Review: What Kate did Next by Lisa Heidke

What Kate did Next

Lisa Heidke

Her husband’s a workaholic, her kid’s are growing up – the time has come for Kate to follow some of her own dreams…

It seems like only yesterday that Kate Cavendish was one of the most well-regarded photographers in town. Then marriage and children came along, and Kate’s career went from backburner to blindsided.

A chance meeting with a former colleague has Kate dipping her toes back into the workforce and starting to fantasise about new avenues in life. It’s time, she decides, to balance the drudgery of ‘home duties’ with some glamour and fun. The idea of collaborating with appreciative colleagues rather than a recalcitrant, eye-rolling teenage daughter and an often-absentee husband sounds like bliss.

We join Kate on her sometimes scary, sometimes exhilarating, always challenging adventure as she decides what she really wants to do next in her life.

We meet Kate and her family; husband Matt, 13 year old daughter Lexi, eight year old son Angus and assorted pet children a few days before her 36th birthday. She didn’t think she would be the type to suffer a mid-life crisis, but we seem to be thrown in the thick of it, just as much as she is.

Her life evolves around her family, carting the kid’s from one activity to another and she feels that life has bought distance to her and her husband, so she doesn’t think that they are as close or as intimate as they were pre-kid’s.  She has started to feel unfulfilled when she is offered the job as assistant photographer on a popular food magazine (even though she hates photographing food). She eagerly accepts the short-term position to start testing the professional waters again and that job adds a whole new angle to her mid-life crisis. Introducing her to egotistical and complicated people, that also make her start to question her personal and professional life.

She reminisces quite a bit on her life gone by, and how her plans had seemed to just evaporate into thin air as the kid’s came along and the daily trugery of family life clouded over her dreams and visions of her future.

Kate focuses a lot on her relationship’s (or lack there-of), particularly with her teenage daughter Lexi, who herself is just starting to find her own position in life. The two of them clash a lot on everything; from clothes, hairstyles, boyfriends, to school etc. (You will find that Kate loves lists and makes a few throughout the book, I thought this would be annoying but I find that it only added to the story line). It takes awhile for Kate to realise that she did a lot of the same pushing of the boundaries with her own Mum about the same age that Lexi is now.

To add to Kate’s woe’s, her estranged parents reunite after 20 years. Kate had felt abandoned by her father and is still holding a grudge against him, so is feeling very victimised by his return and cannot understand how anyone else is able to welcome him with open arms.

I really loved this book, it absolutely resonated with me, from the first chapter to the last, Lisa Heidke managed to portray how easy it is to get lost (as a mother) within the life of your family. And also how important it is to keep an eye on your own life and ensure you have an interest outside the family. She also touches on how people’s own misperceptions and life blinkers can make them see things, delete things, or even add things into conversations, or events that are not there.

This is a book that I will most definitely be recommending to my friends, it is a book that will stay with me forever, and reading it I felt that Lisa had written it especially for me. I know that everybody’s reading tastes are vastly different, but this book has touched me in a way that not many others have, and I hope that if you do partake in Kate’s adventures that you enjoy it as much as I have.

Lisa’s website can be found here, and you can follow her (and send her praise) on twitter here.

Favourite Quote: Because, I thought to myself, when you have children, sometimes you have to make sacrifices – bow out of the world as you know it to raise a family. Unfortunately, when you’re ready to re-enter the world of the living, sometimes the living doesn’t want you anymore…page 95 (I would have loved to have quoted the whole page and a bit…)

Published by Allen and Unwin

Recommended Retail Price $22.99 (small paperback version)

Recommended Age:18+ (Women)

My Rating: 5/5

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2 Responses to Review: What Kate did Next by Lisa Heidke

  1. lisa Heidke says:

    Thanks for the great review! You’ve made my day!

  2. Sami says:

    I agree, this was an awesome book.

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