Cover Image: Nobody's Perfect

Nobody's Perfect

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Member Reviews

Stephanie Butland pens a heartfelt and heartwarming tale in this beautifully written story. Set in a small English town - Throckton - Daisy is born with cystic fibrosis but her mother, Kate Micklethwaite wants her lovely daughter to be known for other things such as her love for butterflies and being strongly independent. Kate is a single mother, who had plans to go to a top Uni and she often wonders if life would have been different if she hadn't met Daisy's father, a married guy who is no longer around. When Daisy starts school Kate meets her teacher, Spencer Swanson and teaching assistant, Wendy Orr.

Kate's protective instincts were contrasted well with her insecurities and low self-esteem. The supporting cast of characters complemented the story wondrously, from Kate's long-time friend Melissa to her mum Richenda. Rich in emotion, there was a perfect mix of humour and sensitivity here, alongside more serious issues. With warmth literally seeping from the pages Nobody's Perfect is an undoubted worthy read.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Bonnier Books UK, Zaffre via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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I love jodi picoult books and so when I read the synopsis for this book I knew it was a must read for me....once I picked it up I couldn't put it down. Its a thought provoking read and I learnt so much from this book, tears did come to my eyes!
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I planned to read Nobody's Perfect over four days but I ended up read it in two sittings as I couldn't put it down.  It just shows that a book doesn't have to be a thriller to be gripping.  In mother and daughter pairing Kate and five-year-old Daisy, Stephanie Butland has created loveable and believable characters whose story I felt emotionally invested in.

Kate is a single parent after an affair with a married man caused tongues to wag in her home town.  Although Kate may be an outcast, the positive result of her affair is adorable Daisy and I absolutely loved her.  Daisy is so vibrant as she flutters to school wearing her butterfly wings, but beneath the surface a deadly illness looms.  Daisy has cystic fibrosis which means that any threat to her respiratory system could see her ending up in hospital.  

Kate is a brilliant mum and I love how she tries to make Daisy's life as normal as possible but has a constant eye out for anything that can be harmful.  It's very thought-provoking to think that something like the common cold might be a bit of a nuisance to you or me but to others it can have serious repercussions.  Daisy is Kate's whole life but a new teacher at the school reignites Kate's passion and she has a chance to be Kate again, rather than 100% mum.  Mr Swanson does seem perfect but as the book title tells us, Nobody's Perfect.

Stephanie Butland's writing is beautiful and her characters are so well-developed that they virtually leap out from the page.  I felt every beat of Kate's heart as her love for Daisy shone through every wonderful word and I had my fingers crossed as her relationship with Spencer blossomed.  With so much to find out about each other, it was interesting to see how they both tackled a new relationship.  Kate is very much all in with all her secrets laid bare but Spencer is clearly keeping something back and you can't help but wonder whether his intentions are honourable.

Beautiful, heartwarming and thought-provoking, Nobody's Perfect is a stunning novel and one I will never forget.  It's a wonderful contemporary romance and very highly recommended.

I received a digital ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.
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When her daughter was born with cystic fibrosis, Kate Micklethwaite vowed that Daisy would never be defined by the illness. Kate is determined that her perfect little girl will be known for her love of butterflies and croissants and nothing else. Kate does all she can to be the perfect mother - whatever that means - and yet, somehow, has started seeing herself the way others see her: single parent, source of small-town scandal, drop-out, former mistress. Half a family.
When Daisy starts school, Kate meets her new teacher, the kind and charming Mr Spencer Swanson. Now, with more time on her hands Kate can start thinking about her own future. With her Open University dissertation deadline looming, Kate needs to decide what she wants next. But as she and Spencer get to know each other, Kate notices that people are whispering behind her back once more . . .


Book review 

When I initially read the synopsis of this book, I had some serious Jodi picoult vibes. 
I saved this book when I was on my thriller break. I made the right choice!
I read this book in one sitting. The book was so moving and so thought provoking. 
I always love to pick up a book and learn something as well as being entertained 
I was so educated on cystic fibrosis and it has made me so aware 

The book, despite sounding like it could be a tear jerker, the tone of the book is light throughout and I really enjoyed it 

Thank you for inviting me to be part of the tour
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This is the story of young single mother Kate, who is trying valiantly to keep all those plates spinning. Her life revolves around her daughter Daisy, who has cystic fibrosis, and she barely has time to think about herself and the dreams she used to have - although she sometimes catches herself reflecting on what might have been. One thing Kate is sure about is that Daisy will never be defined by her condition, instead she will do everything in her power to ensure she is known as the perfect little, butterfly-loving girl that she knows her to be.

When Daisy starts primary school, Kate suddenly feels a little at sea. Instead of the freedom to concentrate on her own needs for a change, she is struggling with finishing her Open University degree studies and to decide what comes next - it doesn't help that she finds Daisy's new teacher, Spencer Swanson, mighty attractive and she is unsure what to do with these feelings. Wary that her reputation as a home breaker among the village gossips proceeds her, they don't get off to the best start, but soon a budding romance develops between them - a relationship that only provides more fodder for the tongue-waggers at the school gate. Does Kate's past have to define her future happiness?

Nobody's Perfect is a complicated romance story, full of emotional themes that explore truth, reputation, and how the way others see us affects how we see ourselves - and along the way Stephanie Butland brings in threads touching on motherhood, acceptance, and the perception of disabilities.

I must admit that I did find Kate quite a tricky character, and found myself speculating quite how much this was intentional, or whether it was simply my impression of her. She is emotionally immature, which is not surprising given her history despite the weight of her responsibilities, and the way she is torn between the life she has now and that she once thought could be hers is very well drawn, but there is a streak of self-righteousness in her that I found very annoying. At times, I wanted to shake her for her lack of self-awareness, espcially since it takes her a long time to realise that indeed nobody is perfect, including herself.

However, Butland gives some great insight into some very relatable situations in these pages, that really make the story engaging. The way she describes the state of constant fear that comes with living with a child suffering a condition like cystic fibrosis is beautifully done, and the delicious look as the pecking order, cliqueiness and grapevine of the mothers outside the school gates has something that all of us who have had children will find horribly familiar - and there are some little gems for anyone knows how gossip spreads in a staffroom. There are also some lovely characters, especially the glorious Wendy and Jilly!

I suspect this may be one that divides the crowd depending on which stage of your life you find yourself at, and this is probably why I found the more mature characters more sympathetic than those of more tender years. I leave you to decide for yourselves. In any case there is a lot to enjoy and many aspects of the nature of relationships to ponder, which would make this a fine choice for a book group.
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Young mother Kate’s life is entirely centred on her daughter Daisy – cystic fibrosis makes her desperately vulnerable, and she needs to be constantly alert to the many threats and the measures that are needed to keep her safe, to be the perfect mother. Daisy is far from defined by her illness, vibrant and enchanting, passionate about butterflies and bouncing on trampolines – and the love between mother and daughter is palpable. Kate has always been an outsider in the village of Throckton, the scandal surrounding Daisy’s birth having drawn her to people’s attention (with a nice link to one of the author’s earlier books – a particular treat for me, but recognising that isn’t essential) – but she has the support she needs from her caring mother who is happy to bounce on the trampoline with Daisy and look after her when she needs to, but who also sometimes rather uncomfortably becomes the voice of Kate’s conscience.

When Spencer comes into their lives, he almost seems too good to be true – a teacher at Daisy’s school, he really seems to understand and to be happy to accept the limitations on their lives, and it looks as if Kate is finally destined for some happiness of her own. But there are challenges – the muttering about the inappropriateness of the relationship, the possibility that Kate’s focus on her daughter could slip a little, and that ever present question mark over whether she’s right to let him into their lives and if he can possibly be quite as perfect as he seems.

This was a book I really loved – I sat down to read it one afternoon, and barely moved until I’d read the last page. It first draws you into the lives of mother and daughter, helping you understand the extreme level of vigilance needed to care for such a special child – and then there’s the sheer joy of the romance growing from an initial spark of attraction, the chance of being a complete family at last. The pace of the book is steady, though with moments of particular drama – and the emotional impact exceptional, with moments that pierce you to the heart.

The characterisation is simply superb – I instantly loved both Kate and Daisy, but there’s also a really well-drawn supporting cast (with a special mention for teaching assistant Wendy, a character with particular warmth, whose personal life adds a further interesting dimension to the story – and best friend Melissa, who provides some of the fun but also a vision of the different life Kate could have had).

I knew lamentably little about the reality of living with cystic fibrosis, and I learned a lot – the author’s research is amply clear, and the way she uses it makes you painfully aware of the way it becomes the focus of every waking moment. I knew nothing about the need to maximise the intake of food, the drug regime, the need for exercise, the vulnerability to infection – or the way caring for a child with such challenges entirely takes over your life. But I can’t stress enough that the book never concentrates on the misery – there are plenty of moments of lightness and joy, lots of well-judged humour, the developing romance makes your heart sing, and the relationship between Kate and Daisy has a warmth that radiates from the book’s pages. When Kate hurts, I ached too – the writing really is exceptional. And the book’s title is completely right – none of us is perfect, however hard we try to be, but just sometimes doing the best we can manage is enough.

I loved every moment of this book – one that’ll stay with me for some time, and highly recommended to all.
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After a rocky start to motherhood in her teens, Kate is determined to be the perfect mother to Daisy, an impossible task for everyone but made more difficult since Daisy has cystic fibrosis and requires vigilance and care no one fully understands except those close to her. This romantic novel gives an eye opening insight into the world of CF while it tells the story of Kate trying to find her place when life is changing and Spencer arrives in her life. It's a gentle book with depth, emotion and showcases the strength, resilience and love families dealing with chronic illness need to get through when even on the brightest days, its lurking ready to strike at any moment. 
Nobody's perfect has a different feel to Stephanie Butland's previous book, Woman in the Photograph but will also be one I will not forget.
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A beautifully written and thought provoking book.  I learnt a lot from this book which I previously was oblivious to.  I really enjoyed this book and once started I found it difficult to put it down.
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A really good book showing how hard it is living with cystic fibrosis & also being a single parent. Thanks for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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