Book review: A Leap of Faith byÂ Trisha Ashley
As her 40th birthday approaches and her body clock starts its countdown, adventure-loving Sappho Jones suddenly realises there is only one thing she hasn't yet had a go at'¦ motherhood.
So should she take the biggest leap of her life, or just settle for buying a cat and preparing to live out the rest of her spinster life alone in a country cottage in Wales?
Fifteen years have passed since Lancashire-born author Trisha Ashley’s funny, clever and life-affirming rom-com was first published under the title The Urge to Jump, and it’s pleasing to report that age has added a warm of layer of delicious nostalgia to this gorgeous feel-good odyssey.
Ashley, an author with a huge fan base, certainly knows how to tell a good story, and this timeless comedy speaks loudly of universal emotions and human frailties. But with her trademark style and panache, Ashley serves them up with insight, perfectly-pitched poignancy and large helpings of good old-fashioned northern humour.Fantasy novel author and worldwide traveller Sappho Jones stopped counting birthdays when she reached 30 but, even
with her hazy grip on mathematics, she realises that she is on the slippery slope to the big Four-O.
As the only available men left on the shelf are ‘the last few date-expired ones’ and with the thought lodged in her mind that she is a mere cat’s whisker away from becoming a single eccentric female, she has the urge to do something dramatic before it’s too late.
The trouble is, Sappho has pretty much been there, done that, got the T-shirt, and has settled into life at her cottage on the beautiful Gower peninsula in Wales where she gets her ‘daily buzz’ from writing her exciting Vengeane series starring blond- haired, drop-dead gorgeous hero Dragonslayer.
Her two long-time college friends, Miranda and Mu, live not too far away and are both married, albeit not as blissfully as they might once have hoped, but at least they are not ‘beached on the shores of love like a bit of faded flotsam.’
The only thing that Sappho hasn’t yet tried out is motherhood and she decides that although time is fast marching past her, she is going to grab it with both hands and haul it back.
A potential daddy – or at least a donor – would seem to be tall, blond, broad-shouldered potter Nye (a dead ringer for her Dragonslayer hero) who has a workshop in part of a nearby old castle… but is he willing, and can she make the leap?Witty, unashamedly romantic and yet thoroughly down-to-earth,
this addictive slice of thinking girl’s escapism comes with a sparkling cast of diverse characters and a beautifully portrayed Welsh coastal landscape that earns a starring role alongside the delectable Sappho.
So get ready to laugh, smile… and indulge yourself with some delicious cake recipes, just another added bonus to this charming and exhilarating rom-com.
(Black Swan, paperback, £7.99)