thing that she does is wrong. Cassie blames Lizzie for everything that is not right in her life, which ranges from getting divorced (her ex walked out on them!) to the bump in her nose. Luckily for Lizzie her youngest son Connor hasn’t hit the stage of overflowing teenage angst yet and at just eleven, still rather likes his mum.

When tragedy strikes the whole family’s lives are torn apart, especially Cassie who is given an enormous wake-up call. The teenager who was angry, irresponsible, selfish and sometimes downright unkind suddenly faces the unthinkable. In doing so, she evaluates what is really important in her life and for the first time ever she must take responsibility for her actions.

The book is not just a mother and daughter relationship struggle, there are plenty of other characters who are diverse and multi-layered. The humour is clever, warm and observational, and it is a brilliant contrast to the more emotive side of the story.

In many ways I found it to be a book of two halves, the plot shifts completely in one place and there are several other surprises that appear from nowhere, in the second half of the book. Of course, by then you feel that you know all the characters incredibly well so the change of course has a high impact.

This is an amazing debut from Eva Jordan and it paves the way for a sparkling future.

A totally enthralling read.

About The Author

183 times a year

Eva Jordan was born in Kent but has lived most of her life in a small Cambridgeshire town. She describes herself as a lover of words, books, travel and chocolate, and is also partial to the odd glass or two of wine. Eva is both a mum and step mum to four adult children, all of whom have, at times, inspired her writing and her family based novels. Her career has been varied including working for the library service and at a women’s refuge. A member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Eva also writes a monthly column for a local magazine and says storytelling through the art of writing is her passion. 183 Times A Year is Eva’s debut novel, followed by All The Colours In Between, and Time Will Tell


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