Not Having It All by Jennie Ensor #review @bombshellpub @jennie_ensor

Despite what the media would have modern women believe, Bea just doesn’t believe it’s possible to have it all. She’s a very intelligent neuropsychologist, with a high flying career, carrying out research into phobias. Married to Kurt who also has a demanding career which he seems to think is more important than hers, they have a four year old daughter Fran (also known as Little Fiend by the au-pair) who is dearly loved but whose behaviour is becoming more and more challenging. Kurt suspects Bea of having an affair with her friend Maddie. While it’s true Maddie has some secrets, it’s not what anyone would suspect. When Kurt is working abroad for some time, things become more difficult for both of them and leads to some interesting situations!

This a cleverly constructed book where the entire story is told through emails, diary entries, counselling session reports, text messages and so on. This made it an interesting book to read and because of the different fonts or styles you always knew whose point of view you were reading. I did find the typewriter format of Maddie’s counselling sections difficult to read but I think we can blame that on my middle aged eyes! I certainly had no problem with the lovely large font used for Kurt’s chapters.

I really liked Katie the au-pair’s  diary. As is often the case, as a member of staff she was more than aware of everything that was going on and an astute observer of the family dynamic. Her chapters often made me laugh. Colin was a character I wasn’t sure about initially but by the end I was cheering him on!

Not Having It All was an enjoyable read which made me smile a lot at some of the antics the characters got up to and cringe at some others. So did Bea end up having it all? Ah well, that would be telling. You’ll need to read the book yourself to find out.

My thanks to the author for inviting me to read her book and providing a copy for review. Not Having It All is published by Bombshell Books in ebook and paperback formats. You can order a copy online here: Not Having It All

From the back of the book

Bea fears she is a bad mother and that her career will be thwarted by family life.

Bea Hudson is struggling to cope with the challenging behaviour of her obsessive husband Kurt and their disruptive four-year-old daughter Fran. On top of this, her boss is pressuring her to get results from her research.

Things come to a head when Kurt goes away on an extended business assignment.

Meanwhile, childless artist Madeleine sees her friend torn between Fran and the demands of work, and offers to help with childcare. But what are her motives?

Can Bea survive the demands of her career and the turmoil in her marriage without having a breakdown? And can love survive marriage, middle-age, alcohol and ambition?

With themes of trust, deception and obsession, Not Having It All is a playful take on modern friendships, relationships and family life.

About the author

Jennie Ensor

A Londoner with Irish heritage, Jennie Ensor began her writing career as a journalist, obtaining a Masters in Journalism (winning two awards) and covering topics from forced marriage to accidents in the mining industry. She isn’t afraid to tackle controversial issues in her novels, either: Islamic terrorism, Russian gangsters and war crimes in her debut Blind Side, a psychological mystery; child abuse and sexual exploitation in her second novel THE GIRL IN HIS EYES, a dark psychological family drama (published September 2018 by Bloodhound Books). 

Her third novel, NOT HAVING IT ALL: a brazen comedy about the perils of midlife (published in May 2019) is a no-holds-barred comedy about a scientist mother who’s pulled towards breaking point by the incompatible demands of her family and her career.

Jennie Ensor’s poetry has appeared in many publications. In her spare time she plays the piano, sings and dreams of setting off on a long trip with her Kindle.

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