Grown-Up Pose by: Sonya Lalli

Adulting shouldn’t be this hard. Especially in your thirties. Having been pressured by her tight-knit community to get married at a young age to her first serious boyfriend, Anu Desai is now on her own again and feels like she is starting from the beginning.

But Anu doesn’t have time to start over. Telling her parents that she was separating from her husband was the hardest thing she’s ever done–and she’s still dealing with the fallout. She has her young daughter to support and when she invests all of her savings into running her own yoga studio, the feelings of irresponsibility send Anu reeling. She’ll be forced to look inside herself to learn what she truly wants.
Photo by Klaus Nielsen from Pexels

Well, this book had me crying as I finished it. Not tears of sadness but tears of joy and hope. Although technically this book ends with a HEA or at least an HFN, I definitely would say this is women’s fiction as the main focus of the book is on Anu’s journey of finding herself.

When we meet Anu she’s been separated from her husband roughly a year and she’s struggling to find out who she really is as a person. After years of playing the roles of wife and mother, she’s desperately trying to find out who she is outside of them. We get flashbacks of when she first met her husband, got married, and had their daughter all during her current time of self-discovery.

Did she make a mistake marrying the first man she ever kissed? Was it smart to marry so young? What happened to the things she used to love to do, her hobbies and dreams outside of motherhood and being a wife? Is she happy with the path her life has been on?

I felt this book was so relatable for anyone who’s struggled with big life changes. After I had my son I focused so much on being the best mom I could be that I ignored a lot of other aspects of who I was as a person. It took a few years for me to finally find the balance between my different roles. As mothers, I feel like there’s so much guilt that society, family, and even we individually put on ourselves to be the best that we can lose vital parts of who we are. We can still be amazing mothers and have a life outside of motherhood which I think the world seems to forget. Honestly having a life, and hobbies, outside of motherhood is how we can be the best mothers and partners.

This story was so beautifully written. I loved all the characters that Anu was surrounded by and how they all loved her and tried to support her even when they didn’t agree with her. So many lessons in life are only learned when we’re forced to face them ourselves and I love that her family and friends, although they didn’t always agree, let her come to some of those realizations on her own.

Anu makes a lot of mistakes in her journey to discover who she is and what she wants going forward. Although mistakes are made Anu doesn’t regret them because they were able to show her what was really important to her. Sometimes it takes a new perspective to value what, and who, we have in our lives. It can also take making mistakes to realize that your parents, or friends, have gone through struggles of their own and though they seem perfect and content now…they had to do a lot of work to get there.

This was my first Sonya Lalli read and I look forward to reading more of her books as this one already has me in love with her writing.

Published by Noelle Loves Books

Growing up, Japanese and Indigenous, it was hard to find books that showcased stories and worlds that accurately portrayed Noelle’s experiences. Fantasy quickly became her main love, as you could really be anyone, anywhere. As the years went on, and technology grew, Noelle was finally able to see more stories and authors that looked and felt like her. Noelle is open to all genre’s though she can mostly be found reading own voice, fantasy, and romance. Ratings: 5 Stars: Completely blew me away 4 Stars: Loved the story but didn't feel completely blown away by it 3 Stars: Liked the overall concept of the story but either had poor execution, had a lot of plot holes, or was written poorly 2 Stars: I struggled to understand the plot, poorly written, or just had really unlikeable characters along with a poor writing 1 Star: Horribly written, major plot holes, or extremely unlikeable characters and plots.

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