The Other Side Of The Wall – a book review I HAD to write

Disclosure: Andrea Mara, the author of The Other Side Of The Wall is a Facebook friend, but I paid for my Kindle download and I was not induced in any way to write this review.

The other side of the wall, psychological thriller, Andrea Mara, Office Mum.png

An exhausted mum of two young children thinks she sees something in her neighbour’s pond during the night shift. And so begins a chain of mystifying and worrying events, which tap into every woman’s fears about her children’s safety and her own, but the author of The Other Side Of The Wall handles them with a lightness of touch that means most readers should not get nightmares, unless you’ve got some very strange people living next door…

There’s a deserved buzz around this book, and even though I don’t usually read psychological thrillers, I was drawn to this one. Perhaps because its themes of motherhood, juggling, living in the suburbs, and worrying about the children are so universal.

The story has all the twists and turns that you’d expect and side plots including difficulties in the workplace, a young man with a troubled past, and a mysterious case of domestic abuse.

As a reader it feels as though she is telling the story to you alone, whispered confidentially in a quiet corner of a coffee shop in leafy south Dublin. It did not feel like a tentative first book by an aspiring writer, instead it has the confidence and sure touch of an established author.

I genuinely could not put down The Other Side Of The Wall, and I have the dark circles to prove it, from late nights when I had to read just one more chapter…

The pace kept up until the very last page. And left me wanting more.


The Other Side Of The Wall is available now in all good bookshops and from Amazon.

Author Andrea Mara is a mother of three and lives in Dublin. She also writes the award winning blog Office Mum.



A spoonful of sugar

I hope you’ve noticed all the positive posts on here? I’m trying really hard to stop moaning, and it’s helping me too. But the problems in my life haven’t evaporated with the summer sun, they’re still floating around and keeping my anxiety levels bobbing up and down.

I’ve been forcing myself to drink tea on shaky days, but without feeling much relief. In desperation one day recently I chucked in a spoonful of sugar as well, and the difference was amazing! Who knew that the biggest dietary enemy was just what I need to feel better? So finding something that helps is my first reason to be cheerful for this week.

And here’s a few more…

… I fixed the coffee machine. It had almost completely stopped working and I was considering throwing it out until my google searches finally revealed the solution to the problem. Result. And a great feeling of competence.

… After SEVEN years, I’ve finally got the garden looking reasonable and as low maintenance as possible. Well apart from my pots. Have to have a few flowers.

… A new low cost gym, a new Lidl and one of my favourite coffee shops are all opening just up the road. Perhaps I don’t want to move after all.

… Breakfast and a run on the beach with friends at a local seaside town.

Balbriggan beach, breakfast running,

… A mini holiday and a few outings when family visited for a long weekend.

Phoenix Park, family,

Lots of great news for my disabled daughter.

… After the training, the qualifying, the arranging, the day is finally here : I’m running in the world’s biggest women only race tomorrow, the fabulous Dublin Women’s Mini Marathon. Cannot. Wait.

Dublin Women's Mini Marathon,

… A fairly major birthday looms and I’ve decided to spoil myself a little bit. Watch this space 😀😀

Hope you had a good week xx

(Head over to Lakes Single Mum for more reasons to be cheerful)


Hot wheels and cool news

You know how much my disabled daughter likes her adult programme right? Well I can tell you now that it has been rolled over for another year. Getting the news is great in all sorts of ways.

Timing – confirmation of her original placement did not happen until the week before she was due to start in September 2015. That was the fault of the Irish Health Service. This year they have hit their target of informing me before the end of May.

Future – there’s no certainty yet about that, but this year’s roll over is a hopeful sign apparently – either that her place will be confirmed indefinitely or that it will be confirmed on an annual basis. Here’s hoping!

This week also saw the staging of The Lion King, a special production that a group of disabled adults have been practising for all year: it was a mixed ability group, including some with speech and some with mobility. It was great fun to watch and B totally enjoyed taking part. As with last year’s Christmas play 😀

Christmas, The Lion King, Play, Angel, Bird, B, Smiley,
And today was another milestone day: after an 18 month wait, B finally got the chance to try out a power chair. I am really excited about this as she used to love using a walker when she was a child, and later driving her chair in school on the AKKA,  which is an electronically controlled mobile base that uses photo-electric sensors to follows a predetermined route, and the wheelchair user can control the movement using a switch like the yellow one in this old photo collage:

AKKA, Smiley,

A power chair for B would have dual control, so her carer could both prevent collisions and also use the power to take the strain of pushing, which could become very difficult for me as I get older. B was a bit unsure today, but hopefully she will love it once she gets used to the idea.

Power chair, first try, B, Smiley,

A little bit of freedom to make mistakes should be allowed too No-one wants to have everything controlled for them so I’m hoping the health and safety gods will look away occasionally and give her the chance to learn and maybe even break a few rules…