“A change of heart…”

Hello everyone! Or should I say Hola! That’s right I’m back from my holidays and catching up on my blog! My next post after this one will include what’s to come and what to look out for over the next few months! But today I am taking part in my second book blog tour! The book is ‘Transition’ by Jo Huey.
This is a very interesting review for me to write for two reasons. 1) this book is non- fiction (the first non- fiction book I have reviewed on books beyond the story) and 2) because this book isn’t just a ‘factual informative statement’ but rather a harrowing true account of the author’s life growing up with an alcoholic father and carrying her struggles into adulthood.

This book is one of the most honest things I’ve read. There is no sugar coating, no easy- breezy flow of the story. No. Jo, the author, has opened up about her life as a child and the personal problems she faced in adulthood. The story covers it all from childhood abuse, emotional trauma, partners and relationships, friends, family and self discovery.

I think this book is very brave as I believe everyone has secrets and skeletons they’d rather not share with their next-door neighbour never mind the world. But as you read, you discover that the author wants to help others similar to those in her situation and to do that she has completely stripped bare her life for everyone to see.

I think people will connect to this book for a number of different reasons. Although not everyone is the child of an alcoholic, the mental health struggles such as anxiety and depression that Jo suffers from in the book are relatable to a lot of people. This raw telling of her story really moved me and every now and again I found myself reaching for the tissue box. I don’t want to put you off by saying this is a sad book because generally it’s not. The book is hopeful and looks towards solutions rather than the negatives. A personal triumph for Jo.

I couldn’t treat Jo like a character in her own book. She is real, has gone through every event written down, struggled and faced her problems. She is not a character but a wonderfully brave author who I think really helps people look beyond their past and face their fears.

Here is an extract from the book:

My dad was an interesting and, dare I say it, quirky character. He was a private person who struggled to connect with others; he did have some friends but not many but then that isn’t unusual for men.  He was a big fan of black and lived in tracksuit bottoms. At times, I think he stretched to grey and white but that was the extent of his wardrobe. He liked good quality things and enjoyed listening to music, specifically Foreigner and Elton John. He loved doing DIY and welding in the garage so we had a lot of items made from metal! 
The best way to describe him was charismatic, passionate and creative he loved to keep busy just like Mum but also enjoyed relaxing in front of the T.V. Mum and Dad were happy together for a few years and he loved and doted on her. He would do anything she needed and he did make her laugh. 
Pinpointing the time that Dad started his relationship with alcohol is a hard one and my mum can’t remember when or why it all began, but to be honest I don’t think there was a particular day or event, it just got progressively worse.  
Unfortunately, the alcohol turned my dad into a Jekyll and Hyde character. If he wasn’t drinking he would be kind and considerate, helpful, playful and fun. He had a dry sense of humour and used to have us all in stitches. We’d have rare moments like this and I’d grab them with both hands because you never knew when the encounter of the ‘nice Dad’ was coming.  
The drinking turned him into a different person, he would shout, and his facial expression would make me shiver in my body. The tone of his voice was enough to make me nervous and sick to the stomach, he was that scary. This was intimidating and meant I was always on hyper-alert – causing me to suffer from anxiety, although I didn’t realise it until later. 
He was never a big physical presence in my life but I’ve only just recently become aware of this fact. Of course, I saw him, but I was at school in the day and he worked which isn’t unusual; but he never joined us for dinner, I went to bed and he rarely came to say goodnight so we didn’t see him until the weekend. He wouldn’t join us to watch TV or read us stories at night and rarely came out with us at the weekend. 
There was a lot more to come as I grew up but the journey was just beginning for Mum, Daisy and I.

Also, here is a little extra treat for you!…Jo Huey shares some of her favourite things

Jo Huey_Portrait_pink

I’m a passionate and loving person and I have a lot of friends and a very close family. My immediate family is my Mum, step-dad, older and younger sister and two nephews. I have an aunt and uncle, two cousins and two step brothers which 2 nephews and nieces.
I’ve lived in Bournemouth pretty much my whole life and I love it here. I wouldn’t really want to be anywhere else but you can never say never!
As a child I learnt to bake, sew and do a number of creative things which I still love to this day. I’ve manage to make myself a good few clothes and certainly have baked a lot of cakes and treats in my time. You could say I have a sweet tooth, I blame my Mum.
I didn’t really have a lot of friends growing up but the ones I did have were neighbours and we use to love playing a game called ‘block’, baking and playing on the computer. I’m still very much into technology, I worked for an IT company for 14 years and had a number of roles and it’s something I find very exhilarating. Apart from the times when I can’t get it to work then it’s the most frustrating thing on the planet.
I’ve recently developed a love of yoga, I’ve tried it in the past but never really taken to it and that’s one example of something I always share with people. Just because we may not like something now or if we try something it may not suit us in the moment, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try it again in the future. I really believe in timing and sometimes it just isn’t the right time, if we try and force it I think it loses its attraction.
My self-development journey started over 20 years ago and I have to say it’s something I’m committed to for life. I’ve seen so many positive changes I’d be stupid to not continue with it. I’m so passionate about it and getting to the bottom of problems and helping others to do the same. I think helping people has been part of my DNA since I was at secondary school. I think I learnt about helping others from my Mum.
When I’m not working on my business which I love, I’m socialising with friends and going to events. I love to sing and I’m part of a great soul choir and we sing once a week as well as performing in events every so often. 
More recently I’ve become an AFC Bournemouth football fan, they were promoted to the premiership league a few years ago and it’s been an exciting journey. It’s such a great atmosphere and I really feel part of something which is important to me. 
Another passion of mine is TV series, I love quite a few that are released by the CW channel and sadly one of my most favourite TV series ended. The Vampire Diaries was introduced to me by my older sister and I was hooked immediately. Even though it’s finished there is a spin off series called ‘The Originals’ which is almost as good so the void isn’t quite so great.  I have too many to list but some others I enjoyed were Grimm, Blacklist, Scandal and True Blood. 

You can follow Jo Huey on twitter @ joanne_huey

Thank you Jo Huey for letting me read your book and being part of the blog tour. I really appreciate it. Thank you to Emma Mitchell for considering me for the blog tour and contacting me. I read this book whilst on holiday and thought a plane picture would be perfect. Loved reading this amongst the clouds. A very peaceful perspective.

Here were all the stops for the blog tour! Go and check them out! As always, happy reading! Lx

I received this book for free from book promotion services in exchange for an honest review.

P.S. This is also my 50th post on my blog! So happy that such an unusual book with the power to improve people’s lives made this landmark! 🙂

Go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/Transition-womans-journey-trauma-triumph/dp/1542922097 to get yourself a copy of the book

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