Book Review: This is Us by Helen McGinn

Posted September 15, 2022 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 41 Comments

This Is Us
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

by Helen McGinn
Publication Date September 14, 2022
Published by Boldwood Books Ltd
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Genres: Family & Relationships / General, Fiction / Women
Pages: 274
Format: ARC

***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

A story about friends, sisters, motherhood and starting again – one day at a time...

Stella fell in love with Simon hard and fast. He was everything she wanted in a husband, and he seemed to feel the same way about her. More than a decade of marriage later, life is sweet. They have three much-wanted children, a successful business, and a comfortable London home. What more could Stella possibly want?

But then, out of the blue, Simon is gone. Vanished. No one knows where he’s gone or why.

Now Stella, with the help of her friends and family, has to pick up the pieces of her and her children’s life, all the while wondering what she missed. Was her husband who he said he was, and can she trust her own memories of their life together?

Helen McGinn’s latest novel is a love story to friendship, sisters, motherhood and starting again – one day at a time. Perfect for fans of Elizabeth Noble, Cathy Kelly and JoJo Moyes.

Praise for Helen McGinn:

'Escapist, warm, witty and wise' Daily Mail

'This is a lovely uplifting book that transported me away, firstly to the beautiful city of Rome and then to gorgeous Cornwall. It’s a moving and emotional story of families in all their messy wonderfulness, of people losing one another, and then coming together again - sometimes in unexpected ways. A hugely enjoyable family tale, it was exactly what I wanted to read at this time.' Louise Douglas

This Changes Everything is the perfect tonic. An uplifting, forget-about-everything-else read that I couldn’t put down. Romantic, emotional and page-turning, Helen McGinn’s debut novel can’t fail to cheer you up!' Zoe Folbigg

'I loved reading this book. I needed escapism and it gave me Rome, Cornwall and a family who immediately felt like old friends. I took it to the bath, to bed and had finished it within 24 hours. It was the perfect antidote to tough times.' Victoria Moore The Daily Telegraph

This Is Us by Helen McGinn is a women’s fiction book about a woman recovering from a divorce and how she picks up the pieces and find a way to move forward and love herself again.  Although this is not the typical, woman gets dumped story, there is a bit of mystery and a lot of emotion in this story.  

After a decade of marriage, Stella loves her life.  She met and married the love of her life, Simon, and now has three children.  Stella and Simon run a business together, and it’s thriving as they work to expand the business.  One day, Simon tells her he doesn’t love her anymore, packs a bag, and literally disappears from her life, and worse, their children’s life.  For weeks, she didn’t hear a thing from him, no indication of where he went or why.  

I like that this was just a bit different than the usual book about a family falling apart.  There were a lot of questions about Simon’s disappearance that needed to be answered and that kept me reading until late at night so I could find out.  I liked Stella very much, I don’t think she missed any cues that her marriage was not good, I honestly believe that Stella believed her marriage was a good one.  Simon is a true coward and is good at deceiving Stella and all their friends.  

I liked the way Stella changed from being hurt and bewildered to angry and strong.  She became that fearless mother bear, trying to protect her children from their father’s callous desertion.  I enjoyed the way she courageously worked to find her ex-husband, and also made some good decisions in order to preserve the love her kids have for their father.  

The book was well paced, and as I said that bit of mystery kept me turning pages to find out why Simon left, and how he could leave those beautiful children.  I thought the ending was good, and I always like a book where a woman is able to overcome such a troublesome past.

I recommend This is Us by Helen McGinn to anyone who enjoys women’s fiction.  I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Helen McGinn

Helen McGinn

Helen McGinn is a much-loved wine expert on TV and in print and an international wine judge. She spent ten years as a supermarket buyer sourcing wines around the world before setting up her award-winning blog (and now best-selling wine book) The Knackered Mother’s Wine Club. She is the drinks writer for the Daily Mail and regularly appears on TV’s Saturday Kitchen and This Morning. Helen lives in the New Forest and Boldwood are publishing her debut women’s fiction title in Spring 2021

Have you read This is Us? Does it sound good to you?

41 responses to “Book Review: This is Us by Helen McGinn

  1. Jenny+McClinton

    This does sound quite good, especially how Stella’s character changes & the mystery behind the disappearance, great review 😊

  2. Simon sounds like a real piece of work! I’m glad she fought to find out the truth. Hopefully it was all resolved. Even if Simon left he owes it to his kids to stick and around and support them emotionally and financially!

  3. Excellent review, Wendy. I like that she is strong and doesn’t wallow. I have this on my shelf, so am going to try and move it up.