My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - dipped in and out over 3 days
Pages - 381
Publisher - Ebury Press
Source - Book shop
Once upon a time, Ellen Woods had her 'happily ever after' moment when she married her beloved Nick. But fifteen years later her husband's tragic death leaves her alone with their soon-to-become-a-teenager son and a mountain of debt.
On the verge of losing the family home Ellen decides to rent out some rooms, and all too soon a whole host of characters enter her ordered but fragile existence – each with their own messy life in tow. But will this be enough to pull her out of her grief so she can learn to live – and love – again?
Ellen's whole world is turned upside down when her husband Nick dies, leaving her and her young son Charlie to pick up the pieces. The bills are rolling in when Ellen's sister Hannah comes up with a plan, rent out the rooms of the house. Soon Ellen has there lodgers, Sabine who has left her husband, Matt is beautiful, young and a Lothario and writes about his exploits for a male audience. Lastly one of Ellen's all time favourite authors, Allegra is in need of somewhere to stay and Ellen's services with her newest book. But Ellen soon finds that bringing strangers into her home is bringing them into her life and to move to the future we need to address our past.
There is so much going on in this wee book and so many issues and emotions covered. Matt is a playboy, it works with his job and he is a bit of an empty vase, pretty to look at it, hollow inside. However, coming into the domesticity of Ellen's home he sees there is more to life than "kiss and tell". Charlie is trying to look after his mum whilst dealing with growing up and the loss of his father. Ellen is now a and lady, still a grieving widow, lost in a sea of emotions and problems she wasn't even aware of. Allegra is a bit of a spoiled madam, set in her ways, popular author and very good at what she does, however even she comes into her own in the brief glimpses she is in the book. We also get to read some of her new book, in italics so you know it isn't the main story, of a heroine in peril at cruel men with one track minds.
Despite it being a busy book it is very easy to follow, life lessons aplenty without being preachy or in your face. The characters are easily to get into and despite having this author on my tbrm for a long time this is my first dance with her. 3.5 stars for me this time, she has a lovely writing style that invites the reader in and you can easily loose yourself in it for a few hours.