Wednesday 6 December 2023

Swimming For Beginners by Nicola Gill BLOG TOUR #SwimmingForBeginners @Nicola_J_Gill @bedsqpublishers @RandomTTours #BookReview


Loretta has life under control.

She's good at avoiding things that make her uncomfortable, she's chasing a big promotion at work, and she's marrying a man whose five-year plan aligns perfectly with her own.

Children do not come into the mix.

This all changes, however, when a stranger in an airport asks Loretta to keep an eye on her sleeping six-year-old, Phoebe. The stranger never comes back.

Loretta knows that Phoebe's life will change forever from that moment. But so will hers.

This strange little person in fairy wings will turn Loretta's world upside down and cause her to question everything she knows about herself.

Dive into Nicola Gill's heart-warming and relatable journey into the power of a child's love and its ability to transcend motherhood.

Swimming For Beginners by Nicola Gill was published on 14 September 2023 by Bedford Square Publishers. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour. 

Sometimes a book comes along that just grabs you and give you the biggest and most welcome of surprises. Swimming For Beginners is one of those books. I've had my copy for months, but have only just got around to reading it. The beauty of a book is that you are never too late, it doesn't have an expiry date. The book is there, forever, to pick up and read whenever you can.

I'm very fond of a quirky character and Nicola Gill has created two of the warmest, funniest and so multi layered characters here. Loretta has a great job in advertising, but she's desperate for promotion. Whilst the advertising industry is about people pleasing and interacting with others, Loretta is one of a kind. Excellent at her job and very driven, she finds socialising with her colleagues very difficult. For Loretta, everything needs a purpose, and listening to her work mates talk about their sorry love lives and their attempts at motherhood are, for her, just tedious. 

Loretta has an important pitch to present in New York. She's organised and ready, sitting at the airport with much to do and read through. This is when Loretta's life implodes and changes dramatically. This is when six year old Phoebe enters her life and changes everything that she thought she was. 

Loretta and her fiancé Robert have no plans to start a family. The upheaval and mess caused by a small person is not something that they are prepared to even entertain. Loretta has scant knowledge of small girls, despite the fact that she was one once. 

However, Loretta cannot get Phoebe out of her mind. A six year old should never have to go through what little Phoebe experienced at that airport, and despite her misgivings, Loretta makes contact with Phoebe's family. 

This is a beautiful, heart felt and deeply moving story of one woman's discover of self. The reader becomes aware that Loretta herself is engulfed in both sadness and guilt and sees a little of herself in Phoebe. The growing relationship is wonderfully created. Phoebe is forthright, funny and unique and her presence in Loretta's life changes both of them so much. 

I laughed and I had a little sob, all the way through. I despaired at Loretta's boyfriend Robert, I cheered on her colleague Chris and I fell totally in love with Phoebe. 

It takes a long time, but eventually Loretta realises that her original life plan wasn't what she really wanted, or deserved. It takes a six year old girl to teach her about herself and to make her recognise that sometimes well laid plans are not always the way, and that fate is often a blessing in disguise. 

A touching, wonderful story that should be treasured and remembered. 

Nicola Gill lives in London with her husband and two sons. At the age of five, when all of the other little girls wanted to be ballet dancers, she decided she wanted to be an author. Her ballet teacher was very relieved.

When she’s not at her desk, you can usually find Nicola reading, cooking up vast vats of food for friends and family or watching box sets. Occasionally she even leaves the house...

X/Twitter @Nicola_J_Gill

Instagram @nicolagillauthor

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