We all have to do it some time in our lives. I’ve never met anyone who has never had to pick up the pieces of their lives and put them back together. Whether it is the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, the end of a relationship, a health scare, or a million other life changing experiences, picking up the pieces is something that all of us have to do. That is what makes Kate Rendlesham in Picking Up the Pieces so relatable.
Published in 1999, Picking Up the Pieces, from Rosamunde Pilcher’s bookshelf, is a novel by Mary Sheepshanks. It is not available in the Kindle store so I can’t put a picture of the cover on here. Kate is the main character in the story, but many of the supporting characters are also trying to piece together their lives. One of the things that makes this book so readable is that the characters feel real. I can look at them and see people I know. For example, Joanna, Kate’s daughter, is the worst kind of control freak who is slowly losing control of her life… yep, I have known a few of those.
The story centers around Kate. It’s been a year since her husband died. She is ready to make a few changes and find her personal identity, instead of being Oliver’s widow. She is facing several opportunities, including a chance for love. Just when everything is perfect, the ceiling crashes down and she has to pick up the pieces again.
Joanna is facing her own crisis. Her marriage is in a really rocky spot. Her oldest daughter is teetering on the edge of not being okay, and Joanna has no idea how to deal with any of it.
Mary Sheepshanks writes with a lot of humor and feeling. I laughed out loud several times throughout the book. I cried once or twice. It is over all a fun and quick read.
I did not like the amount of adultery in the book, though. I loved the story other than that, but I just don’t like it when people or characters don’t keep their marriage vows. There were also a few words that could have been left out.
I think I would read another book by Mary Sheepshanks if I had the opportunity.