Rating: 4 out of 5.

This no-holds-barred memoir features a roller-coaster of emotions, but like the author is a touch of sunshine in a sometimes very dark world. You will absolutely find something beautiful in this story of overcoming the most horrible odds.

About the Book

What do you do when your life changes overnight?

With two children under six, Abi Shaw got to find out. When an unexpected blot on the landscape altered things forever, she began a new adventure; one of brave faces, leaps of faith, and most importantly, love.

No Matter Where is Abi’s story of facing death, divorce and dating again….and again. It’s an honest account of a life unimagined, where starting over means writing a new chapter, and in her case, a whole new book! A book filled with hope, release, intimacy, ecstasy and of finding your home…no matter where.

‘Until you spread your wings, you have no idea how far you can fly.’

Abi Shaw is an eternal optimist. She is first and foremost a mother to her two mini-adventurers. As a trio, they have ventured from the Midlands to the Cote D’Azur, from Cornwall to Bali – building their home from love and laughter instead of bricks and mortar. Her love of people and appetite for life has remained constant through the inevitable changing tides of life. As a passionate woman, ‘to settle’ is not an infinitive she prescribes to and so welcomes the surprises this predictably invites. Although pragmatic, she ensures these new chapters always have hints of elegance and glamour. Even in the most challenging of times.

As the wise ones say, pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. ‘To love’ is her infinitive. ‘To love’ is Abi Shaw.

My Thoughts

This is an incredibly vulnerable, but uplifting memoir about a woman who has gone through incredible difficulty and come out better on the other side. Faced with a cancer diagnosis and divorce at the same time, Abi Shaw became a single mother at the worst time in life. But she is still one of the most optimistic, insightful, and happy people I’ve ever encountered. Most people can find some type of healing and solace in this book, whether they’ve experienced similar trauma and hardship or completely different ones.

I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the author’s time in Bali and her children’s experience in the Green School. I wish more countries would adopt school systems like this and shun the cookie cutter, test-focused educational systems we have in Western societies. Unfortunately, I doubt that will happen anytime soon. So I’ll have to stick with homeschooling my little gal. I appreciated the messaging and lessons Shaw and her family learned in Bali and thank her for sharing them with her. I am still intrigued and wish we knew what her daughter told her to get her to go, but I respect her privacy. Part of me wants to ask if she could PM me if I promise not to tell? Just kidding. Probably.

I will admit, I was a little less thrilled to read about her sensual experiences, but I tend to be a little less open in this way. But I am glad that she felt comfortable sharing her sensuality, and know that many people will enjoy her stories. I especially am glad she was able to open up in this way after her marriage failed. Many people are not.

The pictures throughout the book were quite a treat, as were the personal emails the author shared. I am so glad the author and Love Books Tours included me on this tour. If you’re looking for a unique, uplifting read, definitely give this one a go.

Who’s It For?

Anyone looking for an uplifting, healing read will find something to love about this book. The personal stories, the beautiful pictures, the travel tales, or the various alternative health tips offer something for most people. But this is not a book for children because it covers several very adult topics.

Content Warnings: Adult Situations, Adult Themes, Cancer, Divorce, Alternative Health Treatments, Covid, Alcoholism/Alcohol Abuse

About the Author

Abi Shaw is a lover of life and adventure, who has lived and worked in Monaco, the South of France and Bali over the last 20 years. A jack of all trades, she has turned her hand to all sorts from sales in the Super Yacht Industry to importing tea, from million-pound property renovation to hosting retreats. Being a mum is by far her greatest achievement. “No Matter Where” is her first book.

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