Make Do and Mend a Broken Heart by Katey Lovell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - in and out over 2 days
Pages - 298
Publisher - Quercus
Source - ARC
Blurb from Goodreads
When you know how, you can make anything from scratch, including a new life after love...
When Leanne and Richard bought a dilapidated old seaside cottage to renovate together as their forever home, their future was full of hope and promise.
But heartbreak was just around the corner: fast forward a few months and Richard is gone. With his death, Leanne finds herself stony broke, faced with an uninhabitable home and lacking even the basic skills to do it up herself.
With the help of the friendly woman who runs the library and the reluctant assistance of the man who works in the local hardware shop, the cottage is lovingly restored. But broken hearts aren't so easy to fix... are they?
Leanne and Richard buy an old run down cottage by the sea to move into and do up, in a small town. Everything is planned, they are happy and full of love and ideas for this wee house that is a bit of a wreck. When everything falls apart and Leanne sticks to the plan she heads to the small town to tackle the house herself. Alone, bereft, grieving and realising just how big a job it is Leanne pushes on to fulfill the dream. Some of the towns people are much more accommodating and friendly than others. As Leanne takes on the mamoth task she also has to battle the financial issues, establishing herself within the community and coping being so far from everyone and everything she knows and loves.
Aw God love her, you can just see it, knowing no one - the impact of it all just hitting you. And the home you had so much ideas for, with two of you tackling it, you are now just one person. Pals and family are a sea away, money struggles, loneliness and the huge task of restoration of an almost unlivable house.
The initial few chapters took me a wee bit to settle into as you don't know what happened exactly and it is just Leanne trying to get to terms with all that is ahead. But as we start to get to know the community I really started to like it. Some of the townspeople you just wanted to hug, stepping in when needed but also the not so nice and standoffish ones, true to a wee town with strangers.
Friendship, love, loss, grief a huge focus on a journey of recovery and self discovery, we watch Leanne grow and heal with a little help from old friends and new. This was my first time reading this author and it was the perfect genre switch I needed, 4/5 for me this time.