Strong female fiction is hard to write and then to deliver to a world where when you are well known is going to get picked apart and analysed. Do you know what? Sara Cox has not just made a good job of it – she has made an excellent job. I felt I was reading a story from author with years of experience behind her, not a debut novelist.
Becky works in the community centre, she is determined to get back to being the heart of the community that she remembers when she was smaller and her mum worked there. It is the place she seeks solace, as a single mum with a son on the brink of adulthood, she does not need any distractions. Well not ex partners that is for sure.
Shelia’s son has flown the nest, she is lost and wants to retire to a life in Spain, her husband has other ideas and seems to be withdrawing inside himself.
Jameela seems an unlikely friendship for Shelia, but a chance encounter brings them together. Jameela sees this a chance to escape from what she wants most in the world, but seems to be alluding her.
Louise thinks her life is just boring, plodding through she wants to find the person she once was before, marriage, children and domesticity came along.
All of these women are thrown (see what I did there!) together when they come together at the new pottery class at the community centre. As they forget their troubles, they make new friends, hear new life stories and learn a skill to take them away from their current thoughts. If there was ever a advert for crafting in whatever form to take you away from it all this is it.
Just like life, the pottery doesn’t always turn out like people want it to, but learning to love the cracks in life, the flaws in others and the decorations that make us all up means that we can embrace anything and everything.
If you are a fan of women’s fiction with strong characters and with some difficult topics covered in such a delicate and thoughtful way then this book is for you. I would like to go back to these characters if Sara Cox would oblige, but if not then if the next book is going to be as strong as this, it will be a runaway bestseller.
Thank you to the publisher via netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.
Thrown is out now.
Sara Cox can be heard on BBC Radio 2 from 1700. Her book review show Between the Covers is also available on iPlayer.