Book Review: What Have I Done by Amanda Prowse

This review has been sitting in my drafts for almost 4 months now. I’ve been giving my house a good spring clean, and decide to take it to my virtual home as well. So you might see some forgotten reviews pop up in the next few days. This was one of the books I definitely want to talk about.

The opening of the book had me hooked, ‘Oh, I know. I’m sorry, I’ll try and speak up a bit. It’s always a terrible connection from here, even if I’m phoning someone locally. It’s because I am up in the main bedroom and the reception is very bad. My son thinks it may be because of all the big trees around us; we did cut them right back one year, but I can’t remember if it made any difference. Plus we get interference from the computers in the next building; we’ve been meaning to get it looked at, but that’s by the by. Right, yes. I said, I have murdered my husband.’

Kathryn Booker is the head master’s wife in a rather grand school, Mountbriars Academy. Kathryn spends her time baking scones and playing the perfect, happy wife. To the everybody, they are the perfect couple, still very much in love with each other, despite being married for decades.

So why does Kathyrn kill her husband? Why was she so calm, collected and composed while reporting her crime? As the story unfolds, we are shown Kathryn’s private hell, the prison that she lived in, the nightmare she was ready to trade with a life in jail. What could have been so bad in Kathryn’s seemingly perfect life? You have to read it to find out.

A book which I couldn’t put down, because I so wanted to know more. To know why Kathryn did what she did, to understand why the people around her and her own children reacted the way they did. Kathryn’s story before she killed her husband was interesting, and eye-opening. It gave an insight into how easy it can be, to get away with domestic violence. So easy to mask and hide, if you knew how to play people. That thought gave me the shivers. What let this book down, in my opinion were the characters. While Kathryn’s husband and Kathyrn’s characters made sense, I found it difficult to believe their children. they refused to see what was in front of them. Even when the evidence was in front of them, even after it all came out in the aftermath of their father’s death. The way the refused to see things from their mother’s point of view was heart-breaking, absolutely heart-breaking to read. Kathryn’s pain from the final way her husband managed to hurt her, long after his death was incredibly sad. I guess, it takes all sorts, there definitely are people like them, self centered, refusing to see what is in front of them, so what if they end up hurting those who love them the most.

A 3.5/5 book for me, because this book started off with so much promise, it could have been fantastic, but it fell short, somewhere. While it was an absolute page turner, there was something missing, something that left you unsatisfied. I have to say, the ending definitely made sense, it ended in the only way it could. I would still read a sequel if there is any, simply because this book felt unfinished. And for all it’s flaws, it still is a book that is very memorable, mainly because of the subject that refuses to let you go. Stuff that nightmares are made of, and yet important enough to be written about, and read, because I’m sure it will help someone in similar situations at some point in time.

About the Author
Amanda Prowse was a management consultant for ten years before realising that she was born to write. Amanda lives in the West Country with her husband and their two teenage sons.

This book is available on Amazon(UK).

Book Review: Will You Remember Me by Amanda Prowse

Another book that leapt out at me from the shelves of a library. That also reminds me that I’ve not been to a library in the past three weeks. *gasps in shock at the realization* Not even my lunch time library run! I have been downloading e-books. I’ve become a convert, I have to say. While I still love regular books, the lure of marked down books is too difficult to ignore.


Poppy Day is a 32 year old young woman. Mother to two adorable children, wife to Mart, an army man and her childhood sweetheart. Mart is just back after tour with the army, safe, and is considering packing in his army career which takes him away so much from his family. For Poppy, nothing can be happier news than knowing that her husband might be with them all the time, even if it means that she would have to forgo some of the things she currently takes for granted, like the house she is so proud of. Nothing can match having her partner, her husband with her and not having him go away on dangerous missions to all sorts of unstable parts of the world.

Busy with her children and her regular life, Poppy almost misses a lump in her breast. And unfortunately for her, it turns out to be cancer. Poppy Day knows that she has to fight it and fight it hard, she can’t let cancer take her away from her family, the family she has fought so hard for, the life she has fought so hard for. Poppy has come a long way from her origins in the East End of London, and she isn’t about to let cancer take it all away.

It is such a heart wrenching story, a young woman, at the prime of her life faced with the possibility of dying before her time, way before her time. The way the story is narrated, is both sweet and sad at the same time. It is a book that could move you to tears, and as a mother with a young child myself, I could almost place myself in her place and imagine what she must be going through. The possibility of your children never knowing you, of growing up without their mother, of not having their mother with them at the most crucial time of their lives.. Poppy had grown up with a mother who did little for her daughter. She always tried hard to be the sort of mother she always wanted for herself, and facing the possibility that she might not, is such a cruel, cruel fate.

A heart wrenching story, but a story well worth the read. I loved the way the author brought out so many emotions, Poppy’s own situation, Mart’s frustration at not being able to do anything to help his wife, the children and their ways of dealing with what they understood of the situation.. A beautifully written book. This book was apparently a sequel to another book, which I hadn’t read but this doesn’t hamper the storyline in anyway. It is just that readers who had read the previous book might connect and empathise with Poppy and Mart even more, but it certainly didn’t detract from this book, for me. There were some elements of the book that didn’t work for me, which I can’t really go into without revealing too much of the book, making it 3.5/5 book for me. Otherwise it could have easily been a 4.5/5 book.

About the author
Amanda Prowse was a management consultant for ten years before realising that she was born to write. When her family isn’t being uprooted by the army, Amanda lives blissfully in the West Country with her soldier husband and their two teenage sons.

This book is available from Amazon(UK).