Tiny Acts Of Love (Black & White, £7.99) by Lucy Lawrie
DON’T make the mistake of taking this novel’s cover at face value – it goes so much deeper than the average yummy-mummylit the artwork suggests.
From an in-your-face start where new dad Jonathon reveals more of wife Cassie to their nearest and dearest than the cringing new mum would have liked, it’s worth persevering. Almost instantly a subtle storyline kicks in that will keep the pages turning as fast as you can read them.
Weaving in the inevitable new mum’s dilemmas about keeping everyone happy while coping like a superwoman, Lucy Lawrie also drops into the mix a troublesome old flame, family mysteries, a possible stalker and legal advice on handling ghosts.
Edinburgh lawyer Cassie is determined to bolster her wobbly self-confidence by getting back to her high-powered job after the birth of first baby, Sophie.
But her new status is not just about juggling baby and job – though she finds that tough enough.
Cassie’s whole world is rocked sideways.
Suddenly everything – from her relationship with Jonathon who keeps avoiding any discussion of the deepest issues, to the return of student love-of-her-life Malkie – is hard work.
Chronically-tired Cassie also begins to convince herself her health might be severely under threat.
But you don’t have to have lived through the life-changes Cassie has to recognise some big truths about what it is to be female.
First-time writer Lucy Lawrie constantly sidesteps the predictable while creating a very real world peopled with flesh and blood characters.
The scenes with the Babycraft group of fellow new mums, dads and nippers are among some of the funniest moments in the book, though there’s also a dinner party scene where Cassie delights you with an out-there, ballsy way of dealing with a snide remark.
But despite the laughs, there’s also a sinister edge to the story that keeps things interesting, as Cassie battles to keep her head above the chaos she sees around her.
Tiny Acts Of Love delivers a big, bouncing new talent in Lucy Lawrie.