The Things We Do For Love By Alice Peterson
January Wild loves her daughter, her dog Spud and her childhood home by the sea. Single parenting is tough, but January has no regrets. She has a job she loves, a happy home, and the support of her beloved grandfather. The arrival of a new boss, however, threatens to shake up January’s safe world. Ward Metcalfe loves great sales results and a well-run office. Everyone at her office agrees: Ward is a soulless, corporate slave driver. Even Spud, the company mascot, dislikes him. A secret stands between them. Yet over time January realises first impressions aren’t always right. Slowly she unravels more and more about her new boss, things she couldn’t possibly have imagined, nor expected…
Alice Peterson has become an author that I am beginning to dread to read, not that I don’t enjoy her books, but they always leave me in a bawling mess, scrambling frantically for the tissue in the pits of bag and ‘The Things We Do For Love’ was certainly no different, it was an emotional roller coaster of a story, that barely let me catch my breath.
The story is told solely through the eyes of uniquely named January Wild, a young woman who has suffered a lot of sadness her life. When her parents are tragically killed in an accident, herself and her older brother Lucas are left in the care of their grandparents who provided the children with all the love and support that they could ever wish for. The story flashes through present and times in January’s life, when moments are particularly hard when she meets the love of the her life who breaks her heart, when she discovers that that she is going to be a single parent and that heartbreaking moment when she is eventually told that her little girl Isla, has Cerebral Palsy. The one thing in her life that is going well is her job as a PA in a well known estate agent until her boss retires bringing in a new manager called Ward Metcalfe, a cold and driven man who riles January up the wrong way, yet as the pair begin to work closer together, January begins to see a different side to her boss, a side that he keeps hidden from everyone else.
January was a beautiful lead, struck down so many times so unfortunate incidents, she stays strong for her little girl and longs for nothing more than her daughter to have a normal life and not to looked at with pity or sympathy. There are heartbreaking moments in the story when January talks of her fear for daughters well-being, how she wishes her life was different and these tender and open scenes make for tearful reading. She is a strong and independent woman who has been through so much but always comes out fighting. Her daughter, Isla is a bright and bubbly girl and tries not to let her illness consume her life, she witty and creative and the scenes with her and January are also sweet moments. January’s grandparents also made for interesting, significant roles in the story, despite their age, they were always there for the children and never judged January when she realised that she was pregnant and single. instead they were there for her every step of the way.
Alice’s previous books have tackled sensitive issues such alcoholism and paralysis and this book was no different, tackling the disability Cerebral Palsy and the stigma that goes with it. One of the many things I loved about this book, was the timescale in which it was cleverly written. It would fleet between past and present moments, which had some important meaning in January’s life and this was always clearly marked, so you never got muddled up in the story.
A honest and eye-opening story from the very beginning, ’The Things We Do For Love’ is a compelling book that I found impossible to put down. Tearjerking and uplifting in equal measures, this tale is not a conventional love story, it’s an inspirational story about finding love for yourself and then letting yourself to be loved.
You can pre-order The Things We Do for Love from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 10th September 2015.