‘Waiting To Begin’ by Amanda Prowse is an emotional and thought-provoking story that I knew I would love. Amanda is an author whose writing is always top-notch and this book proves her standards aren’t slipping.
We meet Bessie in 1984, 16 years old with her head full of dreams for her life and all of her potential rising for what she plans to do. As it all comes crashing to her feet she has a secret she will carry for the rest of her life. Fast forward 37 years, now it’s 2021. Bessie is 53, her marriage is falling apart and she is just tired of everything. She sees her son happily married and realises she has to face her demons to save her marriage. Can Bessie actually let go of her deepest secret to realise the love she deserves?
A book that shows just how much our past can affect our future. We are shown versions of the same person and the younger Bessie was so willing to throw herself wholeheartedly into life. The present Bessie is what could be classed as a normal 53-year-old. Reminiscing about the past decades and wondering what if? The difference was the underlying tension. The feeling of being on the edge of something.
Her memories and secrets have damaged her psyche so much that it is a form of PTSD she is suffering from. This has a knock-on effect on her family and even her friends. Making any relationship almost non-existent.
I really empathised with Bessie, we are almost the same age and I can remember the 1980s. The time where if you had issues you ‘pulled your socks up’ and forgot about it. Anything else was discounted and there was absolutely no help available. No wonder Bessie is damaged and can’t recover…she was never allowed to!
As Amanda Prowse always does she has made characters so real and relatable they could be your friends. I was enveloped in Bessie and her issues. Her relationship with Mario, her husband seemed so strong but the fact that the damage done was permanent and he felt she was almost a stranger makes for a hard truth to hear. I was internally begging them to stay together. The need for me to discover if Bessie could open up with her truths to herself and her family was so urgent I could not put this book down. Another belter of a book from the talented Amanda Prowse, loved it.
Thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources and Lake Union Publishing for my copy of this fabulous book.