Nobody’s Perfect by Stephanie Butland | Book Review | #NobodysPerfect

Publisher: Zaffre
Format: Ebook, Audio, Paperback (19 August 2021)
Pages: 384
Source: Copy received for review


A story of a mother’s love and overcoming the past, perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes and Jodi Picoult. Asking, does your past really define your future?

When her daughter was born with cystic fibrosis, Kate Micklethwaite vowed that Daisy would never be defined by her health issues. Kate is determined that her perfect little girl will be known for her love of butterflies, croissants and bouncing on trampolines, not for her condition.

Kate does all she can to be the perfect mother – whatever that means – and yet, somehow, has started seeing herself the way others see her: single parent, source of small-town scandal, drop-out, former mistress. Half a family.

When Daisy starts school, Kate meets her new teacher, the kind and charming Mr Spencer Swanson. Now, with more time on her hands Kate can finally start thinking about her own future. With her Open University dissertation deadline looming, Kate needs to decide what she wants next. But as she and Spencer get to know each other, Kate notices that people are whispering behind her back once more . . .


My thanks to Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for the tour invitation and to the publisher for the review copy. I’m delighted to be starting off the blog tour today. Having read Stephanie’s books before, The Other Half of My Heart and Lost for Words I knew how superbly she constructs her characters and Nobody’s Perfect has that Butland trademark of a character driven story with depth and emotion.

Kate hasn’t had the easiest of times. At only 24 she already has a history that has been the subject of gossip and a five year old daughter Daisy with cystic fibrosis. Kate has to be constantly vigilant – the sole responsibility and worry is exhausting and that doesn’t include the time she has snatched to try and complete an OU degree.

When Kate meets Daisy’s new teacher, Spencer Swanson there is an instant spark – it’s almost like a schoolgirl crush for Kate but Spencer being Daisy’s teacher might cross boundaries and make life extremely difficult and would give the gossips yet another thing to talk about.

Kate is determined that Daisy is not to be defined by her illness but she has her own dreams and wants more from life for herself than just an identity of a single parent and to be gossip fodder. The problem is that without qualifications her options are limited and life with Daisy is all too consuming – she doesn’t really trust anyone other than her mother to look after her and even a rare night away on her own with her best friend Melissa is a major undertaking.

Kate’s loneliness and the challenges of Daisy’s illness came over so clearly. The subject of CF has been included sensitively with the feeling of a subject that had been well researched. I did sense that Kate’s heart overruled her head at times although I also did feel a little sorry for her in having her every decision questioned by those closest to her – it seemed as though she was always going to be judged by past mistakes.

The artisan bakery and cafe, Adventures in Bread made a return fromThe Other Half of My Heart and the cast of characters – both those at the centre of the story together with those supporting ones – for example teaching assistant Wendy, her girlfriend Jill, and Kate’s best friend Melissa all made their own impact on Kate and Daisy’s lives.

A story of romance, personal challenges and drama, Nobody’s Perfect shows just that. That nobody is perfect and everyone makes mistakes but do people have to continue to pay for them forever. Another excellent read from Stephanie Butland.


Stephanie Butland lives near the sea in the North East of England. She writes in a studio at the bottom of her garden. Researching her novels has turned her into an occasional performance poet and tango dancer.


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