BOOK CLUB: Wherever You Go

Some of you may be already familiar with Monique Mulligan through her children’s picture books published through Serenity Press including “Fergus the Farting Dragon” and “Alexandra Rose and Her Icy Cold Toes” (you may have seen being read by the Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson on Storytime with Fergie and Friends). 

Monique has also published romance novelettes through Serenity Press.  Recently she has joined independent publishing company Pilyara Press and Wherever You Go is her first full-length novel to be published through them.

How do you go on when you have lost everything when the “good” news is that you are alive and both your legs and pelvis are broken, and the doctor isn’t sure you’ll ever be able to have children? And the bad news, the bad news is unbearable, it tears you apart, every minute of every day.

Three years after the car crash in Germany that forever changed Amy’s life, she and husband Matt are moving to Blackwood, Western Australia. Matt is looking for a new life, Amy just wants to escape her old one.  

Three years since she woke from the coma, and Matt had to deliver the news that had turned his blood to ice, three years of learning to walk again, the agony of having to prove the accident was not her fault, her name and face splashed all over the papers, and Pandora, her beloved four-year-old daughter, one minute she was asleep in the back seat of the car, and the next minute in a cacophony of screeching tires and burning rubber, she was gone.

Three years of crumbling marriage as Amy withdraws into herself, three years of Matt trying to support Amy while holding his own grief inside.  Will a tree change save their marriage? Matt has done everything he can to reignite Amy’s love of cooking, the new house has a pantry stocked with everything a chef could possibly want or need, an amazing chef’s kitchen and there’s a small cafe that’s up for sale in Blackwood that would be just perfect; if only Amy could see that it could help her to move on.

Then there’s the little girl next door to their new home, Ashlee, she’s about the same age as Pandora. Matt hadn’t really been conscious of her when they bought the house.  She turned up on their first night in the new house while Matt was out picking up some food for dinner, asking for a glass of Milo!  

Ashlee has her own problems, she lives with her mum Bonnie and Great-Grandmother Irene (Reenie) but lately Bonnie has been spending a lot of time with her boyfriend Jake, who wants Bonnie to move away with him (he doesn’t seem quite so interested in having Ashlee move with them).  

Ashlee seems to sense that Amy is missing something, and attaches herself to Amy as only a small child can. Can Ashlee’s childhood innocence help Amy to heal, and reconnect with her husband?

Slowly Amy starts to enter into life in Blackwood, connecting with a few people, creating “around the world” suppers, finally starting to relax a little. Until an unexpected event causes her life to come crashing back down, triggering flashbacks to the accident.

Meanwhile, Matt finds himself having to deal with his own emotions and confusion. 

Will this be the final straw that tears them apart? Or can they find their way through to a future together?

Mulligan handles this topic with sensitivity and realism, the impact of a child’s death can often be the catalyst that tears relationships apart as each parent blames themselves for what has occurred, and confusion occurs as each tries to deal with their grief in their own way. 

In Wherever You Go, Matt has (as so often men do) bottled up his feelings to try and support Amy, but nothing he tries to do seems to help, Amy is not the person she was before the accident.  Amy wants to heal, but doesn’t know how to, she wants to respond to Matt, but her fear won’t let her, she doesn’t understand how Matt can go on functioning, apparently as normal, when she can’t because things are no longer normal.

Wherever You Go is a beautifully written novel that showcases Mulligan’s coming of age as a novelist.  It will tear at your heartstrings, while paradoxically providing you with amazing recipes to try and enjoy! I recommend having a box of tissues on hand when reading.

Definitely a 5 star read.

ISBN: 978-0-6483089-1-1 / Copy courtesy of: Monique Mulligan and Pilyara Press

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Wherever You Go by Monique Mulligan. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

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