Review & Giveaway: Grace Under Pressure by Tori Haschka

 

Title: Grace Under Pressure

Author: Tori Haschka

Published: 3rd March 2021, Simon & Schuster Australia

Status: Read March 2021 courtesy Simon & Schuster

++++++

My Thoughts:

Grace Under Pressure is a witty, wise and warm debut novel from Tori Haschka about motherhood, marriage, friendship, and modern life.

With the world’s worst, or perhaps best, timing the lives of three friends, Grace, Petra and Shelly all implode on practically the same day. Seeking solace and support, the women, with five (and a bit) young children between them, decide to create their own ‘mummune’ – sharing Grace’s Northern Beaches home, the bills, childcare, cooking, and all the other ‘life admin’ tasks mothers manage daily. The arrangement seems like it could be the perfect answer to the pressures the three are under, but perfection is a fragile thing.

Many mothers will find their experiences reflected in the protagonists of Grace Under Pressure, as I did, whether it’s the attempt to juggle work/life balance, to overcome sleep deprivation, to cope with post-natal anxiety, or the pressure to do everything right, particularly under the critical gaze of peers and social media. In theory the idea of a ‘mummune’ seems excellent, there is truth to the old adage, ‘it takes a village’, and Grace, Petra and Shelly, with a little advice from neighbour Christine, find a rhythm that benefits all of them, but maintaining it proves a little trickier than they expect.

When we are introduced to Grace, the central character, she appears to have it all – a beautiful beachside home, a handsome globe-trotting husband, two cherubic children, and a successful career as the author of four popular wholefood cookbooks – she lives a life carefully curated for Instagram. But when she unexpectedly falls pregnant with her third child, the facade begins to falter, and the pressure to maintain it threatens to break her. I felt desperately sorry for Grace who is so caught up in who she thinks she should be, that she’s lost who she is. Haschka does a great job of portraying Grace’s external, and internal struggles to meet the mythic standard that motherhood, in fact womanhood, is expected to achieve.

Of course the other two ‘mummune’ members, Petra and Shelly, share similar anxieties, though are far less consumed by them. Petra, Grace’s best friend since college, is too furious at her husband for not only gambling away their life savings but also for hitting her when she confronted him with the truth, and too focused on forging a life of her own to worry much about what anyone thinks. It was Shelly I probably had the most affinity for, not only because we share a name, but my eldest daughter was also born after a long labour (and then an emergency caesarean) and she too was not a ‘sleeper’, though unlike Shelly, I thankfully had a husband who could occasionally gave me a break. In terms of parenting philosophy however, I had/have much more in common with Grace’s neighbour, Christine. While she had twins, I had 3 children in 3 years (plus an elder child), so pragmatism was more important to me than perfectionism when they were all younger.

This is a strong debut from Haschka who captures the madness of modern motherhood. Well written, with relatable characters, and plenty of moments that made me laugh, cringe, and sigh in recognition, I really enjoyed reading Grace Under Pressure.

++++++

Available from Simon & Schuster Australia

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I Booktopia I Amazon

GIVEAWAY

Courtesy Simon & Schuster Australia

I have 1 print edition of

Grace Under Pressure by Tori Haschka

to giveaway to one lucky Australian resident.

Please leave a comment on this post and

CLOSED

Congratulations Katherine

*PLEASE NOTE: Only Australian residents are eligible to enter*

Entries close 27th March 2021

The giveaway will be determined by a random drawing on March 28th and the winner will be notified by email within 48 hours

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jennifer
    Mar 13, 2021 @ 11:07:54

    This sounds really interesting. Great review, Shelleyrae.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Jennifer
    Mar 13, 2021 @ 11:09:35

    PS: the ACT is part of Australia as well 😉

    Like

    Reply

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