Rachael Johns is a critically acclaimed, award-winning author from Western Australia, known for several women's fiction novels including Just One Wish, Lost Without You and The Patterson Girls. She is famed for her mastery of the craft of telling women's stories, and Flying The Nest is once again testament to that.
It is a story told from the perspective of a Perth woman, Ashling King, a 39-year-old stay-at-home mother-of-two. That's how she sees herself, anyway; through the prism of her marriage and motherhood.
But preparing snacks for her kids one day, her husband casually announces he would like a separation. It's like a bucket of ice-cold, piercing water has unceremoniously been poured onto her.
Really? Our marriage is to end... just-like-that?
On the cusp of 40, she is seemingly collateral damage in her husband's mid-life crisis. In mere moments, Ash is forced to reassess everything she understood about her own life, her identity, and, yes, her very existence.
Adrian, her husband, would like to adopt 'bird's nest parenting' - when the kids stay in one home and the separated parents take turns living in that home, alternating between there and a second home. The idea is to stop the children from becoming frisbees in a new family set-up and essentially keeping the focus on the wellbeing of the children.
Sure, it sounds amicable. But Ash doesn't want this. The child of divorced parents herself, this was never - ever - part of Ash’s life plans. But there's also not much she can do about it. Her husband has, apparently, made up his mind.
And just like a bucket of cold water being poured over your head, it provides her the fresh start she never knew she needed.