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'We're both quite headstrong'

Melissa Hill is a novelist (her latest book is The Truth About You) and has recently become a mum for the first time. Her own mum, Nell Fitzgerald, has two other daughters, Amanda and Sharon. We caught up with Melissa and Nell to talk about their mother-daughter relationship.

Melissa

"Mum is a real softie; she will do anything for you. I've just had my first child and it's been lovely to have her around to give me advice. She really loves children and was a childminder for many years.

"Mum instilled in me that I shouldn't be afraid to achieve things and you can do anything in this life if you work for it.

"One memory of my mum that stands out for me is when she had cancer nine years ago. Thankfully, she is fine now. Even through having all the chemo and radiotherapy, Mum always held her head high. I was due to get married the year that happened but we postponed it for a year and a half, and it was really lovely to get married after we knew Mum had been given the all-clear.

"We locked horns quite a bit when I was a teenager and I rebelled a bit. Our relationship has grown and evolved and I think I appreciate Mum even more."

Nell

"When I was in hospital after Melissa was born, the nurse used to bring her over to me and would say, 'Here's bright eyes'. She had the brightest blue eyes and the name has stuck a bit. Whenever we hear the song, we think of Melissa.

"Melissa is very honest. If she has something to say, she will say it to you straight. When she was a little girl, Melissa was very quiet and she would always have her head in a book. I used to worry that she was really going into her own world, but she did start to socialise more as she got older.

"From the ages of 18 to 21, Melissa and I couldn't really agree on anything. We're probably both quite headstrong.

"Melissa is very positive and she was a great support when I was sick.

"Since she has become a mother, I can't believe she's the same Melissa. She's such a good mother and is very calming with Carrie."

Next week: Newsreader Elaine Crowley and her mum Mary


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