Your Roots are Showing by Elise Chidley

Reviewed by L.D.Y.

Trade, 384 pages, 2008

Rating: 9/10

Reason for Reading: Just treating myself to a little chick-lit.

Synopsis: Lizzie Buckley should have been living the ideal life – a loving husband, adorable twin kids – but her postpartum depression prompts her to write a frustrated email to her sister – or so she thought. But she has accidentally sent it to her husband, who refuses to stick around if she feels she might be better off alone. Lizzie takes the kids to live in a run-down garden cottage, attempting to rebuild her life (perhaps in a way that might include a good-looking gardener) while part of her desperately hopes that her old one can still be salvaged.

Why you should read this book: Lizzie is a character that every frustrated mom will be able to relate to, especially ones that have left their careers (and adult contact) to take care of their children. The men in the book may be different but they’re equally appealing-yet-flawed, leaving some genuine suspense about who, if anyone, Lizzie may end up with. The children also bring some lighthearted fun to the novel, their naughtiness overcome by their cuteness, so the novel never becomes depressing despite Lizzie dealing with depression herself. Even if you’re not a mother, you’ll appreciate the idea of burning out while taking care of everyone but yourself. And who could resist the idea of a gorgeous gardener who just wants to help? A great read about a woman trying to get her life back on track – whichever track that might ultimately prove to be.

Why you should avoid this book: There is a typical ‘newly-single woman progressing into a better person (with better clothes and more style, of course)’ chick-lit storyline, but there are enough interesting things thrown at Lizzie along the way to keep you reading.

Opening paragraph:

The kitchen cabinets at Back Lane Cottage were at a height the average man would find a bit of a stretch. The average woman, standing on tiptoe, might just be able to reach the underside of the cupboard doors if she had very long fingernails. Lizzie Buckley’s fingernails, bitten to the quick for the first time since she was twelve, were nowhere near long enough.

Fabulous quotes:

‘By the way, I was just mentioning you the other day to this chappie I know who does our garden. Bruno Ardis. He’s a bit of a dish, if you know what I mean – and single.’
Lizzie narrowed her eyes above the hand that was clutching her nose in a glare that she hoped spoke volumes.

At the moment, she was simply using their joint bank account as if nothing had happened, and so far James hadn’t second-guessed any of her expenditures. He hadn’t even alluded to the fact that she’d opted for a three-bedroom house when two bedrooms would have been enough. Or that she’d chosen a town that was known as a high-rent area.
But she knew that this state of play wouldn’t last forever. Either she’d go back home, or – the unthinkable would happen.

Also recommended: Goodbye, Jimmy Choo by Annie Sanders; Carpool Diem by Nancy Star; The Other Side of the Story by Marian Keyes.

Also by this author: Your Roots Are Showing is Chidley’s first novel.

Author’s website:

Fun tidbit: Your Roots are Showing has also been published as The Wrong Sort of Wife?.

Would I read more by this author? Probably.

&#169 Lisa Yanaky 2003-2008

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