Book Review: The Making Of Us by Lisa Jewell

In a hospice in Bury St Edmunds, a man called Daniel is slowly fading away. His friend Maggie sits with him everyday; she holds his hand and she listens to the story of his life, to his regrets and to his secrets. And then he tells her about the children he has never met and never will, conceived with women he never even touched. Four of them, apparently, two boys, two girls. His legacy, he calls them.
Lydia, Robyn and Dean don't know each other. Yet. And they are all facing difficult challenges. Lydia is still wearing the scars from her traumatic childhood and although she is wealthy and successful, her life is lonely and disjointed. Dean is a young man whose life is going nowhere. Robyn is training to be a doctor, just like her father- a man she's never met. When she falls in love with a man who is like her in every way, she needs to be sure. It's time for her to open the envelope her mother gave her on her eighteenth birthday.
And Daniel's children slowly find their way into each other's lives...
I am a huge Lisa Jewell fan and have loved all of her books so you can imagine how excited I was to receive a review copy of her latest one. I was a little worried when it arrived though as it had a quote on the back from The Bookseller saying that Lisa Jewell had moved into David Nicholl's territory. Don't get me wrong, I loved One Day by David Nicholls but I feel that Lisa Jewell has a very particular writing style and I was worried that this would have disappeared. I shouldn't have got so stressed though as this book is fabulous and the writer's poignant and witty style was better than ever.
The idea behind the book is just brilliant and Lisa Jewell showed how much research she had done by it all being completely believable and realistic.
I fell in love with all of the characters, Daniel, Lydia, Dean and Robyn. It was almost like getting four books for the price of one as they all have their own stories and backgrounds and I loved getting to know them all.
Lydia is extremely successful and still very young. She is adapting to the new wealth and lifestyle that her success has given her but she still has many questions from the past. She receives an envelope from an anonymous sender and learns that her father was a sperm donor rather than the man who had brought her up. Rather than feeling anger or sadness, it seems that Lydia is almost relieved as it makes certain parts of her past make sense, almost like a weight has been lifted.
Dean is younger than Lydia and has known the true identity of his father for three years. His life is all over the place and he is pushing away everybody that cares for him. A tiny part of him wonders what his siblings are like, are they in as much of a mess as him or would they hold some answers to him sorting his life out?
Robyn is the youngest at 18 and has always know about her father. She is training to be a doctor, the same as her father. On her eighteenth, Robyn's loving parents give her all the information she needs to make contact with her siblings and her real father. At first she is reluctant but then she realises the importance of meeting these people; by knowing them then maybe she will understand a little more about herself.
Daniel is the man who ties these children together, a man they have never met and a man who is running out of time. After revealing his life-long secret to his new friend Maggie, she sets out to find his children and bring them to him before it is too late.
The Making Of Us is a beautiful, poignant book. As I said, I fell in love with each character and only wanted the best for them all. Lisa Jewell has the incredible knack of telling it like it is, she does not give you a happy ending just for the sake of it. The way in which she brought the characters together was brilliant and very realistic. I was really moved by the individual stories of the characters and the ways in which they fitted together as though they had always felt that something was missing.
I urge you to read The Making Of Us and any of Lisa Jewell's other books. She is a fantastic author whose writing I never tire of.

Many thanks to Century for sending me a copy of the book to review, The Making Of Us is published on May 12th.

If you want to find out more about Lisa Jewell then head over to her facebook page by clicking here.


Jules (The Great, The Good and The Bad) said...

I completely agree with you, I really enjoyed this book too!
It was beautifully written and I am already keen to see what Lisa Jewell does next

verity said...

Oh, another Lisa Jewell - fantastic! You are so lucky.

Dot said...

Jules- Me too, I love her books!

Verity- I am very lucky, this was waiting for me when I got back off holiday!

Emma said...

I can't wait to have this in my hands. I love Lisa Jewell! This one makes me feel like I love it already :).

Dot said...

Emma- I am sure you will- I thought it was brilliant!

Ellie said...

I still haven't read her last one! I used to be a big fan but I read much less chick-lit these days.

Dot said...

Ellie- She's one of my favourite authors!

Anonymous said...

I used to love Lisa Jewell, but Melodie Browne didn't quite work for me. You make this sound wonderful, and so I will definitely be giving her another chance.

One More Page said...

This sounds brilliant. I love Lisa Jewell too. I'll buy this and save it for my holiday at the end of the month :)

Nikki-ann said...

Great review! This sounds like a wonderful read and I may just have to add it to my TBR pile!

Dot said...

fleurfish- You should give it a go, I really loved it!

One More Page- It would be a great holiday read- enjoy!

Nikki-ann- I hope that you enjoy it!

BOOK REVIEW: The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan

Masha’s life has stopped. Once a spirited, independent woman with a rebellious streak, her life has been forever changed by a tragic event ...