Book Review: Agony Auntics by Julie Butterfield

As an agony aunt, Fliss Carmichael should have all the answers but when her own marriage begins unravelling at the seams, she hasn’t a clue where to start.

After a simple mistake causes an unintended role swap, she becomes the one seeking advice from an unlikely source!

When reading the blurb, I was immediately drawn to the premise of this novel and indeed, from the first page, I was drawn into the plot.

This book, told as narrative and a series of e-mails, focuses on Fliss and Ellie. I like how it’s told from the point of view of both and it goes between the two effortlessly.

Fliss is an agony aunt. It is not what she dreamed of being. It’s more a profession she fell into but, having been married for eighteen years, she has always believed that the sacrifices she made in her own career was worth it in exchange for her happy marriage.

However, when she gets an e-mail from Ellie, a woman who asks for advice in talking to the man she loves but has never spoken to, it forces Fliss to take a look at her own relationship with her husband, Jasper. She realises things are not so perfect.

I felt an enormous wave of love and empathy for both characters but especially Fliss. I’ve never really considered that this stranger offering advice is also a human being with their own complexities. Their lives can be as messy and beautiful. I had never considered that side of the coin before.

These women are at different stages in life and I liked the juxtaposition of the two. Most of all, I loved the relationship that developed between these two women and that it begins through the written word.

There’s much in this novel that many people will resonate with. There were elements of the story that stirred a large amount of emotion with me due to personal experience but the themes are approached with vast sensitivity. Julie’s effortless writing style does make this novel incredibly easy to fall into and I didn’t want to stop reading. I felt like these characters became friends. I grew very attached to them and wanted them to be happy. I also have soft spot for Laura. We could all do with a friend like her sometimes.

As usual, that is all I will say as I am really hoping it is a book you’ll discover for yourself.

Agony Auntics is a brilliantly warm, compelling, poignant novel that I enjoyed immensely. Thank you to the author for the ARC copy and for a chance to be part of the blog tour.

 

About Julie Butterfield:

Julie Butterfield belongs to the rather large group of ‘always wanted to write’ authors who finally found the time to sit down and put pen to paper – or rather fingers to keyboard.

She wrote her first book purely for pleasure and was very surprised to discover that so many people enjoyed the story and wanted more, so she decided to carry on writing.

It has to be pointed out that her first novel, ‘Did I Mention I Won The Lottery’ is a complete work of fiction and she did not, in fact, receive millions in her bank account and forget to mention it to her husband – even though he still asks her every day if she has anything to tell him.

Say hi to Julie on Twitter or via her website. 

Agony Auntics was released on 15th June. Click to view on Amazon UK and Amazon US.

 

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Laura
I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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