Just An Ordinary Family by Fiona Lowe: Your Preview Verdict

Just An Ordinary Family by Fiona Lowe: Your Preview Verdict

Every family has its secrets and the Hunter family is no different. But when the secrets are revealed the family implodes, and the fallout for these four women will be inescapable…

Our Preview readers loved Fiona Lowe’s latest book Just An Ordinary Family, and loved finding out that no one really has an ordinary family!

Read some highlights below:

Mi casa es su casa – my house is your house. Five small words, but a sentiment strong enough to sustain a relationship and create a bond for life. This is how it was for Libby and Jess. Friends since their teenage years, they had shared everything growing up, and their relationship was stronger than the bond that Libby felt with her twin, Alice. While this created problems for Alice, Libby was oblivious, enjoying the spontaneity and carefree attitude that Jess brought to her life. Over the years, the girls went their own directions in terms of career and family, but they remained connected and caught up as often as commitments allowed. But all of that changed when Jess returned to their childhood town and became closely involved with Libby’s family. When a secret emerges that affects all their lives, it creates a divide that can’t be bridged. Will a tragedy clear the air and return the relationship to the way it was? Or will it deepen the chasm that opened between them? Just an Ordinary Family explores the relationships between sisters, friends, parents and their children, and the dangers of breaking trust, with an acuity that makes it compulsive reading. – Christine, QLD, 5 stars

The illusion of a perfect life or relationship often unravels quickly once you start to scratch at the surface. This is the premise of Just An Ordinary Family, which tells the story of Libby, her twin sister Alice, her mother Karen, and her best friend Jess. Although Libby’s seemingly perfect life inspires envy in others, it is quickly revealed that things are not quite as wonderful as they seem. Just An Ordinary Family deals with some pretty serious issues such as infidelity, pregnancy loss, and infertility. Speaking about these experiences is often considered to be taboo, despite them being completely ordinary in the sense that most families deal with them. I personally really appreciated reading a book that brought these issues to the forefront, dealing with them in such an interesting and sensitive way. The writing was beautiful and the characters were nuanced and relatable – although they were flawed their entire characterisation was not defined by their mistakes. Each of the main characters also had an interesting backstory or unexpected twist that was revealed throughout the book, making it impossible to put down. Just An Ordinary Family is powerful, thought-provoking, and emotive – I loved reading this amazing book. – Amanda, QLD, 5 stars

I simply adored Just an Ordinary Family! Twin sisters Alice and Libby are both navigating tricky times in their lives, and uncover a convoluted web of secrets and hidden truths along the way. The intricacy of the storyline along with well-developed characters are utterly compelling. Fiona Lowe clearly articulates the complexities of life, no matter how seemingly perfect they appear on the surface. This book certainly serves as a warning to readers that even the best kept secrets will never stay buried. A superb read, thank you to Better Reading for the preview! – Sarah, VIC, 5 stars

What an amazing novel! For those who love family sagas and an unputdownable read, this is your book! It’s hard to say too much without spoiling the novel but you won’t regret the decision to buy this book. Buy. Buy. Buy. – Kirsten, WA, 5 stars

“Just an Ordinary Family” is a beautifully written book, full of the ups and downs of a rather extraordinary family, of all the intersecting friendships and relationships in their quest to venture along life’s roller coaster. We meet twins Alice and Libby, their parents, partners, children, friends, colleagues – each one playing an important part in the events which unfold, and the consequences of some of these events. We celebrate with them, we cheer them on, we grieve at the trials that are bumps in their path. We look in from outside, but along the way we become so involved that we soon feel we are part of the story. I must admit there were a few late nights reading this book, I just couldn’t put it down. Fiona Lowe has woven her magic and I was definitely hooked. There is nothing ordinary about “Just an Ordinary Family”, and it is definitely one to put on your “must read” list. I am very much looking forward to reading Fiona’s earlier books. – Jane, NSW, 5 stars

“Just an Ordinary Family” by Fiona Lowe.What a wonderful book. I was thoroughly engrossed with this book from the first page to the last. At times I felt like I was part of this family, feeling every bit of their pain and happiness. The story was one of happiness, sadness, despair and joy. I loved how it took you on a journey and felt very much part of the ride. At times i laughed, at other times i was moved to sadness. Such a beautifully written book, would highly recommend this book. ok this was. I was throughly engrossed with the depth of stories and charters from the very first page to the last. – Christine, QLD, 5 stars

Fiona Lowe’s latest novel is an excellent read with an authentic Aussie flavour. Her characters are thoroughly relatable and believably flawed, making poor decisions and plagued by secrets and guilt. Lowe throws her protagonists a number of challenges, the sort that might confront any ordinary family, and then lets the reader observe their reactions from several perspectives. A thought-provoking piece of contemporary fiction that will stay with readers long after the last page is turned. – Marianne, NSW, 5 stars

I absolutely loved this book!! I became so absorbed in the lives of the characters and was so sad when I finished the book, it will stay on your mind for days after. This book revolves around the dramas of the Hunter Family, twins Libby and Alice and the friendship between Libby and best friend Jess. A friendship which appears perfect, but underneath the surface there are secrets and acts of betrayal which will impact all the characters in the book. Libby’s twin sister Alice, was one of my favourite characters and someone I would have loved to be friends with in real life. Often living in the shadow of Libby and Jess, she is a real hero when times become tough. Her courage to live the life she wants to be happy is inspiring, in spite what her mother and sister think is best for her. This book will have you feeling all the emotions, laughter and tears and I loved it. Thank you Better Reading and Harlequin Australia for my advanced copy, I can’t wait to look up more Fiona Lowe books! – Kim, VIC, 5 stars

What a great book from start to finish live secrets lies betrayal and forgiveness this book has it all the characters are brilliant hard book to put down – Deborah, NSW, 5 stars

I am a huge fan of Fiona Lowe’s books and ‘Just An Ordinary Family’ did not disappoint! The challenges of friendship, love and family with twists and turns as the story unfolded made me not want to stop reading! – Amanda, QLD, 5 stars

A beautifully woven story about the complexity of friendship and family and those who seemingly ‘have it all’ – Georgia, VIC, 5 stars

An absolutely delightful novel, I just could not put it down. Equal parts heartbreaking and heartwarming. The characters are written with pure heart, I’m finding myself missing them already. – Dianne, SA, 5 stars

No matter how perfect they look from the outside, every family has its secrets. And Fiona Lowe’s Just an Ordinary Family is a prime example of that. Certainly things are never as they seem and sooner or later the truth comes out. A cast of flawed yet relatable characters and a few decent twists and turns makes this an engrossing read. I found Jess a little too harsh, while Alice was definitely my favourite. Overall a thoroughly enjoyable read, highly recommend! – Imogen, VIC, 5 stars

Wow, what a novel. After the first 100 pages, I wasnt sure if I would continue but Im so glad i did. I loved all the characters, even if they grated my nerves sometimes and the whole plot with its twists and turns was amazing. Thank you – Kirstie, WA, 5 stars

Simply FABULOUS I loved this book from the first page to the last.  My dilemma was that I could not put it down yet did not want to finish it and leave behind such wonderful characters and friends.  Days later and they are still all with me.    Fiona Lowe writes from the heart and she takes you on a wonderful roller coaster of a ride with  Just an Ordinary Family as with all of her books, such beautiful country settings adorable every day families and topics.  I can not recommend this enough, I give it ten stars!- do not  read anything about it other than to read it and love it. My favourite book for 2019 thank you Fiona and Better Reading. – Debbie, VIC, 5 stars

Fiona Lowe has nailed it! “Just An Ordinary Family” is absolutely packed with relatable characters and emotional twists and turns. I quite simply could not put it down! Keep the tissues handy as you may need them… – Kelly, QLD, 5 stars

A fantastic emotion roller coaster of a book! Explores the differences in the relationships we have with our family and very close friends and is heartwarming and funny but also tragic and edgy and the characters are so relatable. I devoured this book in a day and beleive it should be read by women everywhere. – Rachel, QLD, 5 stars

What a fabulous read. I couldn’t put it down and thoroughly enjoyed reading Just and Ordinary Family. The plot was realistic and had many twists and turns. Fiona Lowe has written a thought provoking novel that will make you think all about relationships, trust and love. I loved this book. – Larelle, QLD, 5 stars

Wow what a great read. This is one of those books you need to read right to the end. The story had beautiful characters and twists I didn’t see coming it and was based on close family and best friends. It’s about the best and worse of friends and family and when they lie it can hurt so much. That when you find out a family secret or a secret from your best friend it hurts and can never be taken back or undone. This story also shows how strong family and friends can be in a time of upset and crises because of the secrets kept. It’s a must read for everyone. – Beth, TAS, 5 stars

I love a book that manages to be an easy, enjoyable read, whilst dealing with deep, thought provoking themes. ‘Just an Ordinary Family’ explores the messy side of relationships and the far reaching consequences of our actions through the eyes of characters that are complicated, flawed and utterly relatable. One minute I was raging with Libby at the injustice of betrayal, the next my heart was aching for the wounded child in Jess, and don’t even get me started on Alice, Karen, Peter, Nick, Harry (and his kids!) or Dan….. the list goes on and on as Fiona’s ability to develop her characters is masterful. As the characters navigated their circumstances so many thought provoking questions arose: What impact does our past have on our present relationships? How can our good intentions hurt the ones we love? Are some betrayals unforgiveable? Who decides and should anyone else get a say? I was pondering these questions long after I turned the final page. It may have been my first Fiona Lowe novel, but it certainly won’t be my last. – Tamarin, QLD, 5 stars

I truly loved reading this book!! There are four lead characters in this story Alice, Libby, Jess, and Nick. I can say that Fiona presented all those characters very well, until I totally disliked the antagonist one (Jess), and feel totally sorry for Libby. This book is about tangled toxic friendships and secrets in the family. Though the title is “Just An Ordinary Family”, this story is extra ordinary until i lose sleep reading this book. Fiona also did very well presenting the unexpected moments along the story line, so eventhough the book is thick, it never gets boring. – Vivi, NSW, 5 stars

Just an Ordinary Family was a great read. Really loved Alice, her relationship with her twin and family will make you laugh and cry. Has a twist. Will read more Fiona Lowe books now. 😀 – Elizabeth, NSW, 5 stars

Just an ordinary family is a book about bonds and the strong relationships people build with each other. Libby and Alice are twins bound by blood but aren’t as close as most twins are because Libby has a best friend, Jess whom she shares everything with. Alice has always been jealous of their closeness and was always the one getting left out. As they grow up, Alice learns to live her own life away from Libby until heartbreak brings her back. The bond between Libby and Jess is as strong as ever much to Alice’s disappointment. But Alice, the meeker of the two twins learns to love again unexpectedly and eventually gets the bond she wants with Libby through a secret which will rock everyone’s world. – Francis, NSW, 5 stars

Just an Ordinary Family by Fiona Lowe is a fantastic story. It focuses on the story of twin sisters, their mother, and a close friend of one of the twins. Their stories are intertwined, with no way of predicting the outcomes. During the turns and twists of the story, many life themes are covered. You become totally involved with the characters, especially emotionally. I was reading through tears in parts. A very well written story, I thoroughly enjoyed it. – Fay, VIC, 5 stars



Preview Reviews: Just An Ordinary Family by Fiona Lowe

Review | Preview

25 February 2020

Preview Reviews: Just An Ordinary Family by Fiona Lowe

    A Compulsive, Delicious, Emotional Rollercoaster: Take a Sneak Peek at Fiona Lowe's Just an Ordinary Family

    Review | Extract

    24 February 2020

    A Compulsive, Delicious, Emotional Rollercoaster: Take a Sneak Peek at Fiona Lowe's Just an Ordinary Family

      Fiona Lowe's Just an Ordinary Family is Such a Treat!

      Review | Our Review

      24 February 2020

      Fiona Lowe's Just an Ordinary Family is Such a Treat!

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          Publisher details

          Just An Ordinary Family
          Fiona Lowe
          24 February, 2020


          Liane Moriarty meets Jodi Picoult in this tensely negotiated story of family ties, betrayal and sacrifice.Every family has its secrets...Alice Hunter is smarting from the raw deal life has thrown her way: suddenly single, jobless and forced to move home to her parents' tiny seaside town. And now she faces an uncomfortable truth. She wants her twin sister Libby's enviable life.Libby's closest friend Jess Dekic has been around the Hunter family for so long she might as well be blood. She's always considered herself a sister closer to Libby than Alice ever could be...Libby Hunter has all of life's boxes ticked: prominent small-town doctor, gorgeous husband and two young daughters. But when she is betrayed by those she loves most, it reveals how tenuous her world is...For Karen Hunter, her children are a double-edged sword of pain and pride. She's always tried to guide her girls through life's pitfalls, but how do you protect your children when they're adults?As the family implodes, the fallout for these four women will be inescapable...Bestselling Australian author Fiona Lowe wields a deft hand, creating utterly addictive storytelling that will have you questioning your own perceptions of what family is.
          Fiona Lowe
          About the author

          Fiona Lowe

          Fiona Lowe has been a midwife, a sexual health counsellor and a family support worker - an ideal career path for an author who writes novels about family and relationships.  A recipient of the prestigious USA RITA award and the Australian RUBY award, Fiona’s books are set in small country towns, feature real people facing difficult choices and explore how family ties and relationships impact our decisions.  Fiona spent her early years in Papua New Guinea where, without television, reading was her best form of entertainment – inevitably leading to a lifelong love of books.  Daughter of Mine is Fiona’s 28th novel.  Fiona Lowe lives in Western Victoria.  Visit www.fionalowe.com

          Books by Fiona Lowe


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