Hello! I don’t do extracts very often but I wanted you to get a real feel for this one. I really think you’re going to love it.
About the book
No-one said being a single mum would be easy…
Everyone knows that being a single mother means having no time to yourself. But for Callie Brown, its more exhausting than most. She’s juggling the needs of three teenage children, two live-in parents, a raffish ex-husband, and a dog who never stops eating.
The last thing Callie needs is anything more on her plate. So when she bumps (quite literally) into a handsome, age-appropriate cyclist, she’s quick to dismiss him from her life. After all, if she doesn’t have time to brush her hair in the morning, she certainly doesn’t have time to fall in love.
Funny, heart-warming and oh-so-true, this is a novel about motherhood, families, and life after divorce, perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella and Allison Pearson.
I think I passed out again. When I opened my eyes, the cyclist was crouched down beside me. He was about my age, blondish hair poking from his helmet, from what I could see through my blur.
‘Curry,’ I said. ‘Lemongrass.’
‘Oh, hurrah, you’ve opened your eyes,’ he said. Relief lit up his face – it was a pleasant face, from where I was lying on the tarmac: blue eyes, skin pink from the exertion of cycling, even if he did seem a bit older than your usual food-delivery rider. Behind him was a giant billboard that greeted people coming out of the station: ‘Welcome to Seymour Hill’, the name of our market town thirty miles north of London. In front of that was a small circle of people peering down at me; someone was saying an ambulance was on its way.
‘Yes, I was delivering it to some people on…’ He looked around and I could see cartons of green food along with my pasta and, in my peripheral vision, a smashed bottle of carbonara sauce. ‘Seriously, I’m so sorry, but we’re going to get you help now. It’s all my fault, I just didn’t see you.’ His eyes were still desperate, a couple of feet from my face.
Ha, ha, I’m the Invisible Woman. This made me laugh again – a mad sort of cackle that didn’t sound as if it was coming from me at all. You’ve had a bang on the head. You’re deranged.
The cyclist shook his head and smiled back uncertainly. ‘I’m so glad you’re OK. Are you, do you think? I can’t move you until I know nothing’s broken.’ His voice was low and the sort that people described as English, when they meant no discernible regional accent.
I couldn’t feel any searing pain from my body and there was no tunnel full of angels waiting to greet me, even if I had turned into a nutty old fruit loop. ‘I think I’m fine,’ I managed, but everything was a bit dreamy, as if it were happening to someone else. ‘What about the people waiting for their curry?’
He laughed and put his black-gloved hand on my shoulder. ‘The ambulance is on its way,’ he said. ‘Do you want to sit up?’
‘Poor love, are you OK?’ A woman with a large Russian-style fake fur hat on crouched down beside him.
‘He just didn’t see me,’ I told her, and she looked at me quizzically. ‘He just didn’t see me. I’m the Invisible Woman.’ For some reason, I thought I was hilarious and was laughing again.
‘I came round the corner but I didn’t see anyone on the crossing…’ the cyclist started.
I was wearing a coat with a large deep pink band at the bottom of its flared black skirt. I have a full head of brown hair. I’m no short-arse either at 5’6”. And while I’m not overweight, I’m no stick insect. That was what I was thinking rationally.
Unfortunately, it’s not what I was saying.
As they helped me sit up on the cold floor, I could hear myself repeating over and over again: ‘the Invisible Woman, the Invisible Woman’ and I was laughing like a drain.
Then there was the pah-pah of an ambulance arriving.
About the author
Fiona Perrin was a journalist and copywriter before building a career as a sales and marketing director in industry. Having always written, she completed the Curtis Brown Creative Writing course before writing The Story After Us. Fiona grew up in Cornwall, hung out for a long time in London and then Hertfordshire, and now writes as often as possible from her study overlooking the sea at the end of The Lizard peninsula.
Thanks so very much to Aria Fiction for the invitation to join this blog tour! I absolutely loved this book.