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Dear Dorothy…

Dear Dorothy....I’ve just found out that a good friend of mine has been dealing with infertility and I don’t know what to say to her. Any advice?

– J

Hi J,

It can sometimes be really hard to find the right words in difficult situations! We desperately want our friends to know that we are feeling for them and don’t want to put our foot in it when we’re dealing with something so sensitive. I’ve found it best to just come out and say ‘I don’t know what to say, but I want you to know that I’m thinking of you, and I’m here for you’ as opposed to saying nothing.

I asked some of my readers who have been travelling along with infertility issues, and here’s some of what they’ve found helpful and not so helpful:

What not to say or do:

  • “Everything happens for a reason”
  • “Its all in Gods plan If its meant to be …”
  • “Just relax or take a holiday and it will happen”
  • “You aren’t going to try again are you ? You know you are in your 40’s! Think of the child – when they are a teenager you’ll be so old its embarrassing!!!”
  • “Perhaps you are too old!”
  • “Why are you putting yourself through that stress?”
  • “You are lucky you already have kids. Lots of people cant even have one.
  • “You are spending a lot of money on this. You could be spending this money on a holiday or doing this/that…”
  • “I just KNOW you’ll have children one day.”
  • “At least you know you can get pregnant” (after a miscarriage)
  • “Just do IVF. “
  • “Maybe it’s not meant to be…”

What to do and say:

  • “It’s a hard journey isn’t it…”
  • “You are so brave.”
  • “Well done for following your dream.”
  • “You are not alone.”
  • “Believe.”
  • “There is always hope.”
  •  Do some research on infertility and treatments, be interested in what your friends are going through.
  • Do keep inviting your friend to celebrations such as children’s birthday parties and baby showers. If they don’t feel up to coming, they’ll let you know, but they’ll feel grateful for being included.
  •  If you are pregnant, tell your friend in person and privately about your pregnancy, rather than in a group announcement. They will be happy for you but your announcement will bring up feelings of sadness about your friend’s situation. Allow them to process that in private.
  • Remember them on the tough days such as Christmas day and Mother’s and Father’s Day.

dorothy nada

Do you have a question you’d like to ask dorothy? E-mail them through to dorothynada01@gmail.com


Leigh-ann, the face behind dorothy nada, is a qualified counsellor with a background in individual teen, group, and family work specializing in addiction therapy. The advice and information given here is accurate to the best of my knowledge, but should not be taken in lieu of professional advice. I accept no responsibility for the actions of readers based on the advice given.

Review: First Lady. From Boyhood to Womanhood. Alison Mau

first lady

The blurb…

An honest, insightful, sometimes brutal but often hilarious account of Elizabeth Roberts, the first New Zealander to undergo full sex-change surgery. Her dramatic story tells of the often torturous transition from the boy Garry, to the woman Elizabeth, but the book is not just about the transsexual experience. It documents the life of a creative, talented and warm-hearted person who had the courage to simply be herself, against all odds. An inspiring tale of determination, dedication and resilience.

Written by Alison Mau

What I thought…

First Lady chronicles the life of Liz Roberts and her journey to become the person she always wanted to be. It’s not an easy ride – Liz works hard to get there! There are screeds of funny anecdotes, showing that Liz has a fantastic sense of humour and an amazing attitude. She is obviously very charismatic too, as people seem to warm to her and want to help her.

That’s not to say that she’s had an easy time of it – at many points, her story is heartbreaking, and Liz appears to deal with it all with a unique combination of determination, grace and humour.

I wrote about Caitlyn Jenner recently, talking a little about how accepted and supported her transition has been in comparison to others. Liz Roberts’ story is a valuable counterbalance to how ‘nice’ the reaction to Caitlyn’s transition has been – a realistic view into the struggle of a woman who has been there, done that, blazed that trail.

I gave ‘First Lady’ 7/10


(Book supplied by Upstart Press)

Review….The Last Kiss Goodbye. Tasmina Perry.

The Last Kiss Goodbye

The blurb…

A spellbinding tale of love, loss and long-buried secrets from the Sunday Times bestselling author. If you loved spending A Week in Paris with Rachel Hore or taking the Last Voyage of the Valentina with Santa Montefiore, you will adore this unforgettable novel.Everyone remembers their first kiss. But what about the last?

1961. Journalist Rosamund Bailey is ready to change the world. When she meets explorer and man about town Dominic Blake, she realises she has found the love of her life. Just as happiness is in their grasp, the worst happens, and their future is snatched away.

2014. Deep in the vaults of a museum, archivist Abby Morgan stumbles upon a breathtaking find. A faded photograph of a man saying goodbye to the woman he loves. Looking for a way to escape her own heartache, Abby becomes obsessed with the story, little realising that behind the image frozen in time lies a secret altogether more extraordinary.

The Last Kiss Goodbye by Sunday Times bestseller Tasmina Perry is an effortlessly charming addition to her roster of bestselling novels, including The Proposal, Kiss Heaven Goodbye and Daddy’s Girls. Lovers of Erica James, Lesley Pearse and Jane Green will adore Tasmina Perry.The Last Kiss Goodbye is a beautiful example of the new tone in Tasmina’s writing – the trademark storytelling magic is there, but there is also now a gentle, romantic and moving quality that will leave you brushing away a tear. The elegant, tender romance at the heart of this novel lingers long after you’ve finished reading.

What I thought…

I really enjoyed this book, right from the very first page. I loved that I didn’t have to work to get involved in the story, but that I was pulled in from the beginning.

The characters are sympathetic and easy to like, and there is a lovely storyline which moves along at a good pace.  Romantic, with a touch of mystery, The Last Kiss Goodbye was the perfect antidote to my previous read – the rather more gory ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’.

I loved the way this novel has given a sense of elderly characters with a rich and vibrant past and also a sense of possibility and future. So often, older characters are dealt with in a brisk manner, but there is an elegance and respect in Tasmina Perry’s handling of them.

Romance and intrigue, travel to exotic locations, spread over two time periods – it all adds up to a thoroughly enjoyable read. The ending is worthy of a cheesy rom-com movie, but I think there’s a place in all our hearts for happily ever after.

I gave The Last Kiss Goodbye 8/10


(Book supplied by Hachette NZ)

Review….Asking for It. Louise O’Neill

asking for itThe blurb:

It’s the beginning of the summer in a small town in Ireland. Emma O’Donovan is eighteen years old, beautiful, happy, confident.One night, there’s a party. Everyone is there. All eyes are on Emma.The next morning, she wakes on the front porch of her house. She can’t remember what happened, she doesn’t know how she got there. She doesn’t know why she’s in pain. But everyone else does. Photographs taken at the party show, in explicit detail, what happened to Emma that night. But sometimes people don’t want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns the town’s heroes . . .

A brave, bold and important novel about sexual consent, and betrayal, victim blaming and truth in the age of the smartphone.

What I thought…

This young adult novel is uncomfortable, but the era we are living in is also uncomfortable.

When read on its own, ‘Asking For It’ is confronting. I’ve read it in the context of our society. In recent times we’ve had the Broadcasting Standards Authority turning down a complaint of inappropriateness against a radio station after guests were required to show how far down a cucumber they could bite – a clear reference to oral sex. The BSA refused the complaint because the hosts were known for their humour. The same radio host posted a picture of a contestant of a dance competition with her crotch widely displayed  – again in the name of humour. We live in a society where women are viewed as sexual playthings, where degrading them for a laugh is acceptable and this all leads to a very dangerous mindset. And this is the world that our children are growing up in. Our boys will grow to see our girls as targets, and our girls are growing up to accept that image of themselves.

‘Asking For It’ shows us the impact of sexual assault on all who are involved – the victim, the accused and the friends and families. It’s pretty bleak to be honest.

In the afterward, Louise O’Neill writes

We need to talk about rape. We need to talk about consent. We need to talk about slut-shaming and the double-standards we place upon our young men and women.

This is an important book for young adults to read – both our young men and our young women and then we need to foster and facilitate discussions around it.

This is not a comfortable book to read. But read it. Share it. Talk about it.

I give ‘Asking For It’  9/10


(Book supplied by Hachette NZ)

Review. The Rugby Pantry.



The blurb…

After becoming firm ‘foodie friends’ during the 2012 All Blacks end-of-year tour, we launched ‘The Rugby Pantry’ Facebook page. It quickly evolved into a popular site, and The Rugby Pantry cookbook was born.

Home cooking doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming, but meals should have great flavour. Because we are busy wives, mothers, and business-women, we understand that most people have limited time to cook family meals. So our recipes are quick, easy, provide short-cuts and use everyday ingredients.

Our husbands (Israel Dagg and Victor Vito), who have demanding jobs and commanding appetites, have sampled all the recipes and given them the thumbs up. We’ve included a few of their favourites, some recipes passed down from our families and, of course, our own creations.

Amber & Daisy

What I thought…

I’ve followed Daisy and Amber on facebook for ever – I’ve loved their simple approach to good food and I was SUPER excited to be contacted to review their cookbook…not least because it meant that I’d be able to get my hands on a copy!

I love this book! It’s got its fill of classics (cheese and onion scones or afghans anyone?) and plenty of new recipes to try out too…I’m dying to try the sundried tomato salmon next time we’ve got friends around.

I think my favourite thing about the recipes in this book is that they are so achievable…I love in a small town and often I love recipes, but it’s just too hard to gather some of the more obscure ingredients. This book is different and I know that I’ll be referring to it time and time again.

I’m a big cookbook fan – a whole shelf in my pantry (and a fair amount of overflow) is dedicated to book after book, most of which don’t get looked at unless I’m hunting for something in particular, but I just know that ‘The Rugby Pantry’ is going to be sitting front and centre, and be used time after time!


I gave The Rugby Pantry 10/10

Find the girls here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/therugbypantry

Instagram: https://instagram.com/therugbypantry/

Web: http://therugbypantry.com/

Twitter: Amber: https://twitter.com/realrosy04  Daisy: https://twitter.com/aitken_daisy


(Book supplied by Upstart Press)

Mini Reviewers take on…..Thunderbirds Are Go

Thunderbirds are Go!

When disaster strikes, International Rescue answers the call! From a hidden island base in the South Pacific, the five Tracy brothers pilot remarkable, cutting-edge Thunderbird vehicles from the depths of the oceans to the highest reaches of space, all for one purpose: to help those in need

Thunderbirds are Go Crosscut

High radiation levels have been detected over southern Africa – and are rising dangerously fast. Can International Rescue find a way to stop the radiation leak and not get trapped in the treacherous mine? Find out in CROSSCUT, the first thrilling THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO adventure – with free removable pop-up Thunderbird 1

Thunderbirds are Go Sticker Activity book

Are you ready to test your knowledge in this THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO sticker activity book? From Sudoku and logic puzzles to a giant wordsearch and poster spread, this activity book is perfect for any International Rescue recruit. Intelligence and reasoning are at the centre of every rescue and this book will test yours with these brain-bending activities. So, if you think you have the skills to join the Tracy brothers then get your pens ready!Includes more than 50 stickers.

Thunderbirds are Go Official Guide

This official guide to THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO has all the information a new recruit needs. Learn all about the history, vehicles and daring rescues in this definitive guide to International Rescue.

My Mini Reviewers:

Our little panel of reviewers comprises the following:
Mr 7: an avid reader with an enormous imagination.

Miss 5: a beginner reader with a taste for the dramatic.

Mr 4: loves being read to – the sillier, the better.

In the interests of full disclosure, I feel it is necessary to advise that our panel of mini-reviewers are being paid for their time in chocolate. (To be fair, their mama works for less)

The result:

(marks on a scale of 1-10, 1 being the worst book we’ve ever read, 10 being the best)

Mr 4: Our littlest man is an engineer in the making. If he can take it apart and figure out how it all works, he’s a happy little dude. He LOVED the crosscut book – being able to cart around Thunderbird 1 was like a dream come true for him. He gave his book 10/10

Miss 5: Miss Priss is the girliest girl you could imagine – the pinker, the sparklier, the better. In saying that, she’s getting a good grounding in superheroes and spaceships between her two brothers and father, so she has an appreciation for what Thunderbirds stands for. Plus…stickers! She LOVES stickers. The activities in this book were a bit beyond her and probably suited to slightly older children, but she had fun looking through it all. She gave the sticker activity book 7/10

Mr 7: He LOVED the Official Guide! This child loves information, so soaking up the profiles of the Tracey brothers was right up his alley. And when Mr 4 and Miss 5 put their books down, he was right in there scooping them up. He gave the Official Guide 10/10

Mama’s opinion: We watched the new series of Thunderbirds Are Go when it screened on TV recently with the children and they were mesmerised by it. When the opportunity came up to review the books, I jumped on it! There’s something quite lovely about having my children watch a series  that I remember watching as a child, and it makes such a nice change from Spiderman and the Hulk. The books were great – probably more suited to Mr 7 than the other two, but they enjoyed them too. I wish I could have stashed them away until Christmas because they were a big hit in our house!


(Book supplied by Hachette NZ)