The Things I Know, Amanda Prowse
Genre: general fiction (Adult), women’s fiction
Ah no….usual moan 😦 Why, why do we have women’s fiction as a category? Why assume men won’t/don’t read romance – they do, they write it and read it.
With that off my chest, on to the book. I loved it. I’ve read several by Amanda now and she creates characters that feel incredibly real, and scenes that are like snippets for everyday life. That means the plots too feel genuine, and that’s what I want in a story. Something I can believe in.
I adored Hitch, hated that name that epitomizes her disability. She’s adored by her parents, but as often happens when children have disabilities, they are so scared for her they restrict her, smother her almost, and treat her like a child, always soothing and not really listening to what she wants now she’s older. It must be hard seeing your child upset and the natural temptation is to keep them close, keep them away from harm. Hitch though is feeling a bit lost by life, its a wash, rinse, repeat kind of time for her and she wants a future of her own, a family, her own cake tins. That looks like its not on for her until Grayson Potts comes to stay, and he and Hitch see something in each other that completes them, makes them feel whole. Grayson too has issues, ones that make it difficult for him to relate to others but give him a talent in the finance industry.
They become close, even though its just a couple of days, and gradually both spread their wings a bit and look to a future. I loved when hitch became Thomasina. Its not without traumas though, problems, pitfalls and unpleasant people.
I loved that Amanda showed that disabled folk want – and should have – more than just a safe life, that its OK to want more, that they are the same as anyone else and should be treated that way. The older I get the more I see “normal” as mythical, really we’re all someone along a sliding scale of normal, not one fixed point that denotes it and anyone away from that magic mark is not normal, and shouldn’t expect to have the same rights, realities, life expectations as those who fit that narrow criteria.
Stars: Five, another great read from Amanda, and one to keep for re-reading. Such a wonderful story, no deep dark dramas, but a gentle spreading of wings from two wonderful characters.
Arc via Netgalley and publishers