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5 March 2014

Blog Tour - 'Tiny Acts of Love' by Lucy Lawrie (2014)

Surviving motherhood? It's all about having the right network. 

Lawyer and new mum Cassie has a husband who converses mainly through jokes, a best friend on the other side of the world, and a taskforce of Babycraft mothers who make her feel she has about as much maternal aptitude as a jellyfish. Husband Jonathan dismisses Cassie's maternal anxieties, but is he really paying attention to his struggling wife? He's started sleep talking and it seems there's more on his mind than he's letting on. 

Then sexy, swaggering ex-boyfriend Malkie saunters into Cassie's life again. Unlike Jonathan, he 'gets' her. He'd like to get her into bed again too... And on top of all her emotional turmoil, she also finds herself advising a funeral director on ghost protocol and becomes involved in an act of hotel spa fraud, never mind hiding cans of wasp spray all over the house to deal with the stalker who seems to be lurking everywhere she looks. Marriage and motherhood isn't the fairytale Cassie thought it would be. Will her strange new world fall apart around her or will tiny acts of love be enough to get her through?

I’m thoroughly excited to be a part of the Fiction Addiction blog tour for Lucy Lawrie’s new release, ‘Tiny Acts of Love’ today! I instantly fell in love with the pretty and cute cover of Lucy Lawrie’s debut novel and the blurb also spoke to me, so I was quite looking forward to reading it. I don’t just have a review of ‘Tiny Acts of Love’ for you today, but Lucy has also made her very own playlist of songs that play a specific role in the novel; a guest post which I personally really love, and then there’s also a giveaway which offers you the chance to win your own copy of ‘Tiny Acts of Love.’ However, first, let’s talk about the book itself!

Cassie and Jonathan are ready for a new part of their life together which arrives in the form of their new-born daughter Sophie. They are slowly getting used to taking care of a baby, but especially Cassie finds herself dealing with all kinds of maternal anxieties. At the same time, she is trying to balance her work as a lawyer (which involves a slightly strange case at a funeral home) and being a mother (with her fellow Babycraft support group parents not making her feel any better about the way she is handling things), and to make matters even more complicated her ex-boyfriend Malkie shows up who really wants to get back together with her. Cassie is doing her very best to make everything go as smoothly as possible, but it turns out marriage and motherhood can both be quite a handful to deal with.

One of the definite strengths of this novel is the group of well-written and realistic characters, particularly the heroine, Cassie. I immediately found myself rooting for her and I think she finds herself in situations that are very familiar and relatable to many readers. Even though I’m not married or a mum, I could easily imagine what it could be like and really felt for Cassie. As a reader, we are taken along on the emotional journey of marriage and parenthood, which includes both laugh-out-loud situations as moving and emotional ones, and there were no boring moments. I just wanted to keep on reading, curious to find out which decisions Cassie would make and whatever situation she would find herself in next.

While I enjoyed the book as a whole, I really liked the fact that there were different storylines. I particularly loved the part of the story focusing on Cassie’s work as a lawyer and how she finds herself involved in a case at a funeral home, and the case involving the lovely elderly couple Jean and Gerry. ‘Tiny Acts of Love’ is a realistic, funny and moving novel that shows the rawness of marriage and parenthood and focuses on those moments we all have of doubting what things could have been like if we had made different decisions. A thoroughly enjoyable debut novel and I look forward to Lucy Lawrie’s future work!


For more information about this book: Amazon UK / Amazon US / Goodreads

Lucy Lawrie's Playlist for 'Tiny Acts of Love'

Thank you for asking me to put together a playlist for my novel, 'Tiny Acts of Love'. These are songs that I’ve always associated with certain parts of the story, and you can listen to them by clicking here!

Chapter 1 and 2
Ingrid Michaelson – Can’t help falling in love with you

For the first few weeks after my youngest, Charlotte, was born, we spent most of the time just gazing into each other’s eyes, with this song on repeat! It perfectly expresses the wonder of that falling-in-love feeling, and the vulnerability, the sense of fragility, that goes along with that. Tiny Acts of Love begins when Cassie has just got home from hospital after giving birth, and this is very much her state of mind, in those early days with baby Sophie.

Chapter 4
Gretchen Peters – On A Bus To St. Cloud
This song is about how, when you’ve lost someone you love, they can seem to haunt you. You imagine you see them everywhere. In Chapter 4, Cassie has just such a moment when she thinks she catches sight of her old love, Malkie, in a cafe. Even though it’s been years since they split up, and she’s now married to someone else, it still happens from time to time.
“I didn’t seek him out; he was just there, flashing into life in the face of a stranger, or in a half-overheard snatch of conversation. Or captured, fleetingly but perfectly, in the stride of a man passing by on the other side of the street. And then he would be gone again, as lost to me as he always was.”

Chapter 5
Pulp – Disco 2000

In this chapter, Cassie and her husband, Jonathan, celebrate their wedding
anniversary. Jonathan attempts to stage a re-enactment of the night they first
met in a dodgy nightclub, and starts singing ‘Disco 2000’. I love this song - it
captures the quirky fun and energy about Cassie and Jonathan’s relationship.

Chapter 13
Aerosmith - I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing
George Michael - I Can’t Make You Love Me

In Chapter 13, Cassie remembers how she and Malkie used to listen to ‘I Don’t
Wanna Miss a Thing’ while lying in each other’s arms in the early days of their
relationship. It’s such a gorgeous song. I love how the piano triplets sound like a heart beating beneath the melody. The George Michael song isn’t mentioned, but I listened to it on repeat while I
wrote this chapter. It captures that heartbreaking moment when you finally accept that a relationship is at an end.

Chapter 16
The Verve – Drugs Don’t Work

Without giving too much away, Cassie and Malkie have a bit of a moment in this chapter. “On the car stereo, a new tune started playing – the first, hesitant, achingly sweet notes of the Verve’s ‘Drugs Don’t Work’. The plaintive, sweeping melody that spoke of love, and loss – well, it just undid me.”

Chapter 22
Susan Boyle – Auld Lang Syne

In this chapter, Cassie and Jonathan see in the new year by tending to baby
Sophie, who has succumbed to a vomiting bug. Jonathan sings Auld Lang Syne to try and calm Sophie down, and Cassie remembers all the different Hogmanays she’s spent with Jonathan over the years. This Susan Boyle version is so pure and gorgeous and sad, and I listened to it on repeat while writing this scene. It’s about remembering the past, but also saying goodbye to it and facing the future, whatever that might be. 

Chapter 35
Gretchen Peters – When You Are Old

I had this song in mind when I wrote this chapter, which centres around Jean and Gerry, an elderly couple who have unexpectedly helped Cassie in her struggles. I think it’s a beautiful evocation of love – the rare kind that truly lasts a lifetime.

Chapter 37
Mariah Carey – I’ll be there

Part of motherhood is about learning to let go, even while you’re still holding
on tight. The lyrics to this song are the words that I imagine Cassie saying to her little girl Sophie, as she begins to grow up and explore the world for herself.

Thanks so much, Lucy!

Be sure to enter the giveaway to win a paperback copy of 'Tiny Acts of Love'!

1 comment:

  1. What an awesome review Jody. Thank you for reviewing and hosting the playlist on tour today.