Wednesday 18 August 2021

Nobody's Perfect by Stephanie Butland BLOG TOUR #NobodysPerfect @under_blue_sky @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #BookReview


When her daughter was born with cystic fibrosis, Kate Micklethwaite vowed that Daisy would never be defined by her health issues. Kate is determined that her perfect little girl will be known for her love of butterflies, croissants and bouncing on trampolines, not for her condition.

Kate does all she can to be the perfect mother - whatever that means - and yet, somehow, has started seeing herself the way others see her: single parent, source of small-town scandal, drop-out, former mistress. Half a family.

When Daisy starts school, Kate meets her new teacher, the kind and charming Mr Spencer Swanson. Now, with more time on her hands Kate can finally start thinking about her own future. With her Open University dissertation deadline looming, Kate needs to decide what she wants next. But as she and Spencer get to know each other, Kate notices that people are whispering behind her back once more . . .

Nobody's Perfect by Stephanie Butland is published on 19 August 2021 by Zaffre. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review, as part of this Blog Tour, organised by Tracy from Compulsive Readers. 

Stephanie Butland is such a skilled author. I've been enjoying her books for a few years now and have such admiration for just how different each of her novels are. 

Kate Micklethwaite is a young single mother who never feels as she is quite good enough. She's long been the subject of small town gossip, going from the studious, intelligent girl who was expected to go to a top University, to a single mother of a child with cystic fibrosis, whose father is no longer on the scene.

Kate is determined that daughter Daisy will have the best possible life, dedicating her life to ensuring that she gets enough calories, that she doesn't pick up an infection and that she will never be defined by her illness. 

As Daisy is about to start school, Kate goes to meet her teachers and feels a spark that surprises her. Spencer Swanson is new to the school, and the subject of gossip too. Kate finds herself thinking of him a great deal, and struggles to deal with her feelings. She's completing her Open University degree, and has plans for the future, but sometimes plans don't quite go to plan. 

It is so easy to lose yourself in Kate and Daisy's world for these characters are perfectly drawn. The fierce love and protective instinct that Kate shows for Daisy is balanced out by her doubts about her own worth. She's not perfect at all, she has regrets, she often wonders what life would have been like if she hadn't become pregnant, but she's oh so real and relatable. 

Nobody's Perfect is a novel that teaches the reader, the sensitive way in which the author deals with having a child with a chronic illness is a joy to behold. She doesn't sugar coat this, but the absolute love that shines through is palpable. 

The supporting cast of characters wonderfully compliment the story, from Kate's long-time friend Melissa, to her wonderful mother and of course, Spencer Swanson. There is such a perfect mix of warm, humour and sensitivity here, coupled with more serious issues and lessons to be learned. 

Heartfelt and heart warming. Recommended by me. 

Stephanie Butland is a writer, who is thriving after breast cancer. (She used to say she was a survivor, but that was a bit lacking in joie de vivre.)

Although she’d never have chosen it, her dance with cancer has changed her life in many positive ways. Now she is happier, healthier, and more careful with her precious life and the precious people and things in it.

Her writing career began with her dance with cancer, and now she is  a novelist.

Aside from writing, she works as a speaker and trainer, and she works with charities to help raise awareness and money in the hope that cancer will soon be about as scary as a wart.

She lives in Northumberland.

Twitter @under_blue_sky

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