Book Review: Homing Instinct

Book Review: Homing Instinct

The cover of this book shows a business-suited woman heading off to work with a baby in her backpack. It reminded me so much of my reasons for wanting to be a stay-at-home mother that I had to read it.

I wasn’t disappointed. It is an excellent read with good, strong plotlines, humour and more than a dash of womanly wisdom (but not the rammed-down-your-throat type).

It is written in diary format – which usually irritates me, but this didn’t – and is about a successful newswoman. She has a high-powered job, a high-powered, handsome husband, a school-age daughter and a baby. She even manages to find a perfect nanny, who loves her children as if they were her own – and that becomes a problem. Leaving her children each morning becomes harder and harder – and coming home to the housework while her husband puts his feet up with a cold beer gets downright infuriating.

There are some lovely little scenes. I particularly enjoyed the bit when the heroine’s mother comes to stay and disapproves of baby Tom being given tinned baby food:

“‘What that child needs is a bit of mashed parsnip and some stewed apple,’ she said, brushing me out of the way and hurling the offending jar in the bin. Tom’s eyes followed its trajectory sadly. He loved that one.”

“Tom meanwhile was beginning to howl with hunger, because preparing his lunch normally takes me about five minutes, and he’s not used to waiting for all this cooking nonsense.”

I won’t spoil the book by giving too much away here but I will say this: It has changed my attitude to sex. Women appreciate that they have uncontrollable hormones that make them feel suicidal before their period, and then there is the ten-odd years of hell around the menopause. We don’t like it, but we understand and put up with it. But do we even TRY to understand men’s hormones? Men produce testosterone, which makes them muscley, gives them energy and stops them turning into weedy wimps. The side-effect of testosterone is that it makes them want sex. And, all things being well, preferably with a willing partner, not a limp dishrag. But if they do make this clear, we tend to label them as just a randy bloke and don’t show an ounce of understanding.

Diana Appleyard has seamlessly funnelled her own experience as well as that gleaned from a career of listening to others into this book. It is one I will be buying for several friends and I highly recommend it to both working and stay-at-home mothers and fathers.

Homing Instinct was her first book and she has since produced more – Out Of Love and A Class Apart. I will be ordering them as soon as my bank balance has recovered from my last splurge.

The book is available in paperback format from Amazon.

Unfortunately, for those of us who love our Kindles, this book isn’t (yet) available in Kindle format.

In addition to writing novels, the author is a feature writer for national UK newspapers and also helps her husband run Kirnan Holiday Cottages and Bed & Breakfast in Scotland. I can’t think of a better place for a writing holiday!


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