"Everyday Magic" by Charlie Laidlaw gives a poignant insight into one woman’s mid-life experience. Sensitively written, it’s a gentle coming of age novel for women of a certain age.
Carole has a teenage daughter and a husband who travels for work. They live comfortably, but Carole has reached an age where she questions her own purpose in the grand scheme of their family life.
A former academic, she stepped away from her career when her daughter was a baby and became seriously ill. So whilst her passion for her subject remains, fourteen years have passed since she last identified herself as a career woman, rather than a stay at home wife and mother.
Then her deaf cat is killed by an electric car and it's as if the Earth has shifted on its axis. Carole suddenly feels change is afoot and she is drawn to revisit her past, to better try and understand both herself and the direction her life has taken. She decides to visit places that hold a significance for her and, as she does so, strange things start to happen over which she seems to have no control.
Whilst trying to maintain constancy at home, Carole finds herself taken on an unlikely journey to confront her past, present and future. Can a process of enlightenment lead her back to the Carole she seems to have lost along the way? Can she find it within herself to become a better, more fulfilled person?
"Everyday Magic" is a charming book, written with great sensitivity. The characters feel real and the reader is drawn in and carried along with the narrative. In the end you really want Carole to find her happy ending, whilst at the same time appreciating that this is a dilemma faced by many women, most of whom never get the opportunity to seek their own enlightenment, let alone change the direction of their lives.