Author: Lisa Heidke
Lisa Heidke takes ordinary women, women that could be any one of us or of our friends, and makes them that familiar to us – brings them that close to us – that we can’t help but be drawn into their lives and their world. Lisa’s characters are vivid and solid, I could honestly expect to meet these women at school, in the supermarket, or anywhere really. The situations they find themselves in aren’t so far out of the ordinary that they are unbelievable either.
There is one thing though that I really need to get out of my system before I get too far into this! One of the integral characters is JESSE, not a very common name for a female so this was the first thing that drew me in about this book. I have been defending my choice for 8 years and deflecting the argument that it’s a boys name so thank you very much Lisa Heidke for offering me written evidence that this really is a girls name. I realise this isn’t really information worthy of a review but it made me smile every time I saw Jesse on the page.
And now, back to our scheduled programming… Stella Makes Good centres around a group of three married women, I don’t think we ever really know how old they are but I would say late 30’s-early 40’s. These besties embody all that is memorable about female friendships. These three women would do anything for each other, they look out for each other and they do all they can to protect each other but when it really comes down to it – secretly there’s a part of them that wants to be each other, or really doesn’t want to end up like each other.
Stella is amicably separated from her husband, has 2 teenage children and a mother in law she has grown to adore. Carly is still married to the father of her teenaged boys but sometimes it seems a little stale and has Carly stressed. Jesse is married to a control freak who pushes her stress buttons and the signs are starting to be seen in one of her 9 year old twins.
None of their lives are perfect but all three are on a reasonably stable foundation until one chance encounter after a catch up for drinks with the girls changes everything.
A catch up for drinks becomes a life changing experience for everyone involved, with consequences reaching into unexpected places.
Everyone keeps secrets at some point, always because they think that is what’s best for someone but invariably these things come out and the fallout is very difficult to predict.
Heidke has it all in this novel. It is funny, romantic, heartwarming, heartbreaking, surprising and suspenseful as we share a journey of awakening and self-evaluation in the lives of three women who could be any one of us. I only hope I could face adversity with the strength of some of these characters.