ShortBookandScribes #BlogTour #Extract from The Mum Who’d Had Enough by Fiona Gibson @FionaGibson @AvonBooksUK
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Mum Who’d Had Enough by Fiona Gibson. I have a fab extract to share with you today. My thanks to Sabah Khan from Avon Books for the place on the tour.
After sixteen years of marriage, Nate and Sinead Turner have a nice life. They like their jobs, they like their house and they love their son Flynn. Yes, it’s a very nice life.
Or, at least Nate thinks so. Until, one morning, he wakes to find Sinead gone and a note lying on the kitchen table listing all the things he does wrong or doesn’t do at all.
Nate needs to show Sinead he can be a better husband – fast. But as he works through Sinead’s list, his life changes in unexpected ways. And he starts to wonder whether he wants them to go back to normal after all. Could there be more to life than nice?
After an uneventful evening – with Flynn being cordial but distant – I greet Tuesday with a little more optimism. This evening, after work, I am seeing Sinead. In those precious five minutes when I drop off our son, I shall not only show my appreciation of her, but prove that I have taken her criticisms on board, and am working through them steadily.
Today, I am working from a different test centre, with another team – in the larger, further-away town of Brokely – and so I’m spared the concerned looks and gentle quizzings from colleagues. At lunchtime, I’m almost grateful for the failure of my iPhone-recovery method. As the rice didn’t absorb the bathwater within, a trip to the phone shop for a replacement mobile keeps me occupied. However, it also takes way longer than expected, leaving me no time to peruse the shops and choose a gift for Sinead.
Still, no matter. I’ll be able to pick up something for her on the way home. It’s not the price tag that’s important, but the thoughtfulness; I learnt this from the leopard skirt episode. It cost me a fortune, frankly – more than I’d imagined it possible to spend on a piece of animal-print material the size of a cushion cover – and resulted only in disappointment. ‘Nate,’ she’d exclaimed, gawping at it, ‘did you confuse me with Bet Lynch in 1987?’
Unfortunately, after the final test of the day, Kevin, the Brokely test centre manager, wants to run through a new admin procedure with me, which results in me leaving much later than I’d anticipated.
In fact, as I set off for home at 6.15 p.m., I’m now rather concerned about where I might buy Sinead a present at all. The supermarkets will still be open, but what would I choose for her there? A pair of tights, a bar of soap, a jar of speciality marmalade? None would convey the message that I view her as wonderful and incredibly desirable. Of course … flowers would be perfect. No spontaneity in our lives, she wrote. Well, I’ll prove her wrong on that count! Visualising her delighted face when festooned with blooms, I pull up at the garage just outside Hesslevale and virtually leap from my car.
Luckily, there are plenty of flowers stashed in green plastic tubs outside the shop. Most appear to be carnations and chrysanthemums in zingy colours, which always strike me as particularly cheerful. As opposed to, say, lilies, which bring to mind illness and death, and is clearly not the message I want to convey.
I choose a bunch of yellow chrysanths, decide it looks rather stingy and add red ones, then orange – and then sod it, a whole load of those flecked carnations that look like they’ve been doodled on with felt tips. The effect of them all together is quite dazzling – like an outrageous sunset. I manhandle the whacking bouquet into the shop, then carry it back out to my car, attracting several bemused glances and one ‘Ooh, someone’s a lucky lady!’ remark from a woman in a pink coat.
Will Sinead think she’s lucky? I wonder. At least, will she decide that I’m not quite the lazy, self-centred arse that she had me down for?
I set off for home, glancing back when I stop at a red light to see that the stems are leaking water from their cellophane wrappings all over the back seat of my car. Sinead once remarked to Flynn, rather unnecessarily, I thought, that I am ‘anal’ about my vehicle – meaning I’m not especially keen on it being scattered with smashed cheese and onion crisps and putrefying apple cores. How they giggled together about the time I was dismayed to discover that a half-litre beaker of Ribena had puddled onto the carpet. I suppose she was right, in that I do prefer my car’s interior to be reasonably clean and dry. But now I’m thinking: sodden upholstery is of no concern if my gesture puts a smile on my darling wife’s face.
Fiona Gibson is an author and journalist. Originally from Yorkshire, she started her writing life at the age of seventeen on Jackie magazine. She is a regular contributor to Red, Sainsbury’s Magazine and the Sunday Herald, and lives with her husband and their three children in Lanarkshire, Scotland.