Publisher: Penkhull Press; 1 edition (4th June 2016)
Liz, Bernie and Elsa have been friends since their days at St. Cecelia’s school. Their lives took very different paths but they all have found happiness in their own fashion. Liz is an independent career woman; Bernie a good Catholic mum with four sons and Elsa is supported by her wealthy ex-husband. Then, in the space of a few short weeks, everything they have taken for granted is swept away. Money, jobs and partners are all gone. How will they manage when their worlds are crumbling about their ears? Together Liz, Bernie and Elsa have to find novel ways of avoiding disaster.
Picking up the Pieces is about friendship, cake and the mutual support that only lifelong friends can provide.
Picking Up The Pieces has been a lovely read.
Liz, Bernie and Elsa are in their fifties and have been friends forever. They are all very different characters, but very close and always there for each other. When they all find their once happy and settled lives falling apart around them, they know they can still rely on each other.
I love that the story starts with the three of them having afternoon tea at an expensive hotel together, before their lives change forever.
Liz has been teaching for 30 years and her current year 10’s are a difficult bunch. They have no interest in learning and for some of them their only aim is to make Liz’s life as miserable as possible. When one girl accuses her of head-butting her, Liz is suspended whilst the situation is investigated. It is a lie, of course, but the head teacher has never liked Liz and does nothing to support her. She is frustrated at the injustice of it all, but has no choice but to ride it out until she is proved innocent. I felt so sorry for Liz. To spend your life dedicated to trying to improve the prospects of the children you’re teaching, only to have it all thrown back in your face by a spiteful teenager must be devastating.
Bernie is a good catholic wife and mother. She works part-time, but otherwise is cooking, cleaning and generally running around after her family. That is until her husband leaves her for a younger woman. Bernie’s story is one we’ve all heard of many times. Teenage sweethearts marry young as they find themselves expecting a child, then years later, one or other of them find themselves wondering what they might have missed out on being ‘tied down’ so early on in their lives. Again I really felt for Bernie. A dedicated wife and mother left to fend for herself and her boys. I know I wouldn’t cope well in her situation.
Elsa has lived the life of luxury, thanks to her wealthy ex-husband, but is soon to be homeless and penniless as her husband is set to lose everything. She is left with no choice but to stand on her own two feet, but who is going to employ a woman her age who has never had to work before? This is when she puts her head together with Liz’s and Bernie’s to try to come up with a business plan they can make a success of together. I felt less sorry for Elsa, but I liked her character all the same. It would be a shock to find yourself having to pawn jewellery to pay utility bills when you’ve never wanted for anything before in your life.
This is a lovely story of friendship which I am sure many readers will relate to. With very real characters, who I easily warmed to, I soon found myself immersed in their story, almost as if I was a fourth friend sharing their troubles with them and cheering them on as they moved on to happier times and a successful future ahead of them.
A big thank you to Misha Herwin for my paperback review copy. I am more than happy to recommend.