2013,  books and reading,  reviews,  Self-Care,  Uncategorized

Conditional Love by Cathy Bramley

As a part of my self care this week I’ve been trying to spend less time online (hence no self care Sunday blog yesterday because I didn’t come online at all.) and I’ve been trying to rediscover my love of reading. That’s felt like its been losing its appeal lately but I’m thankful to say I seem to have found my mojo again. I spent most of yesterday morning finishing reading Conditional Love by Cathy Bramley. I’m participating in her blog tour for this and received a free copy to review.

Sophie dreams of building her own grand design, she just hasn’t got round to it yet…
Meet Sophie Stone, a thirty-something serial procrastinator. Tesco knickers, Take That and tea with two sugars is about as exciting as it gets. Sophie’s life is safe and predictable, which is just the way she likes it, thank you very much.
But when her boyfriend dumps her on Valentine’s Day and a mysterious benefactor leaves her an inheritance, even Sophie has to accept that change is afoot. There is a catch: in order to inherit, Sophie must agree to meet the father she has never seen.
Not a fan of surprises, Sophie would rather not; why not let sleeping dads lie? Besides, her mother would kill her.
With interference from an evil boss, bickering flat mates, warring parents and a sexy ex-boyfriend, Sophie has plenty to contend with without an architect who puts his foot in it every time he opens his mouth.
But it soon becomes clear that she will have to face the past and learn some uncomfortable home truths before she can finally build a future on her own terms.

The main character, Sophie, is very naive. And at least to start with I found that a bit off putting. It didn’t appeal and I wanted to scream at her to get a grip and see what was really happening. I didn’t think anyone could really be that naive. I was thinking maybe I’d give it a miss. But at that point I was reading it in the dr’s waiting room and pretty much at that point I got called in for my blood test ONLY FIVE MINUTES LATE (I know, I was shocked too) so I had to put it away. By the time I’d finished with the vampire phlebotomist, done all my errands and got home it’d occurred to me that I used to be pretty naive and if anyone had written my story then they’d have probably been doing the same. Plus, I’d remembered another book where I’d felt a bit like that about the MC and gone on to love it so I figured it was worth another go.

And I don’t know why but when I started reading again I started liking it. So I ended up being glad I persevered. The moral of that story might be not to make decisions on book suitability when at the back of your mind you’re wondering how many needle sticks this is gonna take (one. Can’t remember that happening before!). Or perhaps it should be about giving books a proper chance but I think I prefer my blood test moral.

Sophie is very naive but she also is very believable. She makes mistakes. She accidentally shows off her knickers in public. She has great friends but sometimes that’s not enough. And frequently her antics made me laugh. Sophie grows as a character throughout the book but in a realistic way. And even then there are the usual misunderstandings and hiccups that everyone experiences in life. Her two flat mates are sisters. The I love you but… Squabbling of their sibling relationship was probably one of the most realistic I’ve read in ages.

I found this a relatively quick and easy read. It was perfect for a very lazy day when I wanted a fun read I didn’t have to think too much about. This is Cathy Bramley’s first novel and she took what’s something of a clichéd plot idea of unknown relative leaving money and made it work. I did guess one of the major twists early on but in places it still surprised me. On the whole I liked it.

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