Cover Image: Stepping Up

Stepping Up

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Member Reviews

I like this book because of its engaging blend of heartbreaking sadness and heartwarming humour. Beth is relatably flawed and easy to empathise with, and I care what happens to her. Sensory imagery brings the characters and events to vibrant life. Beth's viewpoint captures the emotional clarity of their daily lives in a poignant way that keeps you immersed in their story.

I received a copy of this book from Transworld Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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Beth is thirty years old and has always flitted from one job to another though she currently works for Malcolm. She has a sister, Emmy. One day, Emmy and her husband, Doug are involved in a car accident that kills Doug and leaves Emmy critically injured in hospital. Emmy had requested that if anything happened to her and Doug, then Beth would become the guardian of their children, teenager Polly and three-year-old, Ted. But is she up to the job?

I loved the author's style of writing and the way she brought all of the characters to life. I laughed and cried with them as they gradually overcame their problems. Albert very quickly became my favourite character in the book, stumbling to understand modern conventions and the younger generation. I adored the way he supported Beth from the sidelines. All of the characters were expertly drawn and brought great things to the terrific plotline. A really good read jammed with humour and emotion.

I read Stepping Up in staves with other Pigeonholers as part of a group. A special thank you to Random House UK, Transworld Publishers, Bantam Press, Sarah Turner, NetGalley and The Pigeonhole for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.
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Ohhhhh, Stepping up by Sarah Turner is soooo lovely and uplifting and sweet and just exactly what I needed to read right now. Fans of contemporary fiction, get this on your wishlist immediately!

After reading the synopsis I was a little worried that the “unspeakable tragedy” was going to make this book a bit too heavy for what I was as looking for. But the focus is largely away from the tragedy itself, instead homing in on the wonderful kindness of people, how relationships develop for the better and Beth’s personal growth.

I love an intergenerational friendship and Beth and fabulous next-door neighbour Albert are brilliant together. How they are each the support that the other needs and how they bond over books ensured my heart was thoroughly warmed.

Thanks so much to Transworld for gifting me a digital copy to review.
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This book needs all the stars!!

It made me laugh, it made me cry and I just want to start it all over again.

All of the characters were so well written that I could just instantly picture them going about their lives. I absolutely loved Beth, she is one of a handful of 30-something women who I have read and genuinely been routing for. Her interactions with Albert had me chuckling away and I also really enjoyed the slow burn romance, it worked really well as a secondary story line to Beth coping  with the grief and trying to get her life together.
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A very moving story just couldn`t put it down.
Beth and Emmy are sisters and totally different, Emmy is happily married with a teenage daughter and a toddler son, while Beth is a quitter in jobs and relationships and can never settle, the only stable thing in her life is Jory a platonic friend of over 20yrs.
Then Beth`s life is turned upside down when her sister and brother-in-law are in a car accident with Emmy in a coma and her brother-in-law dead Beth becomes guardian to the kids much against her mother`s disgust.
The struggle Beth has is very relatable and love her character and the neighbour Albert, it all fits together great just couldn`t put it down. 
A very heart warming story mixed with humour definitively recommend.

Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review
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I loved this book! A lovely tale of how Beth, always irresponsible and living in the moment, has to step up and look after her young nephew and teenage niece when their parents are involved in a car crash with tragic consequences. 
It’s time for Beth to try to do her best, whilst also trying to hold down a job, amuse a youngster, deal with a teenager, visit her unconscious sister in hospital, stop her nagging mother and deal with her own grief.
She has the support of her best friend Jory until he finds a girlfriend. Beth then realises she misses him more than she thought.
Great characters and really well written.
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Beth has never stuck to anything or grown up. When circumstances force her into being the legal guardian of her niece and nephew she has to step up. With some support from those around her, can she finally become a grown up? It's time to put it to the test.
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This was an absorbing story. A tragedy and the family dynamics this  engenders. Very emotional story with realistic characters and a compelling storyline. Very positive conclusion.
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This is utterly wonderful. Some extremely tough underlying narratives but dealt with sensitively and realistically, and I loved that at the end everything isn’t sewn up beautifully - again, realistic. I loved that she has an actual job and the love story isn’t front and centre. Again, real life. Unsurprisingly it was funny and little stories about the past and parenting are very on brand. Can’t wait for the next novel!
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Don't usually go for this genre, as it doesn't normally work for me, but I was intrigued by the synopsis. Unfortunately this held true, but the writing is still good and I would definitely recommend to those for who this genre is more their bag.
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When her sister & brother-in-law are involved in a serious car accident, 31 year old Beth must now step up to take responsibility for her teenage niece and toddler nephew. Beth has never really held down a proper job, she still lives at home with her parents and feels far from “responsible”, or even “adult”. We follow Beth as she struggles to deal with everything from toddler tantrums, to teenage rule breaking, whilst never quite meeting her mother’s high standards for cleaning! 
Ted, the toddler, is a cheeky chappie - struggling to come to terms with the changes in his life, yet not quite understanding anything & seeing things from his 3yr old perspective/limited world; Polly is a good teenage character, struggling to come to terms with the changes in her life & trying so hard to hold her emotions in whilst being a “typical teenager” when she sneaks off to a party or skips swimming; Albert, the next-door-neighbour was built up to be quite scary, but he was actually just lonely, and he developed into my favourite character of the book. 
Overall this is a book that feels very “real”, the characters are flawed but trying their best in difficult circumstances - we both laugh & cry along with them. It is a book that is ultimately about daily life, the ups & downs and family relationships. The writing style makes it easy to imagine/visualise the scenes and the story unfolds at a good pace. 
I was disappointed to have yet another “irresponsible, incompetant female” lead, though I did like the way she grew through the book, and was slightly disappointed by the ending being so predictable, though I understand why the author chose to do this as it works with the “feel-good” tone of the book.
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Stepping Up begins like, admittedly, a lot of my weekends. Waking up with a heavy head and plenty of “what am I doing with myself” thoughts. However, things take a turn fairly quickly, leading to an emotional but also heartwarming tale.

Beth, like many of us, is stumbling her way through life. As we all know, though, life throws curveballs and it is exactly that – and how Beth deals with them – which is at the heart of Stepping Up.

It’s a typical day when Beth wakes up to heartbreaking news that turns the story, and her life, on its head. Initially, the book felt heavy and sad, as Beth grapples with a horrible situation and the burdens of guardianship (as well as some other stuff). As it progressed, though, there were tender and heartwarming moments.

Despite all the heaviness in the book, Turner presents characters you can’t help but warm to. I also really appreciated the romance, though predictable, as it broke through the heavier moments and proved there is good amongst the bad in life.
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When Beth wakes up hangover- it is a day like any other day: she can have a lie in, no responsibilities and no urgency to do anything, though she is surprised to see several missed calls from her dad and when she gets through him she senses immediately something bad has happened.
Heartbreaking news hearing that there had been an accident involving her sister and Dough, her husband, who sadly didn't make it and her sister, Emmy, was left in a coma.

Beth suddenly is responsible for two humans (Emmy's kids: a toddler and a teenager), and she needs to behave like the adult she is meant to be. 

Absolutely loved this book, the characters are so relatable and the story is both sad and happy at the same time. It is interesting to see Beth blossomed in a responsible and caring person, and see the relationships with her parents evolve.
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Stepping Up is a book that tackles grief in all its messy and tragic manifestations. But it does so with heart and with warmth. And even humour, because sometimes life is so hard that all we can do is laugh before we cry.

Beth is known as a quitter in her family. Living with her parents at 30, moving from one dead end job to another, and single with no prospects on the horizon.

Nursing yet another hangover, her whole life changes with one phone call.

Her sister Emmy and husband Doug have been involved in a serious car accident. Doug is dead, and Emmy is in a coma.

Beth is named as guardian for their two children, 14 year old Polly, and 4 year old Ted.

Beth immediately feels completely out of her depth, but over the next few months she surprises herself and everyone around her, by stepping up when it counts.

And she's even facing up to feelings she's long suppressed for her best friend Jory. As well as making a new best friend in the form of Albert, her elderly neighbour who I think, is the best character in this wonderful book. He is a gentleman through and through, with the heart of a lion.

I enjoyed everything about Stepping Up and felt truly uplifted as I turned the last page.
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An emotional rollercoaster of family life: love, friendship, tragedy and romance all with a touch of humour and hope.
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I laughed, I cried, I laughed some more!  Stepping Up by Sarah Turner is pretty special and tugged at my heartstrings.  

Aunty Beth steps up to look after her teenage niece, Polly and toddler nephew, Ted, following an accident.  Over the course of the next year, Beth has to learn how to be a parent, coping with teenage emotions and toddler tantrums, all whilst trying to hold a job down, prove to her Mum that she can be capable of being responsible and also maintaining friendships.

I was hooked from the start, and despite the sad moments and difficult situations, I found the book heartwarming but heartbreaking at the same time.  It’s been a long time since a story made me laugh and cry on the same page but Stepping Up managed it.  

There isn’t a character who won’t melt your heart, one way or another, and Beth, in particular, grows in strength and confidence as the book progresses.  She realises that perhaps she’s not as useless as she thinks she is and maybe people do need her after all, both colleagues and family and friends.

100% go out and buy this book if you want something easy and entertaining to read, but grab those tissues before you settle down, you’ll need them!

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House UK/Transworld for the opportunity to read and review an ARC of Stepping Up by Sarah Turner.
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This was absolutely lovely. It's sad, but also hopeful and uplifting. Serious at times, but humourous at others and made me both giggle, smile and cry. The details of life with a 3-4 year old were perfect, but without the main character being self-pitying about how tough and chaotic it can be raising children. The pacing was great too, I never got bored and for all the serious topics it never felt overwhelming. I would definitely pick up another novel by this author if she writes another in the future. 
The part in the acknowledgements about repressing the memory of writing a book whilst also home schooling her boys during a pandemic made me smile too, I had a hard enough time just with the home schooling, so good on her!
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I LOVED THIS BOOK! 
I read it in three days & that’s only because I have kids & responsibilities so had to put it down 😏 What a fantastic debut fictional novel for Sarah Turner! 

Things I loved: 
- The characters were so rich & full of life. From the cute potty training toddler to the elderly gent next door. They all stole my heart 
- The storyline. It was just so well written.  The book covers some heavy themes but it was done really well & just felt so heartbreakingly real 💔 
- The writing style was the right level of humour & serious moments. It helped break up a really sad situation & had me grinning away on one page & crying the next
- Beth. I know I’ve mentioned characters already but as the leading lady, she really carried the book forward. I’m a sucker for a book where there’s a life lesson or mental journal to be taken & I was cheering for Beth throughout! 

I loved & hated how much this book made me feel! I wasn’t prepared to feel such wonderful raw emotions for fictional characters! It has to be said that of late I’ve turned into a more emotional person but still…My heart is so full but aches so much at the same time! How is that possible?!

In case you haven’t guessed already. I loved this book & would highly recommend picking it up asap!
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The debut novel of a woman who found her place in the world as a blogger!

Beth, at the grand old age of 30, still lives at home with her parents and regularly packs in her job – and her current romantic attachment. She is a good time party girl, regularly losing her mornings to hangovers as she slumbers half the day away. Pulling a sickie, she is ensconced cosily in front of the tv when she suddenly finds everyone trying to get in touch with her. The unthinkable has happened; her sister and brother-in-law have been involved in an accident. With Doug dead and Emma in a coma, responsibility for their two children falls to Beth – the aunt who has had very little to do with them. The question is, can she cope?

There are a few amusing moments in this book – and a fair amount of tragic ones. Right from the very beginning, I had my expectations of how it was going to play out and had the strange feeling of having read similar novels previously. I found myself often annoyed with Beth – I could have made a better job of enforced parenthood at 14 than she managed to begin with; how can anyone – male or female – reach the age of 30 and be so inept at domesticity? Never mind the fact that, along with Jory, her long-time friend she counted her sister as one of her best friends but didn’t she know anything about her niece and nephew. I know this is fiction, but it did stretch my patience! Overall, it’s a light read. 3.5* from me.

My thanks to the publisher for my copy via NetGalley; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.
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What a great book, didn’t want it to end.  You will be crying and laughing out loud reading this book.  Very quick to read too as you want to know what’s going to happen next.

Beth has to be one an adult even though she is one, her sister and brother-in-law has a bad accident and has left her as guardian of there 2 children.  Will she cope?  

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for a copy.
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