Review: The Birthday that Changed Everything by Debbie Johnson

The Birthday that Changed EverythingThe Blurb

‘A lovely, emotion-filled, giggle-inducing story’ – Sunday Times bestselling author Milly Johnson

She wanted a birthday surprise, just not the one she got…

The last thing Sally Summers expected from her husband on her special day was that he’d leave her for a Latvian lap dancer half her age. So with her world in tatters, Sally jets off to Turkey for some sun, sea and sanctuary.

The Blue Bay resort brings new friends and the perfect balm for Sally’s broken heart in gorgeous Dubliner James. He’s just the birthday present she needs. And when the chemistry between them continues to spark as the holiday ends, Sally wonders if this is more than just a summer fling.

But James has scars of his own and Sally isn’t quite ready to turn her back on her marriage. This birthday might have changed everything, but what will the next one bring?

The Review

Some authors just do it for me. They write stories that I just fall completely in love with. Debbie Johnson is one of those authors.

In her latest novel The Birthday that Changed Everything we meet Sally. She’s about to turn forty. Her daughter, Lucy, makes it obvious that she has no respect for Sally – she eff’s and jeff’s with vim; her son, bless him tries to steady the rocky relationship but even his patience is wearing thing; and she has a husband who has up sticks and left her for lap dancer. Things aren’t looking good for Sally but in a fit of defiance against her crumbling life she books a family holiday that changes her life.

What I loved about The Birthday that Changed Everything is that Johnson breaks down a lot of societal walls. She has a woman who knows that her life isn’t perfect. She knows her relationship is obviously not perfect and she does not have the perfect family (i.e. muck mouth of a daughter). Yes, what Debbie Johnson has so accurately captured in her novel is that people aren’t always perfect and can’t be pigeon-holed. Sally makes you feel ok about yourself. She makes you see that life is messy and you are not always going to be the prettiest, youngest or slimmest person but…and this is the important bit…you can still nab the hunkiest man around. Yes, I used the word “hunkiest” and I am not ashamed of it.

In all seriousness, Debbie Johnson’s The Birthday that Changed Everything is a story with a big heart. It will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions. I laughed, covered my face in agony and shame, screamed in frustration and felt the truly full happy feeling that you get when you turn the final page of a great story. Sally was the perfect protagonist; Bridget Jones, eat your heart out. There is a new hot mess in town!

The Birthday that Changed Everything by Debbie Johnson is available from 28th January 2016.

Follow Debbie Johnson (@debbiemjohnson) on Twitter.

5 Stars

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