About the Book
Author: Sarah England
Publication: Crooked Cat Ltd. (18 June 2013)
Summary: Samantha Sweet is busy juggling all the disasters in her life - boyfriend, mother, job - and just when she thought things couldn't get any worse, they did.
What I Think
If you love Bridget Jones (Bridget Jones' Diary, Helen Fielding) or can relate to the problems of Becky Bloomwood (Shopaholic series, Sophie Kinsella) then you'll love Samantha Sweet, the main character in Sarah England's debut novel, Expected. In the book Sam describes herself as "a plump, debt-ridden spinster, shackled to a peevish psychopath, and about to lose [her] job." Essentially a modern-day love story, England's characters take us on a journey of discovery: one of friendships, family ties, job satisfaction and ultimately love.
If I'm completely honest, I couldn't totally empathise with Samantha Sweet. I don't find her a strong 21st century female character and am not sure she's setting a good example for young women of today. She seemed utterly clueless as to how to run her life (without the help of one man or another). The mildly amusing situations she often found herself in sometimes bordered on the ridiculous.
Having said this, the book was well-written and compelling. I found the relationship between her and her mother to be touching in places, as she struggled with her mother's declining health. I read the book from cover to cover in only a couple of days as I did want to find out what happened and whether Samantha would pull herself together enough to steer her life in the right direction. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a light & easy read (but make sure you take your feminist hat off before you start it!).
About the Author
Sarah originally trained as a nurse in Sheffield. She then worked as a medical rep for nearly 20 years, specializing in mental health - a theme which carries into many of her stories. Now living in Dorset with her husband, Don, and a spaniel, Harry, she has been working as a freelance fiction writer -a dream she has long wished to pursue - for around 8 years.
To date, Sarah has over 140 short stories published in magazine, newspapers and anthologies all over the world - the most recent being a 3 part detective serial in Woman's Weekly. Her collection of thrillers, 3am and Wide Awake, is available in digital form, and Expected, is her first novel. (Crooked Cat Ltd.)