The Winter’s Fail by Sara Madderson

Thank you to Sara Madderson for a copy of her latest book, A Winter’s Fail, to read and review for the blog tour organised by Anne of Random Things Tours. I read and reviewed Parents and Teachers by Sara Madderon in 2020 (see my review at Parents and Teachers is available on the Kindle at


It’s all a huge mess.

Emmy is back from years of aid work in India when she gets knocked up by her boss. She fleas to her sister Rosa in Surrey and there she meets Jack, who offers her a dream job and a taste of happiness. But there’s one major problem: how to tell him she’s pregnant?

Rosa is a mega-influencer obsessed by portraying the perfect image to millions of followers. For her, perception is reality. So when someone close to her sabotages the brand she’s worked so hard to build, can she find anything in her real life worth fighting for?

Stacey has walked away from the perfect guy after four kids and fourteen years of marriage. She’s intent on making up for lost time in the dating world, before some bad news shocks her into reassessing what she wants from life. Is it possible she’s got it all upside-down?

The Winter’s Fail is the story of three women navigating love, friendship and careers with all the highs and headaches they bring. Enjoy being reunited with some of your favourite characters from Sara’s previous books too: Evelyn, Angus, Astrid and others!

My thoughts:

I enjoyed returning to the Esher area. to meet the glamorous people who appear to live very different lives to the majority of us, full of designer clothes, expensive school fees and staff.

Emmy seemed the most normal, having spent the past few years working for charities in India. However, she appears to have made some bad decisions about men and finds herself pregnant by a married man who is facing sexual harassment claims (and featured in Parents and Teachers).

Emmy’s sister Rosa is a Instagram influencer who seems to be spend too much time on her phone and doesn’t realise how upset her eldest daughter is about being excluded. I enjoyed the Tallulah and Rosa story, which also shows the dangers of social media.

Stacey is the confident mother of four who has walked away from an idyllic marriage because it didn’t satisfy her. She enjoys her newly single life with a number of young men in the story (and yes, I did blush a few times reading this book).

The book covers some serious issues, including charity, honesty and ethics, but also includes romance, friendship and plenty of sex. If you enjoyed Parents and Teachers, then you will meet some of the parents again in this book. Thanks Sara for a fun escape from lockdown.

Author Bio (from Amazon):

I like to change things up! I spent my 20s as a banker and my 30s bringing up small children and running my own fashion brand (Madderson London).
Now, aged 42, I find myself writing, and I wonder why I didn’t do it sooner. 

I’ve always loved writing. My daughter Tilly has an old notebook of mine filled with half-finished stories and accompanying drawings. I’ve read for as long as I can remember, guzzling up books so quickly that my mum always protested that I couldn’t be reading them properly. You can see my original, dog-eared version of A Little Princess in my photo. Its protagonist, Sara Crewe, is one of my all-time favourite heroines (alongside Anne Shirley, naturally).

I published my first book, Metamorphosis, in February 2020, right before lockdown happened. It’s a non-fiction book about escaping from our cocoons and living as a butterfly. As lockdown progressed, I found escapism in devouring lots of delicious chick-lit (for want of a better title) and I realised I had a few novels in me too. The results are Food for Thought and Parents and Teachers, and I have loved every single minute of writing them. I’d like to thank my puppy, Charlie, for waking me at dawn every morning–it turns out that when you’re a parent in lockdown, those early mornings represent precious creative time. 

I’ve published my books independently, and I love the freedom it provides. The world of independent publishing is fascinating and so empowering–I’m delighted to share more of my experiences of self-publishing if you’re interested.


By Karen K is reading

An avid reader from the age of 4. Love escaping into a good novel after a busy day working with students. Mum. Adopter of dogs.


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: