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The Accidental Mother Paperback – Bargain Price, September 4, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Coleman makes her U.S. debut with a disarmingly sweet tale of motherhood and reluctant love. London party planner Sophie Mills becomes the improbable guardian of sisters 6-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Izzy after their single mom, Sophie's childhood best friend Carrie Stiles, dies in a car accident. Life suddenly gets very complicated and dirty for the hyper-organized career chick, and a panicked Sophie figures she'd better launch a search for the girls' long-missing dad before maternal mayhem wreaks havoc on her busy life. But once found, mysterious charity worker Louis Gregory triggers Sophie's own overwhelming sense of loss for her late dad and dead pal Carrie. And for the first time in her life, Sophie is forced to jump into the middle of life instead of planning it from a safe distance. Love isn't the instant fix for Sophie's fragile makeshift family, but Coleman shows how it can kick-start a lonely heart.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Sophie Mills adores her shoe collection and her job as a corporate party planner in London. Her career is all-consuming, which is fine because she can never make a decision when it comes to men. Just when she is finally about to accept a lunch date, a social worker informs her that her best friend since grade school, Carrie, has died, naming Sophie guardian of her two daughters, six-year-old Bella and three-year-old Izzy. Reluctantly, Sophie agrees to take care of the children until their father, who left three years ago, can be located. How hard can it be to temporarily take care of two girls? And she did promise Carrie, even though she was drunk at the time. Sophie has a lot to learn about children, and by caring for Bella and Izzy, she discovers what it means to be connected to people rather than focused on her next promotion. British author Coleman creates witty and endearing characters and delivers an exceptional and touching read about loss and love. Engelmann, Patty
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I knew the drill without reading the blurb: “Sophie … is a corporate manager poised for her next promotion. Sure, she doesn’t have much time for men, but she has a great shoe collection…. Life doesn’t always go according to plan.” I knew this would be another variant of the classic meme: Spunky but troubled orphan is dumped on the doorstep of a prickly, unwelcoming aunt/godmother /grandfather/professor , and warms up their cold, cold heart. Whether it’s “Heidi”, “Little Lord Fauntleroy”, “Pollyanna”, “Anne of Green Gables”, or “Harry Potter”, we love those plucky orphans.
I recognized this variation also: the Busy Career Girl who becomes a Mother, and whose Life is Changed. I knew there would be problems at work, problems with a baby-sitter, and as for that father who “is nowhere to be found” – I knew he would show up, be met with antagonism and mistrust, and then… but you know the story too, don’t you?
I knew the story, but I still read the book. It was tough going at first – I had a hard time empathizing with a career girl whose biggest problem is how to keep her pink suede high-heeled boots from getting muddy. I actually put it aside after the first ten pages as a waste of time. But then I picked it up again, “just to see how the love interest worked out”, started a hundred pages further in, and an hour later I was still reading, all the way through to the happy ending.
Hey, a guilty pleasure is still a pleasure! Turn on the fire, get out your box of bon-bons, put on your bunny slippers, and enjoy!
Carrie dies and Sophie learns that she will need to honor the promise to take care of her children. The dad isn't in the picture and can't be located. Grandma is unable to care for the two sweet girls, Bella & Izzy.
This puts Sophie's career on the backburner because her focus is no longer on herself!
From bestselling author Rowan Coleman comes a deeply touching tale of a fast-track career woman whose life takes a sharp right turn when motherhood unexpectedly lands in her lap.
Sophie and Carrie were childhood best friends, but in the last few years they've lost touch. While Carrie chose motherhood in a small town, Sophie is powering up the London career track. She's a corporate manager poised for her next promotion. Sure, she doesn't have much time for men, but she has a great shoe collection and a cat who's never going to let her down.
And then Sophie is told that Carrie has died, with nobody left to care for her two daughters, Bella and Izzy, aged six and three. Their father, who left before Carrie's death, is nowhere to be found; their grandmother is moving into assisted living. Sophie once promised Carrie she would take care of her children if the worst ever happened...and now that day has come.
Witty, wise, and filled with genuinely powerful emotion, The Accidental Mother is the heartwarming, heartbreaking story of a woman who is woefully under-equipped to be suddenly thrown into motherhood, but who through the eyes of two little girls learns more about loss, commitment, and true love than she had ever realized existed.
The Accidental Mother was really a joy to read! I absolutely loved it! The were so many relationships that the characters had that were so beautiful and engaging. Each relationship- between Carrie and Sophie, the main character; Bella and Izzy and Sophie; Sophie and Louis; Louis and the girls; and Louie and Carrie as described in the book- was unique and expressed so much emotion. Overall, my favorite thing about this book was the feelings it evoked. I loved that reading it let me in on all the emotions the characters dealt with and how the readers got to experience those feelings right along with the them. Rowan Coleman is great at providing that experience to readers.
Most of all, I thought the relationship that Sophie comes to have with Bella and Izzy was the most beautiful and most enjoyable part of the book. The way the author dealt with the death of Carrie and notifying Sophie that she was now their guardian seemed to be written with the hand of a very experienced author. It is difficult thing to do to write about such an emotional scene with both grief and humor without putting the reader off. I think Coleman did a great job. The first days of having Izzy and Bella at home were absolutely hilarious and filled with the truth of what little kids are really like. I was laughing out loud when she sent the kids out to eat dinner on her expensive sofa. Oh and by the way...the girls' dinner consisted of 2 different frozen meals mixed together so they wouldn't fight over who gets what (well at least that was Sophie's reasoning LOL!). If you are a parent, you could see right off that Sophie was way in over her head. What 3 year old kid do you know eats frozen Lean Cuisines? And of course the end result was the ruination of her sofa...and Sophie cried over it! It was so funny!
I also loved how when Sophie finally called her mother for help (who is a dog fanatic) and her help came in the form of a dog psychology and training manual. At first Sophie thought this was simply idiotic of her mother, but after flipping through the book Sophie realizes that there is a lot more in common between dogs and children than one might think and starts to use some of the guidelines in the book which she modifies for the girls and what do you know...they work.
If you are a mother or want kids than this book is one of those that makes your heart ache because of the sweetness of Bella and Izzy and their fragility, not to mention the fact that they are such sweet and special little girls. Their emotions leaked onto the pages yet it was difficult to read at times because you truly saw how much they were hurting inside due to the loss of their mother and having been bounced around from home to home until Sophie was found.
Sophie finding herself through Bella and Izzy was an important part of the plot. Sophie has lived her life not making choices on her own but living the life that is thrown at her. She lives for her job and is diligently working towards the top of her company. She has no real friends and is afraid of having a relationship, not acknowledging the real fact is that she is afraid of someone leaving her at the end. It is the girls that change her without Sophie even knowing it. Izzy and Bella bring out the best in her and make her realize what kind of life she was missing. Once their father, Louis came back into the picture, Sophie didn't realize that she was falling for him. Once she did, her old instincts kicked in. She make excuse after excuse not to be with this great guy but she soon realizes she is miserable without him. Will she change her ways or return to the daily grind of her non-existent life or will she remember what she learned from Izzy and Bella about love?
This is a wonderful book about love, loss, and opening up yourself to others. It is about trust, friendship and what truly matters in life. If a person can find the right balance of things, one CAN find true happiness, but you have to let yourself be open to it. I will definitely be looking for the next book to read by Rowan Coleman. 4 stars!
Within a few chapters I was hooked. I wanted to know what happened to the two beautiful little girls that were now living with the "Auntie Sophie" and to know what happened. The book had a few surprise twists, and left me wanting more when I was finished.
I'd recommend this book and will be looking at other books from this author.