What would you do if you were told you could never have children? Faced with this news, Gracie Davies is at an all-time low. But with the support of some new Wimbledon friends, an unorthodox therapist, her hippy-chick sister Naomi and Czech call-girl Maya, she sets up The SW19 Club and begins her rocky journey to inner peace and happiness. Add in a passionate fling with handsome landscaper Ed, a fairytale encounter with a Hollywood filmstar and the persistence of her adulterous ex, life is anything but predictable…
When we first meet Gracie Davies she is going through a particularly awful time. She has recently suffered a miscarriage, losing her twins that she conceived after going through IVF. Gracie is not only struggling to come to terms with the loss of her children, but she was also forced to have a hysterectomy, meaning that her dream of becoming a mother will sadly never be a reality.
Gracie is stuck in a rut of grief and despair and things reach a head when she discovers that her partner Lewis has cheated on her with a woman she works with. Forcing Gracie to flee their home, she moves in with her sister Naomi and her nephew Jack. Forced to re-evaluate her life, Gracie starts to take the first steps towards making crucial changes and it’s not long before things are looking up. Gracie makes new friends, opts for a career change as she sets up the SW19 Club, encounters a whirlwind romance (or two…?) Her journey is not without its complications, but eventually Gracie starts to realise that maybe there’s more to life than she originally thought…
I was really looking forward to reading The SW19 Club. Having read and enjoyed some of Nicola’s previous novels I was really keen to see what direction her writing was going to take with the SW19 Club.
This is one of those novels where you know immediately that it’s going to be a complete rollercoaster of a read. My heart broke pretty much right on the first page as we hear about Gracie’s miscarriage in the prologue. Whilst I can’t even begin to imagine what she was going through, Nicola’s writing makes Gracie’s experiences very raw and powerful and you can tell that Nicola is writing from experience.
I felt an immediate affinity with Grace and was angered at the way she was treated at the start of the book. I took an instant dislike to Annalize and the way I felt about Lewis was a tricky one. I was determined not to like him – especially after the things he said to Gracie just six months after losing their twins. But then at the same time I would forget that the loss wasn’t just Gracie’s – it was Lewis’ too.
There’s a really strong range of characters within these pages and I love how they are all intertwined together. The saying ‘It’s a small world’ has never been more apt.
Gracie is such an inspirational character. The poor girl really does experience some truly terrible things and then just as you think things are looking up – BAM – her world is in bits. I loved how she kept battling on, despite wanting to lock herself away and never face the world again. I think that’s a feeling that everyone can understand. Watching her go about changing her life makes for a warm, exciting, and extremely funny story. The way in which Nicola manages to balance out the grief in the story with humour and romance is wonderful. It takes something really special for a writer to have you bawling your eyes out one minute and then laughing you socks off the next, but it’s something that Nicola May seems to have a really strong talent for.
I also really loved the whole concept of the SW19 Club that Gracie starts up, especially the Miscarriage Matters group. Through the actions of various characters you can go some way to understanding the difficulties that some women face in their lives and see how much of an impact simply just talking about your problems can have.
Sensitive, well-written and an all-round fantastic story, Nicola May is definitely an author to look out for. The SW19 Club is an enjoyable, and humorous read that’s thought provoking and inspiring at the same time.
A huge thank you to Diana at Ruth Killick Publicity for sending me a copy of the SW19 Club to read and review. ♥
I look forward to sharing my heartfelt and fun books with you.
For further information on me, my books and to read reviews please do go to www.nicolamay.com.