Title: Life is Yours
Author: Abi Yardimci
Who can say what has brought Jess and Lindy together?
Maybe it’s the beach, the stars and the warm Turkish night air. But they may as well get settled for the night, because Jess has a story to tell and Lindy is ready to listen . . .
Jess had life sorted. A gang of great mates, an adoring fiancé and a thriving business – she couldn’t have asked for more. But the proverbial rug is whipped out from under her feet when the fiancé makes a sharp exit on New Year’s Eve. Therein follows the Week From Hell, eternally streaked mascara and Chardonnay-a-plenty.
But this is the story of a woman on a path. Sure, there are a number of trips and falls along the way but Jess is on a journey that will change her life. On a boring business course, she remembers what she really wants; in strange new friendships, new ideas grow; and a last-minute discount holiday to Turkey helps her heart wake up to a whole new rhythm.
A rhythm that is just beginning to get going . . .
I was thrilled to host author Abigail Yardimci on my Real Women Real Lives feature over on my personal development blog (you can read her interview HERE), as I’m fascinated with her mindfulness and creative coaching business. When I had the opportunity to read her debut romance novel I jumped at the chance (even though it’s not my preferred genre), as there was the promise of a self-help element to the story, and I’m equally delighted to kick off her blog tour for Life is Yours.
It’s not often you get instructions on how to read a fictional novel, but I loved this part as I could fully resonate with Yardimci’s notes on putting yourself into the shoes of a fictional character to tell your story. When we worked on memoir at my creative writing class we told the same story in two ways – as a memoir and as a fictional tale. It was hugely cathartic to write about the challenges of life from the perspective of a character; as if we’d stepped outside the pain to tell the story, and I liked this short introduction style in Life is Yours. It’s a fictional novel, but you’re aware of the real-life undertones.
We’re introduced to Lindy who is alone and upset on New Year’s Eve, wandering down the beach lost in thought. She finds Jess by a roaring bonfire and begins to chat. Jess opens up about her emotional upheaval and why she is out on the beach instead of celebrating the New Year.
The story flips between the casual conversation the girls have on the beach and Jess’s in-depth story. We follow Jess’s idyllic life until her boyfriend decides he no longer loves her, and then on to how she picks up the pieces. I liked the section where Jess discovers the beginning of a ‘whole new world’ by realising she has made her own friends separate from the ‘couple’ status where social gatherings were always in pairs. She goes through an initiation back to being the girl she once was – something I can fully relate to!
As the story continues, Jess’s work life is gathering momentum, and she attends a business conference where a self-help mentor is running one of the sessions. As a personal development author and holistic therapist, I had to chuckle of Jess’s assumptions about personal development courses and the ‘gurus’ who run them. It’s a prejudice I used to come across every day when I ran my holistic business. The way the author gently guides you into understanding what a mindful journey entails is done very well. Jess is introduced to 100 days of positive action (I take part in the 100 Happy Days challenge as often as I can). We see Jess begin to notice small changes and observations as she takes tiny steps back to being her true self.
As an avid journal fan, I could resonate with Jess’s notebook and loved the ‘reasons why being young and free and independent is bloody brilliant!’ entry. The hand-drawn images added a nice touch (and I’ll be stealing a few prompts for my gratitude journal!).
Life is Yours is a sweet novel about finding yourself, loving who you are, and embracing life in a mindful and authentic way. Even though romance isn’t my usual genre to read, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend.
Buy your copy of Life is Yours via the author’s website HERE.
I received a copy of Life is Yours from the author in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour.
About the Author:
ABIGAIL YARDIMCI is an author, blogger, and creative mindfulness practitioner. She is a Geordie girl living by the sea in South Devon with her Turkish husband and two terrifying kids. She loves to blog and gets her kicks through mindful parenting styles, creative living and chocolate.
Abigail’s writing inspiration comes from scratching the surface of everyday life to find the underlying magic that connects us all. The fire beneath the frustration, the creativity beneath the boredom, the stillness beneath the chaos.
Abigail’s debut novel, ‘Life Is Yours’ is published as a trilogy by BNBS Books and she stays sane in the world of parenting by writing a popular blog called ‘Mum in the Moment’. You can find and follow her blog at http://www.abigailyardimci.com/muminthemoment
Abigail thrives on social media so join her to find out more about the Life Is Yours trilogy and loads more: