Today is my stop on the blog tour for "Miller Street SW22" by author Jude Hayland, a RandomThingsTour. For my stop I have my review, enjoy.
About the author
Jude Hayland started her writing career as a commercial short story writer for women’s magazines. After over 25 years of being published widely both in the UK and internationally, she graduated with an M.A. in Creative Writing and switched to full length fiction. She has now written 3 novels and is working on her fourth.
Born in London, she now lives in Winchester although also spends a lot of time at a family house in a village in North West Crete. She is the proud mother of one adult son and, in addition to writing, blogging, tutoring and reading, is attempting to learn to speak Modern Greek.
Out to by now from Amazon tree book and ebook.
Miller Street SW22 by Jude Hayland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - in and out over 3 days
Pages - 352
Publisher - Matador
Source - Review copy
Blurb from the back cover
Autumn 2005 and the residents of Miller Street in south west London are planning a centenary party for the following summer.
Among them, new arrivals to the street, neighbours in a large Edwardian house converted into flats. Cautious friendships develop. For three of them, however, what is shared about their past lives is limited. Guilt, regret and even blatant subterfuge lie too deep, veiling essential truths.
As the seasons pass and the day of the street party grows nearer, events begin to conspire and surprise so that ultimately the past is revealed as beguiling and more capricious than any of them could predict.
A story about the complexities of love and loss, MILLER STREET SW22 also shows the power of hope and the possibility of change and redemption.
This came along, for me, at the perfect time. I just wanted a wee break from reality and what is nicer than slipping into someone elses. Miller Street SW22 sees new residents move in and they are very different people. Frances Charter appears to be quite intrusive, organised and the driving force in grouping the neighbours and getting to know everything. Sam and Lydia, husband and wife dealing with Lydia's health condition and their new reality. Violet, the youngster and wildcard who actually helps us see the softer caring side of on the other characters. Finally there is Catherine who has moved after a bereavement and still coming to terms with life as it is with only her job to keep her focused.
The characters are very different, I really wasn't a fan of Frances to begin with, pushy, overbearing, controlling, nosey however as the book goes on we learn a bit more about her and her circumstances that led her to Miller Street. I understood her a bit better and whilst I didn't love her I did feel for her. Each of the characters have something from their past impacting on their future, feelings, regrets, loss and now they are trying to come to terms with it.
The story is about relationships, personal growth, love and a bunch of randoms brought together by their new home and the arranging of the centenary party. Hayland does a good job of creating very different characters yet still the reader can relate to them, once you get to know them. It is a genteel tale that allows the reader to step into the lives of others and escape your own for a wee while. This was my first time reading this author, I would read her again and will have a look out for her previous offerings, 4/5 for me this time.