“I sometimes think we’re at our happiest when bawling at people who can’t hear us.”
“It was Woman’s Hour who suggested I keep a diary. They said it was good for mental health, and I must say I did feel much less frazzled after writing everything down yesterday. The frustrations were all still there, but somehow smoothed out – as if by a really good steam iron.”
Mrs Narwhal is overwhelmed. Her husband, Hugh, is unkind and unhappy – working every hour at a job he hates to save the ancestral home he never wanted. Then there’s Hugh’s sister, Rose, who’s spurned her one true love, and ricochets from crisis to crisis; and not to mention two small boys to bring up safely in a house that could crumble around their ears at any moment…
When Hugh’s pride receives a fatal blow, and he walks out, Mrs Narwhal is plunged into a crisis of both heart and home. With help from Rose she sets out to save the house her husband couldn’t. But can she save her marriage? And does she really want Hugh back?
Funny, charming, and moving, Mrs Narwhal’s Diary is an irresistible story which will enchant and delight its readers.
Mrs Narwhal is feeling somewhat overwhelmed with her life. After several years of living in her husband’s ancestral home the sheer size and constant needs of the house has left her unconnected from her husband, Hugh, and she turns to a diary in order to try and get some perspective on her life.
She begins to realise that the overwhelming sense of duty in respect of Hugh’s inheritance has turned him into a totally different and not so very nice person to the man she married. No doubt, she feels, the same has happened, is happening or will happen to her if, indeed, she continues to live with Hugh.
Then after a couple of incidents Hugh, who is very unhappy with his life, leaves the house to sort things out. Mrs Narwhal, we never learn her first name, takes this almost in her stride and yet the sheer weight that she now carries – the house, two young boys and her ever crisis-ridden sister-in-law, Rose – is about to make or break her.
Through the pages of Mrs Narwhal’s diary we learn what is happening, how she feels, how she thinks the other people in her life feel and how they all cope. It takes some deep dives into how a marriage can or should work and how what life throws at you sends such curveballs that what you once thought was a happy life, a good marriage is shown in such a light that you realise how wrong you are and leaves Mrs Narwhal wondering what she really wants.
Mrs Narwhal is a wonderful character a really strong person, she has her moments but she along with Rose (another great character) are, in their own ways, made of true grit and especially in the case of Mrs Narwhal great heart. This is the central relationship in much of the book and it truly highlights that wonderful bond of affection, friendship and love two women can have. The two women set to and begin to find a way in which the house can survive and along the way work out what and who they want or need in their their lives.
S J Norbury doesn’t baulk at getting Mrs Narwhal to face and address all that life is throwing at her but is that wonderful sort of writer who can bring humour into her story making it a much more uplifting read than would otherwise be the case. This is a book that brings to life it’s characters in such a way that you cannot help but become immersed and invested in what happens in this charming and enjoyable story.
This is a gem of a book which deserves a wide audience.
This may be the last day of the BlogTour but there are some great reviews and blogs to check out on the ‘Mrs Narwhal’s Diary’ Blog Tour so why not pop on your reading hat, take a spin and enjoy!
Published: Louise Walters Books (16th May 2021)
It will be published on Sunday 16 May in paperback and e-book. Audio and large print versions are also on their way, published by W F Howes.
Author: S J Norbury lives in Herefordshire with her family. Mrs Narwhal’s Diary is her first novel.
A place to share my love of books, old and new
Thinking, writing, thinking about writing...
Book reviews by someone who loves books ...
"Vivre le livre!"
Book Reviews & More
Life is too short to read books you don't love
The Welsh Crime Writing Collective
Book Reviews & The Joy of Reading
a classics club blog
"I love the smell of book ink in the morning." Umberto Eco
The poetry and writing of Ailsa Cawley. Welcome!
Musings about books and a blog journal
...a crime-fictional site
A bookish blog (mostly) about women writers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
WordPress & Blogging tips, flash fiction, photography and lots more!
A book lover writes about this, that and the other
A Community of Classics Lovers
Book reviews of mainly modern & contemporary fiction
Murder Down To A Tea
Criminally good reads
Book reviews and the occasional ramblings of a book blogger
The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Challenge
One Girl, Too Many Books
Musings and Ramblings of a Disorganised Blogger
Shalini's Digital Reads & Promotions
Read All About It
No one ever reads the same book. We all react to the written word differently. The following are my opinions regarding the books I have read.
Books, travel, and other things that make life interesting
For book lovers everywhere
Free bookreviews and other free book related stuff
And for summer days
Spotlight on Nordic / Scandinavian crime fiction... and connections
All things bookish.
Traveling together through books. Join us on our adventures through the books we read
Escaping reality one book at a time
Just a quiet knitter with an addiction to books
Reader | Writer | Blogger
Monthly Festival : Turn your book into a movie and get it seen by 1000s of people. Or garner FULL FEEDBACK from publishers on your novel and help your next draft. Or get a transcript video of your novel performed by professional actors.
The place where I put down all my thoughts and observations
A book blog with a speculative focus
Reading under the light of a Carolina moon
Each night I TRAVEL THE WORLD, I LIVE IN THE MIND OF KILLERS AND WALK AT THE SIDE OF HEROES