Eternity Leave by Simon Kettlewell

Thank you to Anne of Random Things Tours for the invitation to join the blog tour and to Simon Kettlewell for a copy of his book to read and review.


Dear Chloe, Emma, Ruby, and Ollie,

‘I am applying for the position you haven’t advertised, has no specific job description and no hope of fiscal reward. I am applying because I have this misguided belief that it will look like it does on the cover photo of ‘The Complete Guide to Childcare’ where everyone appears relaxed and bright-eyed, not knackered, irascible or covered in snot.

Armed with a pristine copy of ‘The Complete Guide to Childcare’, ambitions to be the next literary giant and live off the grid, what could possibly go wrong?

‘Five minutes after Brigit’s maternity leave ended I realised the magnitude of my error. I was now the sole carer for two six-month old children who thought the hands smearing yoghurt over their faces belonged to somebody else, and a two-year old who walked for five steps and decided it wasn’t for her.’

I crashed into a world of mainly strong, resourceful, resilient women, a mountain of nappies to rival Kilimanjaro and a widening gap where my self-esteem used to reside.’

I am a man. I soon discovered this was not an excuse…’

Please check out the other reviews too.

My thoughts:

How would you cope with looking after 4 children, an assortment of farm animals and crops, and trying to write a novel? This fictional novel looks at how one man looked after his children whilst his wife, Brigit, worked for the NHS.

The book moves backwards and forwards in time, looking at the early days of fatherhood and also how to deal with the first teenager leaving home, and how teenagers ‘share’ using a car.

There are many funny moments, some heartbreak (poor chickens) and a lot of frustration for dad dealing with the continued questions and shock when people realise dad is the main childcare provider rather than mum/nanny/au pair.

I would love to know how much of the book is based on real life experiences. My own children are now both teenagers and I enjoyed being reminded of the ‘early days’, of finding your way through baby and toddler groups, and surviving the school run, and I remember that very few men were seen. My own husband was good at reading bedtime stories but missed out on the daytime activities – I think he would have given up full time childcare after just a week.

Happy to recommend to readers of my blog. This is an enjoyable read looking at the highs and lows of how family life can work differently, and may become more common in the future as people start to reassess their work-life-family balance.

Author Bio:

Like the narrator of this story, Simon Kettlewell has also looked after four children for a very long time.

For the purpose of authenticity this book is inevitably shaped to some extent by this experience. Some bits have been extracted from the author’s twisted imagination, but he is still too exhausted to remember which ones.

Simon lives in Devon with a variety of animals in a multi-coloured house where people come and go like passengers at Crewe station.

You can find him at …


  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08WJY7V7P
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Independently published (11 Feb. 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 314 pages


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 of teenagers. Adopter of dogs.

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