Author: Ruthie Knox
Series: The Camelot series
Review by: Onnica
Basic story: Amber and Tony Mazzara have been married for ten years. Three kids later they are exhausted; plagued with money worries and Tony is working around the click hoping that the house-building business will pick up and withstand the economic climate.
Amber is busy taking care of the three energetic boys and is starting to lose herself. Slowly but surely she’s disappearing, ceasing to be anything other than wife and mother. On holiday in the Caribbean for her brother’s wedding and surrounded by new couples, she longs for how things were before the children and before the bottom fell out of the market, when she and Tony actually ‘saw’ each other. Noticing his wife’s misery, Tony (with the help of Amber’s aunt and mother) insists that Amber stays on in Jamaica for a few more days to relax and have the holiday she wanted. However, it soon becomes clear that a few days to herself aren’t going to fix the cracks in their marriage. After a confrontation with his formidable mother-in-law, Tony determines to get back to Jamaica and get back to how things were when they talked and laughed and understood each other. He’s ready to try anything – even if that means role-playing and pretending to be someone shiny and new…
Why you should read this: We first got to know Amber and Tony in How to Misbehave (set 13 years earlier) and now we get to see what happened following their happily ever after. The realism of this novella was striking – a story where the family are struggling in the economic climate trying to keep going, was so honest and refreshing. I could really empathise with Amber’s character, her sense of isolation and the longing she had for Tony. Tony loves his family and would do anything for them, even if that means he has no time to spend with them – working all hours. His sense of failure because he’s not able to give Amber and the children everything he wants for them was touching. These characters are as real as you can get and the challenges of marriage and beyond were handled so well.
What you might hate: In my humble opinion, there isn’t a whole lot to hate about this novella – it’s not exactly an escapist read, so if you’re looking for something far-removed from your life, then ok, maybe not for you.
Rating: 4/5 – Amber and Tony are good people. I rooted for them from start to finish and wanted them to find each other again. Well-written, honest and humorous – it’s classic Ruthie. Making it Last is out on 15 July.