Cover Image: Stepping Up

Stepping Up

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Member Reviews

In all honestly, I wasn’t expecting too much from this book but how wrong I was. 

Within the first couple of chapters, this book gives you laughs, smiles and also tears. Sarah’s writing is superb and you really resonate with the characters.

All the characters are likeable and I think this is down to Sarah’s talent. 

You will want to hug them and also scream and shout at them at times.

Hopefully there is a sequel to this and after how good this book was I don’t think it will be the end of Sarah’s fiction career either.
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This book made me laugh and, at the end I was sobbing. Brilliant read. Believable characters. Just wanted to know if Emmy made it back. Well written Sarah Turner!
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Wow, what a beautiful book! This had me smiling and crying in the space of a few chapters, and was something I just couldn't put down.

Sarah Turner's writing made her characters come to life in the best way, and I felt so connected to Beth as she struggled to cope with her grief and stress, whilst also trying to raise her niece and nephew under the judgemental eye of her parents and peers. I often find that when people write child characters, there is a disconnect between reader and character, but this was not the case with Ted and Polly...particularly Ted, who provided comic relief during some of the harder moments of the novel.

My favourite character has to be Albert...what a pure-hearted gentleman!

Dealing with important topics such as grief, long-term illness, stress, cyber bullying, feelings of inadequacy and loneliness, this novel is hard-hitting at times, but filled with beautiful and light moments - a perfect combination for a wonderful novel.
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I loved Sarah’s ‘Unmumsy mum’ books and couldn’t wait to read her first dip into fiction and she really didn’t disappoint.

I didn’t actually read much about the book before I started it so wasn’t expecting to be in tears before I got to the middle of the 2nd chapter. WOW!

The writing in this story was really heartfelt – I know Sarah lost her own mum when she was younger so I wonder if she drew on her own teenage grief for the character of Polly – and I’m sure we all recognise a bit of Wilf in young Ted.

The next door neighbour Albert was adorable – and reminded me of my 85yr old nan (who I also taught to text and use emojis this year!) – and really felt Beth’s pain. The writing was so authentic.

I’ve already pre-ordered an actual copy of the book to give to my mum and sisters when it comes out.

A great first novel, not predictable and a real uplifting tear jerker. This will be a huge hit when it comes out and will be *the* book next summer. Bravo Sarah!
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Read and reviewed in exchange for a free copy from NetGalley.  I was excited to read this, having enjoyed Turner's previous work as The Unmumsy Mum (despite not being a mother myself) and was pleased to receive the ARC.  It did not disappoint.  'Stepping Up' was emotive and heartwarming, and easy to read.  I cared about the characters. The novel touched on many important contemporary themes, and the side plot with Albert was lovely.
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Absolutely blown away by this story!! 

Having read Sarah Turner previously as the Unmumsy Mum, I was expecting this to be full of laughter. However I was reduced to tears and raw emotion with the power of this story and the potential reality being a mum myself. 

Impossible to put down and worth every moment!!
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Beth has never stuck at anything.

She still lives in her parents house, drives a rusty old vauxhall and never stays at a job for more than a few months. She's still waiting for her life to start ... but like her car, it just doesn't. 

But when a tragedy strikes her family and she suddenly finds herself the sole carer of her teenage neice and toddler nephew, she doesn't have a choice. Can she really look after a family when she can't even look after herself most days? 

With her overbearing parents, (platonic) best friend Jory, and a new friend in their 83-year old neighbour Albert, Beth moves into her sisters house and is determined that this time, she's going to step up. 

"I wanted to move to London and be a journalist, or run my own business. Instead, I became a serial job-quitter who still lived with my parents until I took on guardianship of two children following an accident. Not something any careers advisor could have predicted."

Stepping Up was a story brimming with heart - the type of story that leaves you unsure whether to laugh or cry from page to page. Beth captured the soul of a lost-twenty something woman without a purpose, trying to navigate relationships, family, friends and a career while the world is falling apart around her. Each character was so nuanced and relatable in some way, from their compassion and kindness to their worst flaws. Although Albert was most definitely the best character - he was a beautiful friend, and had some exceptionally useful tips about clothes pegs - he was an absolute delight to read about. 

I thought I knew exactly what I was in for when I opened this book - but wow I was wrong. This story wasn't just about Beths journey to learn to care for two children, but to learn about herself and the people around her in new ways. Full of beautifully heartbreaking moments, this story is devastating but oddly hopeful in the fallout. With an ending I never saw coming, this novel exceeded my expectations and left my head swimming.
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Thank you so much to Random House UK / Transworld Publishers for letting me read this beautiful first novel on NetGalley. 

I love Sarah Turner’s ‘Unmumsy Mum’ books and I was so excited to read her first fiction novel - it did not disappoint. What a gorgeous book! Very likeable, believable and relatable characters-especially Beth. The characters were so well developed I was reading on like I was reading about a group of friends /family. I laughed, I cried, I cried laughing. Sarah is an extremely talented writer and I’m really hoping there’s a sequel soon! Highly recommend you preorder for March.
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A fab book! Humorous, emotional, true to life. I absolutely love the characters, they feel like they could most definitely be real life friends. I can totally relate to the elderly neighbour and the family dynamics. I laughed and sobbed my way through. I started and finished this within a 15 hour time frame and I was asleep for 8 of those hours! 
I'd love a sequel as I'm far too invested in the relationships and definitely need to know what happens next!
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Stepping Up, Sarah Turner. 5/5 🌈

Beth has never stuck at anything. Jobs, relationships… they all end quickly. Her only commitment is drinks on a Friday. In one morning her world is transformed when an unthinkable tragedy leaves her in charge of her toddler nephew and teenage niece Beth discovers she has to step up, in a big way. 

Some stories have a big heart, this one swells straight out of the book. Devastating and hopeful all at once this fictional debut from The Unmumsy Mum Sarah Turner had me laughing out loud and crying. 
This is a must read, one of my favourites of the year. Bittersweet, beautiful and full of character’s you can identify with and cheer for.
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Thank you so much to Random House UK/Transworld Publishers for allowing me to read this eARC on NetGalley. 

I am so delighted to have read this book and honestly just want to shout from the rooftops about how amazing this book was. It's almost tricky to write this review because there's so much I want to say about this book but I so don't want to reveal any spoilers for you because you deserve to explore and devour this book just as I did. 

What I will say is that the characters are all brilliant; they are so well developed and nuanced and it really brings them to life off the page. They aren't one-note in the slightest; they have flaws, they get angry and annoyed, and they make digs at one another, and they are so so utterly human. I loved each and everyone of them - although perhaps Ted and Albert are my absolute favourites. 

We get to explore these characters on a range of different journeys and yet the book never feels convoluted or too full of plot lines. I felt that everything slotted together really well and the writing just weaved these stories together effortlessly. My heart went out to these characters and I honestly cried so many times - have tissues ready. But there were also so many uplifting and heart-warming moments that made me laugh out loud. Beth goes on such a journey in this book and we are with her every step of the way. 

I loved this book - i'm off to pre-order my own copy and Sarah, I do demand a sequel please... 

Out 3rd March 2022; put this one on your pre-order list!
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A gorgeous story from the author of the unmumsy mum books (also fab btw). After a family tragedy Beth has to ‘step up’ and take on some responsibilities she hadn’t bargained for. Sad, funny, happy and ultimately uplifting this story had me gripped - Beth is a great character who you are rooting for from the start. All the characters are well written and rounded and just a joy to engage with - special mention to Arthur who will make your heart melt! With a little bit of romance thrown in there’s really nothing not to love about this book!
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I have read all of Sarah Turner’s Mumsy books and did wonder if she had made a wise decision turning to fiction. I was wrong to doubt her. I read this book in 24 hours. I loved the funny and sad side to the well rounded characters and hope for a sequel please?
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I enjoyed this book a lot - while the ending is a bit predictable, I was crying happy tears as I raced to finish it! A tale of love, family and all that's involved in it!
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I’ve been following Sarah on Instagram for a while and was intrigued about the book she was writing and when she released more details the synopsis drew me in and I was excited to read it. I can honestly say I inhaled this book! It is one of those books you lose yourself in. I cried, I laughed and I empathised with the characters. Beth is a fantastic main character and I was rooting for her all the way through. I’m now off to read it again as I loved it that much!
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As a huge fan of The Unmumsy Mum (and her previous books!), I was delighted when Sarah announced she was writing her first fiction book - and triply delighted to receive a copy via NetGalley! So many thanks to NetGalley for the chance to read and review this.
Beth is happily plodding along at life as a grown up, single and living at home still with no long term career in sight, when a family tragedy means she is expected to “step up” to a completely different way of life and role within her wider family. Told with Sarah’s trademark humour and filled with relatable toddler and teenager anecdotes, as well as making me cry more than once, meant that I absolutely loved this book. 
Very grateful to Random House, Transworld and NetGalley for the chance to read and review.
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This is a book I will find very difficult to write a review for as I don't want to reveal any spoilers - suffice to say I absolutely ADORED and DEVOURED IT! I instantly fell in love with our main character Beth which I often feel in the crux of a book. The story was so well written, it's almost like you could see it happen in front of you like a tv show. There were funny bits and sad bits, all of which contributed to the enjoyment of the story.

Overall a thoroughly enjoyable, emotional, uplifting read that I would recommend to anyone (p.s. Arthur -  what a man!!)
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Adorable story about a young-for-her-age woman who can't settle to anything, including staying in a job for over ten weeks. When her older sister Emmy and her husband Doug have a car accident, Beth needs to step up and take care of Emmy's teenage daughter Polly and toddler Ted. This book had loads of highlights, but I particularly loved Beth's book club with elderly neighbour Albert, who writes all his texts in capitals, Dad-style, and her learning to be slightly more responsible at work as well as in her personal life. The book is not overly sentimental and it's a nice and original angle to approach motherhood/aunthood from, rather than the usual yummy mummy book which the author could have so easily written. I also liked the ending, which wasn't textbook happy but gently hopeful and seemed to be very well-judged.
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