*Just a gentle note, this review may contain small spoilers*

Today, it’s another blog tour! This time, it’s all about Cathy Kelly’s brand new novel, The Year That Changed Everything. So, what’s it all about? Here’s the blurb:

Three women, three birthdays, one year that will change everything…

Ginger isn’t spending her thirtieth the way she would have planned. Tonight might be the first night of the rest of her life – or a total disaster.

Sam is finally pregnant after years of trying. When her waters break on the morning of her fortieth birthday, she panics: forget labour, how is she going to be a mother?

Callie is celebrating her fiftieth at a big party in her Dublin home. Then a knock at the door mid-party changes everything…

I’ve been so engrossed in this book for the past few days. Whether I was reading when I had some free time, reading before bed or on the bus to/from university. This is a lovely book that made me fell all sorts of emotions. I can’t remember how many times I laughed out loud reading this book. It’s full of heart and character.

We follow three women who share the same birthday but all celebrating different milestones and living different lives. We have Callie, who’s celebrating her fiftieth birthday in a big lavish party at her Dublin home but at the party, the police are on her doorstep looking for her husband… We also have Sam, who’s pregnant after years of trying with her husband Ted, but on her fortieth birthday, her waters start to break. But the one thing on her mind is: how can she be a mother? Finally, we have Ginger. Ginger is thirty and is at her best friend’s wedding and nothing goes as it was planned. Ginger discovers herself, she figures out who she needs and doesn’t need in her life, but most importantly, she finds her voice. I loved reading about these three characters and their different stories. Sometimes, in novels, three characters can be a bit much to follow can’t they? You could get them mixed up with each other, overlapping stories, etc., but that doesn’t happen in this book. The three characters are well established and brilliantly written full of colour and warmth.

My favourite character has to be Ginger. Right from the first time I met her, I fell in love with her. She’s a brilliant character, so full of life and she was the one that I was rooting for. I liked Callie and the story with her husband is interesting and she’s one to root for too. Sam is my second favourite after Ginger. I loved how Kelly uses Sam to explore the theme of motherhood. Sam keeps questioning herself about being a mother to her new baby and through this, we learn a lot more about Sam too. I would have liked to see more of Sam and her story but that’s just me being picky.

There are some wonderful themes at play here. As I said, motherhood is a big one. This is something that connects all of the three characters. From Sam questioning her new baby, to Ginger’s mother dead and having a mother relationship with her Aunt, to Callie and her mother and also the relationship with her own daughter too. Other themes include: love, friendship, family, addiction, body image, feeling you are not good enough, how to adjust to change, how to speak up and use your voice and to put yourself first for a change.

This book is like a warm cup of tea on a cold Autumn afternoon. It will warm you up, make you laugh and even make you shed a few tears, too. I’ve never read a book from Cathy Kelly before but the blurb hooked me and so did that gorgeous cover. She’s a wonderful writer. Her writing is rooted in reality sprinkled with Irish charm.

A wonderful tale of three women with three different birthdays. It’s full of character, wonderfully told, explores the theme of motherhood, adjusting to change, and like I said, discovering your own voice.

The Year That Changed Everything is now out in paperback. A big thank you to Poppy for the copy and the opportunity to be part of the blog tour! Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour here:


Have you read The Year That Changed Everything? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you,



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