Published by Hachette UK on February 2nd 2016
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary Women
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Suzanne Redfearn delivers another gripping page-turner in her latest novel, a story about a young mother's fight to protect her children from the dangerous world of Hollywood.
Faye Martin never expected her husband to abandon her and their three children . . . or that she'd have to struggle every day to make ends meet. So when her four-year-old daughter is discovered through a YouTube video and offered a starring role on a television series, it seems like her prayers have been answered. But when the reality of their new life settles in, Faye realizes that fame and fortune don't come without a price. In a world where everyone is an actor and every move is scrutinized by millions, it's impossible to know whom to trust, and Faye finds herself utterly alone in her struggle to save her family.
Emotionally riveting and insightful, NO ORDINARY LIFE is an unforgettable novel about the preciousness of childhood and the difficult choices a mother needs to make in order to protect this fragile time in her children's lives.
I must have had No Ordinary Life sitting on my Kindle a while, but it was brought back to my attention when the books publicist emailed asking if I was planning to review, I then made it my immediate priority, because it sounded amazing and I’d remembered all over again why I had requested it in the first place.
No Ordinary Life is SUCH an on-point novel. Kids acting, and kids becoming superstars, is something always in the news. You see adults who used to be child stars messing up their lives left, right and centre, and there must be a reason, and that reason seems to be the mess that is Hollywood and Redfearn is on point with the lovely Molly, who herself becomes famous after a dance throw-down on the streets of LA. We follow Molly’s mom Faye as Molly’s fame skyrockets and she even gets the chance to be part of one of the most popular sitcoms, and you just knew it was all going to end up blowing up in Faye’s face, and it was like waiting for a car crash to happen, but I felt for Faye because all she was trying to do was to care for her kids, all of her kids, and Molly acting allowed them to do more than just exist.
Faye is an amazing mom, everything she does in the novel is amazing, and even when she sometimes lets Hollywood take over and Molly do things she’s not entirely comfortable with, she realises her failings and always vows to do better. Her end game was astounding, and I wanted to stand up and give her a standing ovation, because what she did was brave. Some might say cruel, I say brave. A mother does what she has to, to protect her kids, and Faye knew Hollywood was destroying her kids and acted accordingly, and I applaud that.
Molly is of course the scene-stealer in the book, she’s amazing and her little rhymes and the way she could ape anything was amazing. She’s precocious, and adorable, and I just wanted to keep her for myself. But there’s also Molly’s two other kids, Emily and Tom. I actually really loved Tom, he was so shy, and at times had crippling anxiety which caused him to stop speaking, and I felt so bad for him. Emily was another matter. I liked her, and I understood why she was so annoyed at her mom, but the way she acted made me despise her at times. She did things that you can’t just write off as teen angst, and she needed to make things right, which we sadly didn’t get to see.
This was such a good read. I always love books set in the world of Hollywood, and TV shows, and it’s crazy, but I do love reading about it. Suzanne is a very, very talented writer and I’m definitely going to go and find myself her first novel Hush Little Baby. I perhaps would have liked more to the ending, because it was left soooooo open, I wanted to know what happened, I wanted MORE. I craved more. I would love a sequel, I would sooo love a sequel, please Suzanne. I really, really loved this read. It’s been a long time since I’ve really loved a women’s fiction novel and this was an amazing read, so nuanced, so clever, and it asked a lot of questions. Make sure you read this book, it’s amazing.