Sunday, 8 April 2012

Review - Without Alice by D J Kirkby

I really loved and enjoyed this book.
Without Alice started with different people being pregnant and giving birth. These scenes fall into place further into the book. 

Part one of the book started with Jennie giving birth whilst husband Stephen hovered around in the background not being particularly complementary towards Jennie or helping her in any way whatsoever. Whilst Jennie and their baby Marcel were still in the hospital and Stephen was working away from home (allegedly), their house was burgled.  The police tried to get hold of Stephen yet nobody could get in touch with him leaving Jennie to leave her baby in hospital going to sort out the mess then returning to the hospital. 

Stephen worked away from home a lot leaving Jennie to cope with a fractious baby and learning how to be a new mom to a demanding baby all on her own. Their love life became non-existant and it became clear to her that Stephen didn't love her or want to be with her but was only with her because he loved their baby. 

It would appear that Stephen has many many secrets that he has kept from his wife. Stephen also appeared to have lots of secrets from other people too. Part two of the book introduces you to the likeable character of Alice and tells you about her life and explains how she is part of Stephen’s life too.   I won't spoil the story of the book by telling you any more of the storyline but I will tell you that a totally shocking event happens at the beginning of part three that left me stunned, shocked, open-mouthed and lost for words. And that is not something that happens very often I can tell you!
I thoroughly enjoyed Without Alice. The scenes that Denise describes when the moms are in hospital with their newborn babies reminded me so much of being in that very same position. It reminded me of how I used to stand in the window at night with the curtains open so that if my mom was looking down upon us from Heaven she could see me and my beautiful baby boy. It brought back all the emotions that motherhood meant to me and what a wonderful fabulous experience it was.
I loved the character of Jennie who tried to be the best mom that she possibly could be to her son Marcel. I learned very quickly to dislike the character of Stephen who constantly put Jennie down at every opportunity and was a generally unpleasant person. I felt lots of empathy and compassion towards Alice who through no fault of her own was put into a situation which was unthinkable. Denise's writing in my opinion was excellent. The way she portrays places and characters make them easy to imagine and the storyline had lots of unexpected twists and turns which made the plot interesting yet believable.
The storyline was based around Stephen and Jennie having a one night stand and the consequences of their behaviour on that evening which was life changing for many people who were involved in their lives.
I thoroughly enjoyed without Alice I would love to read more of Denise Kirkby's work and hope that she won’t keep me waiting too long! 
D. J. Kirkby is a registered midwife, teaching midwifery two days per week and working three days per week for her local Public Health department. At the age of 40, she was diagnosed with a form of autism called Asperger syndrome, in addition to dyslexia and dyspraxia. She is the author of Without Alice, From Zaftig to Aspie, her soon to be published novel My Dream of You and book Special Deliveries, and has had short stories published in several anthologies. Writing under her academic surname she has had numerous articles accepted for publication, was a monthly columnist for FMA-UK magazine, and is now their midwifery link on pregnancy and childbirth. She is available for interviews, and to write articles on Asperger’s, dyslexia, dyspraxia, and midwifery.

Find out more about D J Kirkby's work at her website

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You can buy Without Alice via Amazon by clicking here

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