Great read that strikes a chord with women

2015-12-11 06:00
Amanda Prowse, author of ‘Perfect Daughter’.                                                           PHOTO: supplied

Amanda Prowse, author of ‘Perfect Daughter’. PHOTO: supplied

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AMANDA Prowse grew up in a working-class British family and did not expect to become a writer.

“There were no books in our house, but I loved to read and as we were a loud and noisy family, reading a book helped tune out the chaos,” she said during a break from her book tour of South Africa to promote Perfect Daughter (Head of Zeus).

“When I eventually decided to become a writer I had no confidence. I thought, ‘What do I know to write about?’.

“But I figured that everyone on the planet is basically the same and we all want the same things.

“I started to think about what makes people tick and how they react when something bad happens. What I realised is that I could draw on my own experiences to tell the stories of ordinary people.

“I write books for women and I think I have struck a chord because so many women around the world have been in touch with me to say that I could be talking about them in my books.”

Perfect Daughter centres on wife and mother Jacks Morgan, whose plan to carve herself a career and then do some travelling fell apart when she became pregnant in her final year of high school.

She and husband Pete now have two children, Martha and Jonty, and she has taken on the care of her elderly mother, Ida, who has Alzheimer’s.

Dissatisfied with life, she hangs on to memories of a brief relationship with the worldly Sven, a boy who went to her school and tempted her with a life very different from her own working-class background.

She is also determined to give her daughter the chance to study and be someone. The only problem is that it looks like she’s trying to fulfil her own lost dreams through Martha.

As Jacks’s unhappiness increases it places strain on her relationships with Pete and Martha, and things only get worse when Sven reappears. Perfect Daughter is a great read and another example of Prowse’s favourite theme of women triumphing over the odds.

Now based in Bristol, the London-born author said: “I feel passionate about sisterhood, and I hate that as women we don’t support each other. I make a habit of saying to another woman: ‘You look really good today’. It makes such a difference. We need to support each other because women around the world are underpaid, under educated, are still fighting to break through the glass ceiling ...”

For someone who began writing books at the age of 40, Prowse is now nothing short of prolific. Her next offering, Another Country, will be out in stores in February 2016.

Asked what the book is about, she said: “It tells the story of a woman who had it all and then lost it because of alcoholism.

“We all love a glass of wine, it’s the social glue that keeps us together. But in this book my character can’t stop drinking and begins to find ways to drink all the time.”

Prowse is also hard at work writing another novel that centres on a woman married to a criminal, who falls in love with another man and tries to reshape her life and the lives of her children.

Her first book was the massively successful Poppy Day, the story of an army wife whose love for her husband gives her the courage to rescue him from Afghanistan.

The book was very personal for Prowse, whose own husband, Simeon, is in the armed forces. She wanted, she said, to turn the crippling fear she feels every time he goes away to war into a book to help other army wives cope.

Prowse, a former management consultant who has two sons, Josh and Ben, has since penned the novels What Have I Done?, Another Love, A Mother’s Story, Three-and-a-half Heartbeats, A Little Love, Clover’s Child, No Greater Love, Something Quite Beautiful, The Game and Will You Remember Me?.

She has also written short stories and novellas, and is in discussion to have a couple of her books turned into films. “It’s real pinch-me-I’m-dreaming stuff,” she said. “I mean, I’m just an ordinary mom, and ordinary wife, but it shows you that if I can do it then anyone can!”

• See www.amanda prowse.org/

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