A laugh out loud emotional read, perfect for fans of Fiona Gibson, Tracy Bloom and Sophie Ranald!
Tess Simpson needs a break!
No one appreciates her at home. No one appreciates her at work. And now her dog has died. She’s had enough!
Maybe what she really needs is a break from hopeless husband, Dave, the ungrateful ‘kidults’ and the lacklustre job.
River Romero needs a break!
She’s had success in the past, but screenwriting is a tough career in a tough town and her next script has got to fly or River’s dream career is over.
Everything about River’s L.A. life sounds exciting to Tess, from the condo with a pool, to the Hollywood glitz.
Everything about Tess’s English country life sounds so calming to River, from the wisteria over the front door to the peaceful bedroom.
Both women want their lives to change, but real life isn’t like the movies.
And what if getting away from it all isn’t all it’s cracked up to be?
You Can Purchase the Book: Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple / Barnes & Noble
Carmen Reid is the bestselling author of numerous woman’s fiction titles including the Personal Shopper series starring Annie Valentine. After taking a break from writing she is back, introducing her hallmark feisty women characters to a new generation of readers. Her first title for Boldwood will be published in July 2021. She lives in Glasgow with her husband and children.
Worn Out Wife Seeks New Life was a lot more emotional than I was expected. There are some moments of humor, but it definitely went into deeper topics that I was not expecting, including depression and suicide. I loved the idea of a woman who is tired of the way her life is going and starts to seek a change. It was nice and I felt for her wish to travel. She put off a lot in her life in favor of helping her family and I liked her beginning to think about putting herself first for a change. On the surface, the novel is almost like her reaching a mid-life crisis, but the novel goes into a very complex weave of emotions as each character is going through something different.
Tess Simpson has been a senior accountant at her firm where she has worked for the past 17 years. When she is passed over for a promotion, she decides that it is time for a change. Rather than quitting, she takes a three-month sabbatical and she is excited to use this as an opportunity for her family to holiday together. She plans a three-week trip to her dream destinations of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. The difficult part is that her husband, Dave, is already reluctant since he hates to fly and loves holidays at home or close destinations, such as France. Months later and the trip is only three-weeks away, her 22-year-old son Alex, who recently graduated and is working as a graduate trainee in London voices concerns that he does not want to go. She also receives word from her 19-year-old daughter, Natalie, who is finishing her first year at university in Edinburgh, that she does not want to go in favor of staying in Spain as a teacher for the summer. While Alex’s story is further explored with his own perspective being told to explain his reasoning and the emotions that he is going through, Natalie’s, who does not get her perspective included, just comes across as a selfish and ungrateful child. Even with travel insurance, my parents would have made me pay back the money for the trip just for not communicating earlier and causing stress for having to rearrange or cancel travel plans.
On the other side of the world, River Romero is a struggling screenwriter living from project to project. She envies those that have it easier and is in a constant state of stress trying to obtain more projects. When she gets a new project featuring a screenplay that takes Shakespeare for teenagers, she decides to head straight to the source in Stratford-Upon-Avon in the UK. She thinks that Ambleside and Tess’s home is the first fit for a homestay and decides to rent it for six weeks. Since the owners were going to be gone on holiday, she thought it was the perfect place. Unfortunately, she has an unexpected guest with Dave in the summerhouse to contend with and everything in the UK is not smooth sailing.
As Dave is putting their dog’s Bella possessions in the attic, he falls and fractures three ribs and has broken his ankle. I honestly had to skim the parts with Bella as it was very emotional, but it does well to set up the more serious subjects to come in the story. Since the deal with River has already been settled for her to stay, this is how he ends up in the summerhouse. The situation with River is a subject that brings Tess and Dave’s marriage to the forefront. They have been married for 23 years, but with teenagers and the death of both of Dave’s parents, the two of them have been on edge for the past five/six years.
At the start of the novel, I was unsure about Tess as it did come across as a mid-life crisis and you begin to wonder how some of the issues did not come up before. Once the story continued, I sympathized with her and I just wanted her to relax and enjoy life. Dave has a lot of issues, but each of them needed to work together to potentially fix the marriage. Natalie, unfortunately, did not grow on me and just came across as selfish in many ways. On the other hand, I completely felt for Alex. When he first is presented with the story of his job, I felt he was entitled. He holds a degree, but is given basic copying jobs, so he decides to walk out at lunch without looking back. On this surface interaction, it did seem that he thought he was too good to start at the bottom just because he held a degree. Once his point of view continues, there is a lot going through his head and I just wanted things to get better for him. I wanted him to gain the tools to get by with the day to day. Again, this part of the story brought a lot more emotion than I expected at the start. The final main character, River, unfortunately, is one that never grew on me. I did not care for her character at all throughout the entire story. Since I did not connect with her, I more or less thought of her as a catalyst that affected the other characters and their stories.
Overall, this was a surprising read as there are many relatable moments for readers of any age. The importance of a support system is definitely present, as each of the character needed another to help them. As the story goes through the English countryside and the bustling city of Los Angeles, there was a nice contrast of the characters’ lifestyles. Sometimes a change of scenery is all you need to put your life into perspective as you can be stuck in a rut being in the same routine every day. The two characters are at different points in their lives, but both River and Tess learn something by living the life of the other. This very interesting escape read was full of both serious emotions and humor.
**I give a special thank you to Rachel @rararesources,, the publisher, and the author for the opportunity to participate with this enjoyable novel via Netgalley. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**