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The Year That Changed Everything By Cathy Kelly

The Year That Changed Everything‘The Year That Changed Everything’ is the latest book by Cathy Kelly.

Ginger isn’t spending her 30th the way she would have planned. Tonight might be the first night of the rest of her life – or a total disaster. Sam is finally pregnant after years of trying. When her waters break on the morning of her 40th birthday, she panics: forget labour, how is she going to be a mother? Callie is celebrating her 50th at a big party in her Dublin home. Then a knock at the door mid-party turns her perfect life upside down . . .

Cathy Kelly is back with another tale of female friendships and complicated relationships that made for bittersweet reading.

In her latest book, we meet three very different women who all share one significant date in their lives. On the day before Ginger’s 30th birthday, she discovers that the people who she thought were her best friends, weren’t her friends at all. Hurt by the way she’s been treated, she sets herself a mission to make her life happier and too rid her life of all the toxicity in her life. Callie is a modest woman with small demands, she’s the opposite to her husband, Jason, who loves to flash his cash around, but it seems that flashing all that cash has gotten him into trouble leaving Callie and their teenage daughter Poppy to deal with the consequences. Meanwhile, after years of trying to have a baby, Sam and her husband Ted finally have a little girl to add to their family unit, but with having the least maternal mother in the world as a role model, Sam fears that she’s unable to be a proper mother.

I really enjoyed this story, it reminded me of a Maeve Binchy novel, a story of friendships and relationships and the issues that women face on a regular basis such as post-natal depression, deception as well self confidence and body issues and Cathy has written about them all in her book, in a frank and charming tale with an injection of Irish wit from the vibrant characters scattered throughout.

The book is filled many different roles from all walks of life. All three leading ladies are wonderful and with all them I felt an immediate connection with, particularly Ginger. She’s a kind, big hearted woman that people take for granted especially her friends and it makes for sad reading, when she’s confronted with how they really feel about her. But instead of wallowing in self pity, she takes on their criticism to use it to make a change to her life for the better and use it to achieve her goals and find love. Callie, has become used to being a kept woman but quickly adapts to change when she finds that the life she she has been living was based on a lie and does everything in her power to protect her moody teenage daughter. And for Sam, I felt a strong empathy for, as she struggled with being a new mother and adjusting to her life and constantly judging herself.

The book is written from the different perspectives of the women, but they flow seamlessly together as the women’s lives begin to interact and their bonds begin to grow. Wonderfully written, filled with compassion, charm and delicious characters, ‘The Year That Changed Everything’ is an inspirational story of life and change and truly goes to show what a difference a year makes. A charming tale!

You can buy The Year that Changed Everything from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Carole Matthews

Carole MatthewsCarole Matthews has written 16 books in 22 years, has been a Top 5 Sunday Times bestseller and has sold over 4 million books worldwide. Her novel Welcome To The Real World was shortlisted for the RNA romantic novel of the year award. Her book ‘Wrapped Up In You’ was shortlisted for The Festival of Romance Best Romantic Read award and for the RNA Romantic Comedy of the Year award. She was also inducted into The Festival of Romance Hall of Fame for her outstanding contribution to romantic fiction. She lives in the Costa del MiltonKeynes with her dearly beloved, Lovely Kev. Her latest book ‘A Cottage By The Sea’ is about three best friends who go on holiday to a seaside cottage only for all their lives to change in a week.

  1. Your latest book “A Cottage By The Sea” is about three best friends who jump at the chance of having a holiday together. However, it doesn’t quite turn out as they planned. What inspired you to write this type of story?
    I love to write books about relationships, friendship, group dynamics and the power of love. And A Cottage by the Sea has it all! Sometimes when you confine your characters to one place and a short space of time it brings out the best in some of them and the worst in others. That’s what Grace, Ella and Flick experience when they spend a week together with their partners in Ella’s beautiful cottage by the sea in Wales. The relationships that they thought they had will never be the same again.
  2. To the readers of the website, that may not familiar with you or your writing, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into writing?
    My first book – ‘Let’s Meet on Platform 8’ – was published about 17 years ago now and it was at the very start of the whole chicklit wave. I’d won a short story competition and, very sensibly, spent the money on a writing course. On the course, I showed the tutor my novel and she recommended an agent. Within a week he’d sold the book. I just hit the right desk at the right time with the right book. I’m currently writing my twenty-fifth novel and am really grateful that people keep reading and enjoying my books.
  3. How do you feel about the current state of the publishing industry? Do you feel like it is an exciting time for authors?
    It’s a very turbulent time in publishing and no one quite knows what’s going to happen in the future, but I think there’s an excitement in that too. There are a lot more digital opportunities for writers to be published at the moment rather than having to go down the route of finding a traditional publisher and that’s very liberating. There is, however, a lot of competition and it’s hard to get your book to stand out from the crowd. It’s a tough time for bookshops and libraries though.
  4. Who is your favourite literary hero/heroine?
    I have to go back to chicklit bible, ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’ for my choices. Both Daniel Cleaver and Mark Darcy are just perfect in their roles and we’ve all been Bridget at some time in our lives. Just a great book.
  5. I always thought the opening lines to “The Lovely Bones” was quite memorable, are there any opening lines to books that stuck out to you?
    From Michael Ridpath’s book, ‘Free to Trade’: ‘I had lost half a million dollars in slightly less than half an hour and the coffee machine didn’t work. This was turning into a bad day. Half a million dollars is a lot of money. And I needed a cup of coffee badly.’ That’s a cracking way to open a book!
  6. Out of all the books that you have written, which one is your favourite?
    I think both ‘The Chocolate Lovers Club’ and ‘The Chocolate Lovers’ Diet’. I had such great fun researching them and who doesn’t like chocolate. I think they’re the favourites of my readers too and I’m always being asked if I’d write another one in the series.
  7. What authors do you admire?
    I love all of Philippa Gregory’s historical novels. She’s the only writer I rush out and buy in hardback. I particularly like the ones she writes about the Tudor court. For me, she brings it all to life.
    Beyond that I read a very eclectic variety of books and am always looking for something new to try.
  8. Was there ever a book that you read, that didn’t live up to the hype that surrounded it and left you disappointed?
    There are so many! Hype is so often due to fabulous marketing rather than the quality of the book. The most obvious is ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ which I hated everything about. I really can’t see why so many women enjoyed reading about a young girl being terribly abused in the name of lurve. I also struggled with ‘Wolf Hall’ by Hilary Mantel which has won every prize known to man. I found it very dry even though I usually adore anything written about those naughty Tudors. That won’t stop me from reading the sequel, ‘Bringing up the Bodies’, though! One book that I did enjoy despite the mahoosive hype was J K Rowling’s first adult novel, ‘The Casual Vacancy’. I thought it was beautifully written and keenly observed. I would, however, have liked just one nice character, they were all a bit too horrible to make me care about them. A hyped book that I did thoroughly enjoy though was ‘One Day’ by David Nicholls which is now firmly in my top favourite books.
  9. If you were stranded on a desert island, which three books would you bring with you to pass the time?
    ‘One Day’ by David Nicholls
    ‘The Time Traveller’s Wife’ by Audrey Niffenegger
    ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ by Philippa Gregory
  10. What area do you suggest a budding writer should concentrate on to further their abilities?
    I think the mistake that a lot of writers make is to try to chase the market and write what’s in fashion at the time. My advice is to write the book that you want to and make it the very best you can. Without wanting to sound too clichéd about it, a book really does need to come from the heart to make it work.
  11. When sitting down to write, what is the one item you need beside you?
    A big mug of tea!
  12. And finally Carole, do you have any projects or releases on the horizon which you would like to share with the readers of the website?
    I have another Christmas book out this year which I had a lot of fun researching – ‘Calling Mrs Christmas’! The hardback will be out in August, followed by the paperback in October.

Read more about Carole Matthews online or follow her on Twitter Carole Matthews