I am thrilled to be able to join in with Tanya Bullock’s Re-Launch celebrations for Desperately Seeking Normal (formerly That Special Someone) with Blackbird Birds!
Life as the single mum of a child with learning difficulties is tough. But it gets so much harder when puberty hits. To single mum Izzie’s alarm, all her 18-year-old daughter, Jaya wants from life is to get married and have babies. This creates a moral dilemma for Izzie. How can she continue to protect her daughter whilst at the same time letting her go? In the small Midlands town where they live, there is little prospect of meaningful employment or continuing education for Jaya. So, Izzie wonders, would finding a ‘suitable husband’ via an arranged marriage for half-Indian Jaya be so crazy? But when Jaya falls head over heels for a teaching assistant in her college’s Special Educational Needs department, a disastrous sequence of events is set in motion. Life for Jaya and Izzie is turned around in ways that nobody could ever have foreseen.
Check this out….
Re-releasing on 1st July 2020
I LOVED this book and I’m so thrilled for Tanya that it’s getting a whole new lease of life!
Here’s my review….
(written 10th February 2020)
That Special Someone (now re-titled Desperately Seeking Normal) has been, unread, on my bookcase for far too long and I am SO glad that I finally got to read it! I am a big fan of Tanya Bullock’s so why it’s taken me so long to read this is beyond me. Simply too many books and not enough time, unfortunately.
What a beautiful, powerful and emotional story!
That Special Someone centres around single Mum, Izzie, and her 18 year old, learning-disabled, daughter, Jaya. Having never known her father or any grandparents, Jaya has only ever had her mother. They have only ever really had each other.
Izzie is fiercely protective of Jaya and isn’t really prepared for her to become an adult. When Jaya announces that she would like to be married and have babies, Izzie just goes into panic mode. She had thought Jaya would just live with her forever, but she is forced to confront the fact that Jaya is a beautiful young lady with wants and needs of her own.
As a mother I can totally understand how hard it is to let your children grow up, make their own decisions and mistakes and trust that you’ve brought them up well enough to be responsible for themselves (my children are 19 and 18). However, if your child has any kind of disability or difficulty then it must a hundred times harder. Izzie comes across as completely neurotic at times, but I totally got her, and my heart went out to her.
When Jaya falls for her teaching assistant at college the story takes a completely different direction. Jaya is just dreaming of her happy future with the man she loves and doesn’t have any malicious intent in her actions, but clearly doesn’t anticipate the hurt she is about to cause. I could almost physically feel the pain Izzie endures at this time. I can’t even imagine what I would do in the same situation.
I love how this story alternates from the point of view of the different characters, almost like diary entries. Looking at the same situation from the very different perspectives of Izzie and Jaya was captivating. Jaya’s innocence, and naivety, is so beautifully written. It’s so clever how effortlessly this contrast’s to Izzie’s viewpoint as a protective mother, living on her nerves and completely defensive on behalf of her daughter. The bond they share is blatantly unbreakable.
This is such an amazing story full of love and raw emotion, with a beautiful ending. I loved it!