Saturday 20 February 2021

BLOG TOUR: Not Having It All - Jennie Ensor

Not Having It All by Jennie Ensor has had a makeover and to celebrate the new cover some fabulous bloggers are sharing guest posts, extracts and reviews along with news of a fabulous giveaway (see the end of my post for details).  

I'm sharing an extract which follows the details about the book below, but you can also click HERE to read my review.

“I read most of the book with a smile on my face; a fabulous bit of feel-good fiction” – The Book Magnet

This is the story of four middle-aged people who are definitely NOT having it all. Meet Bea, Kurt, Maddie and Colin.

Senior lecturer Bea Hudson juggles her job at the ‘Psycho Lab’ with looking after her demanding five-year-old daughter, badly-behaved dog and next-to-useless au pair. When her chief exec husband is sent overseas and she’s left without childcare, Bea turns to best friend Maddie for help.

Kurt, downing whiskies in his hotel room as he imagines what his wife is up to, is convinced that Bea is becoming a little too friendly with Maddie. With characteristic obsession he enlists his neighbour’s help in a secret surveillance operation.

Found-object artist Maddie longs for a child of her own with a man she can trust – and he must love cats.

Divorced, risk-averse Colin is a senior manager at ‘the nation’s number one pussy insurer’. When he meets Maddie in a lift he’s smitten, and resolves to displace Maddie’s feline companions on her sofa. But he starts to fear that Maddie sees him only as ‘a handy stud with a fat wallet’.

Can Bea and Kurt find happiness again? Can Maddie and Colin risk falling in love?

A story about love, relationships and second chances, perfect for fans of Marian Keyes and Jojo Moyes, and anyone who loved Bridget Jones’ Diary or Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. If you enjoy novels with depth, heart and laugh-out-loud humour, you’ll love this razor-sharp romantic comedy like no other.

Buy it from:


Bea’s journal
Portrait of a stranded scientist, make-do mother and weary wife 

Right now, I can confidently tick all of the above. All three strands of Bea Hudson seem to be plummeting to a nadir.

Where to begin? Too many thoughts to put down. But if I don’t, they’ll spend what’s left of the night partying in my cerebral cortex and sleep will be even more impossible.

Before I forget, I’d better mention it’s 3.03am sometime in late May – or is it June already? My brain has switched off. It’s definitely still 2018.

Academically, I’m still floundering in a sea of two-star journals without hope of rescue any time soon. On the plus side, there’s still some way to go before self-annihilation George Price style – or some other style, as I’m not good with gore. (He killed himself after being fleeced by homeless alcoholics – so my tutor at uni impressed upon us – while trying to perform random acts of kindness to disprove his theory of altruism as he didn’t want to believe that everyone is essentially selfish.) Perhaps I need a more positive role model than an underappreciated, mentally questionable biologist.

Motherhood ranking is nearing an all-time low following another battle with Fran over her habit of putting Mr Gruffy on top of the wardrobe so he falls on anyone opening the door, hot on the heels of yesterday’s announcement at dinner that from now on she will not be eating anything orange in addition to anything green (thus excluding runner beans, Katya’s carrot and parsnip mash, and the mango I’d bought for dessert). 

Marital satisfaction index is in steep decline after this week’s arguments with Kurt – who left the freezer door open and who should be responsible for vetting Fran’s use of stray computing devices, come to mind (and other arguments I’m too weary to recall). 

Then there’s Kurt’s cattier-than-ever comments about Maddie – our text messages to each other take up more bandwidth than a week’s output from BBC iPlayer (!) and she’s a bad influence on our daughter, not to mention me, for exposing us to foreign films about transvestites and Channel 4 documentaries about bodily hang-ups. (A huge exaggeration, apart from that Almodóvar film we watched one Friday afternoon while Fran was trampolining and a program about people with tattoos in unusual places, which I turned off at the first sniff of age-inappropriate content). Soon I won’t even be able to ask Maddie over for a cup of tea without Kurt dissecting the teabags afterwards.

Things can only get better. 

I wonder – what are the chances of Kurt finding this? 

Probably shouldn’t worry too much. If anyone manages to extract this clapped-out WH Smith exercise book from the bottom of my stack of Neuron journals, has the slightest inclination to open it, wade past the evidence of how much I’ve spent on cappuccinos at every conference I’ve attended since 2013 and then has the gumption to decipher this scribble, good luck to them. 

That’s what the man from the halfway house wished me yesterday when I was walking back from the park with Big Ears. ‘Good luck’ I mean. That’s the only thing he seems to say, apart from ‘With looks like that you shouldn’t be allowed out.’ (??) I certainly could do with some good luck. Maybe the reason my research never yields gobsmackingly brilliant results isn’t because I’m not doing the right experiments or my team is too small or I’m too damn tired most of the time to do anything properly – I’m just unlucky. 

Picked up another batch of hairs from the shower yesterday (long and brown so not Kurt’s). At this rate, I’ll soon be going bald as well as grey. Hope Kurt won’t mind – better book an appointment at the hair salon. My hair is no longer as big as a squirrel’s tail, as he used to tell me in wonder and admiration. At least I still have my big eyes, big hips and big bosom. 

Better stop, Kurt’s hissing about a pencil rustling.

About the author:

A Londoner with Irish heritage, Jennie Ensor began her writing career as a journalist, obtaining a Masters in Journalism (winning two awards) and covering topics from forced marriage to accidents in the mining industry. She isn’t afraid to tackle controversial issues in her novels, either: Islamic terrorism, Russian gangsters and war crimes in her debut BLIND SIDE (a psychological mystery blended with a love story), domestic abuse and sexual exploitation in her second, THE GIRL IN HIS EYES. 

Her third novel NOT HAVING IT ALL, a relationship comedy, is an excursion to the brighter side of life. A new edition was published in January 2021. 

Ms Ensor’s poetry has appeared in many publications including Poetry Salzburg Review, Ink Sweat and Tears. Her poem ‘Lost Connection’ placed second in the Breakout Prose category of the Fish Lockdown Prize in 2020. 

In her spare time (?) she reads, walks and attempts twice-weekly yoga. She regularly cycles the punishing hills of north London and at the end of the day enjoys collapsing with a bar of chocolate/glass of strong alcohol in front of a TV crime drama.

Author links
Author website:

A prize draw to celebrate the relaunch will be held at 6pm on 23 February on Jennie Ensor's FaceBook page: (the giveaway post is pinned to the page). 

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