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Julie Cadman

Julie Cadman


A year that changed history, and the lives of the Blake family, by author Julie Cadman

UnMasked tells the story of the Covid19 pandemic through the eyes of three generations of the Blake family; seventy-three-year-old grandmother Patti; her daughter, forty-eight-year-old Jenni; and granddaughter, sixteen-year-old, Kylie. The three women describe their personal experiences during the Covid19 pandemic, their individual struggles as the world went into lockdown, their relationships with other family members and how they changed during the pandemic, and how they found hope during this time of unprecedented change. Prior to the pandemic, Patti was the life and soul of the party, she loved to entertain and spend time with family and friends, but as life slowed down during the pandemic, she felt lonely and isolated from her loved ones. With increasing amounts of time spent alone, Patti reflected on her life, which brought to the surface unresolved grief. Jenni struggled with the demands of working from home and looking after three teenage children, the youngest with autism and severe medical needs. She also faced financial struggles as first her husband lost his job, and shortly after she was laid off from her job as a Chief Marketing Officer. Jenni was forced to reassess her life, and her relationship with her mother, which had been strained for many years. Teenager, Kylie, was sad and frustrated at missing out on school, social events, sports activities, and major milestones, such as her driving test, which was cancelled several times during the pandemic. She was inadvertently caught up in the conflict between her mother and grandmother.

UnMasked is an honest and heartfelt novel by author Julie Cadman. This is a fictional novel, written in the first-person perspective, which alternates between the voices of the three women. The novel deals with some of the key challenges faced by ordinary people during the pandemic, including fear of catching the virus, vaccine hesitancy, loneliness, isolation and mental health issues, working from home, home-schooling, travel restrictions, and many more.  It also describes some of the benefits of lockdown, such as lie-ins, cooking together, and family time. I particularly enjoyed reading about the different experiences and perspectives of three strong female characters, each in a different boat in the same storm.  This is an engaging and insightful book, that will resonate with women and girls of all ages.

Star rating: 5 Stars

Summary: An honest and heartfelt novel, about a year in the life of three women during the Covid 19 pandemic.

Julie Cadman
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