Sep 27, 2016

Recent book obsessions and reviews - Constance Hall 'Like A Queen' and .....

This week, after receiving chemo on Tuesday I have pretty much done nothing but read. I find it hard to sit and watch movies or TV shows during the day, my brain tells me it's a waste of time and I find it hard to concentrate. But reading is my respite, it's one of the main things I love to do whether I'm sick or not. I've said it before and I'll say it again, books have the power to save lives. Books have definitely saved me in the past. Sometimes you'll read and connect with something on such a high level your whole life is changed. I remember when I was 18 and living in Australia, I had no family or friends in the Country and I was meant to be living my dream, backpacking around the world. Instead I was living in a dinghy flat with a guy who was more interested in visiting strip clubs and banging other backpackers than being nice to me. I was alone and confused and wasn't mature enough to deal with the situation. Looking back now there were a million things I could have done but at the time in the middle of it, you can't actually navigate it. In that dinghy flat where I spent so much time, a time with no smart phones, a time where you had to walk to an internet cafe with $5 just to log on for an hour and send emails to your friends, who were asleep anyway because they were all in England. I was lonely. But one day I came across a pile of books that had been left behind by the previous backpacking tenants and my heart skipped a beat. I read a book called 'Rachels Holiday' by Marian Keyes and I related to it so much, I could have written it myself. It made me believe I could write a book myself and I spent the rest of that year and more to come writing my two books and it's one of the proudest things I've ever done.

So ever since then books have been my escape, they're a huge part of my life. This week I have read two amazing books and I  haven't read anything amazing for quite a while. But this week as I lay in my chemo induced fog, aching from head to toe, I have been filled with inspiration and a burning desire to write again. So I thought I'd do a book review post because I think everyone should read these books. I've got so much to say about both of them, so here goes...

Like a Queen - Constance Hall
After developing a major girl crush on Constance Hall over the last year, just like every girl in Australia. I pre-ordered her book as soon as I could. I mean the woman is a legend, she makes us mums laugh on a daily basis on facebook and is so brutally honest you cannot help but feel thankful to her for saying the shit you feel out loud.

My copy of 'Like a Queen' arrived yesterday and I was ecstatic. (Sidenote, in a day and age where everything is instantly gratified and you can get pretty much anything you want with a click of a button, I think it's pretty cool that she managed to get so many people so hyped about reading this book and waiting for it to arrive, it felt really special when it did) I sat and read it for hours, only stopping to make dinner. When the kids were in bed I sat and read it until I fell asleep myself after midnight and finally finished it off this afternoon. (Sidenote, I was sitting under a tree whilst the kids were playing at the park and a bird in the tree, literally ooed on my book, is this some kind of weird lucky bird queen sign?!)

The book documents Constance's life as a wife and a Mum and general Queen. The main thing I loved about this was it felt like she was sat there talking to you like a friend. It made me think back to my own experiences when I was a new Mum and when my kids were babies, their births and those first months and years. It made me realise, that it really was a huge deal.

Constance tells her story, with such raw honesty that you feel like crying for her, with her and for yourself (and I'm not a crier) for getting through this emotional rollercoaster from our teenage years until now. We have so much pressure, so much responsibility and as Mums and women we are amazing. I laughed until I cried, this book is hilarious but also it made me want to ring my sister and offer babysitting services because she is a Mum with two little kids and I forgot how hard that was. The sleepless nights, the toddler demands, the bottle feeds. It made me want to run to the Post Office and send it to my friend who had a really traumatic birth experience and still cries every time she talks about it. So many women will learn so much from this book, even just knowing that someone gets it, every part of it, the worst bits that you wouldn't even normally tell anyone, makes you feel good.

Her hilarious descriptions of everything vagina, pregnancy and husband related are my favourite thing about the book!

'Big Little Lies' Liane Moriarty
Liane Moriarty is my favourite author of the moment, I'm obsessed with all of her books I've read and the way she writes with such suspense and such great character building. The main characters in 'Big Little Lies' are Madeline, Jane and Celeste, school mums living in a tight knit community called Pirriwee, that share an amazing bond. They each have their own stories and own battles they're facing. The murder of a parent is the centre of the story, you're wondering the whole way through the book, who dies and why. Through these strong womens stories of secret domestic violence and abuse it makes you question lots of things. I think this is a beautifully written, easily relatable book about such an important topic and what can be done about it, it's effects for children and families. A topic I feel so strongly about and something that is so poignant in Australia right now.

I am pretty crap at describing fictional books as I don't want to give anything away or relay the whole plot to you, so just take my word for it. This is a brilliant book.

So that's what I've been loving this week. My bones are still pretty achy and I'm generally feeling pretty crap 7 days after my chemo, so there will be lots more reading this week too. I'm just about to start 'The hypnotists love story' also by Liane Moriarty.

Love Hayley x



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