Monday, 27 July 2015

Book Review - Home Comforts by Ali Chrisp

Amazon UK
Title: Home Comforts
Author: Ali Chrisp
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Publisher supplied review copy
Publisher: Corazon Books
Publication Date: 24th May 2015
Rating: 3.5 Stars

A laugh-out-loud comedy about families, friendship and romance. The perfect feel-good summer holiday read. 

Jo Longford's life takes an unexpected turn when her bosses wrongly accuse her of stealing from a client. Suddenly, she needs to find a new job and a new home for herself and ten-year-old son, Tom. Not to mention their small menagerie of badly behaved pets. 

Her selfish mum isn't much help; obsessed with keeping up appearances, nothing her daughter does is ever good enough for her. But at least Jo can rely on best friend Val for support. They've been getting themselves into mischief since they were teenagers, and that includes an eventful school reunion and joining a cringeworthy dating agency. Some things never change! 

Life certainly doesn’t get any easier for Jo. Will she be able to fend off her sex-mad landlord – a retired businessman who struts around in Lycra and thinks he’s God’s gift to women? Are her new employer and quirky clients at the Handy Jobs Domiciliary Care Agency all they seem? 

And will Jo ever be able to sort out her chaotic love life when two equally unsuitable men gatecrash her world? 

I really am in two minds about this book. The first half or more of it, I found to drag quite a bit, the scenes that were clearly meant to be funny, I just wasn't laughing at, and I was finding the writing style to be a bit simplistic in places. However as the book progressed I was finding myself enjoying it a lot more and the last fifth I didn't want to put down. 

Home Comforts is clearly a good debut novel, it certainly has moments that shine, and the cast of characters were highly amusing, I just felt it was missing that spark, that would have turned it from a good book into a fabulous book. I'm not even convinced there is anything wrong at all with it, it just didn't hit all the right notes with me. 

 I did enjoy reading about Jo's attempt to turn the bad situation of being accused of stealing and losing her job, around to end up with starting her own business, Home Comforts. As a single mother, trying to look after Tom, enjoy nights out with her best friend, attract the attention of the first man she has fancied for years (despite not being sure if he plays for the right team!), and the possible reintroduction of an ex, it is a topsy turvy time for Jo, and she endures is brilliantly. 

Tom is a wonderful young man, wise beyond his 10 years, and a real asset to his mother Jo, although I was a bit surprised the issue of who is father was, didn't come up. Doreen Jo's mother was hard to like, possibly due to a lot of her old fashioned views. Jo's best friend Val is a tonic, as is Jo's new landlord, who is a complete "character" and very entertaining. 

There are a lot of funny scenes, but I found them slightly lacking, or at least they weren't making me giggle. Home Comforts has a lot of positive points to it, and it does have a lovely finale.

Thank you so much to Ian at Corazon Books for offering me this review copy. All opinions in this review are my own and honest. 

In case you missed it, a month ago, Ali Chrisp the author of Home Comforts wrote a lovely guest post for us called "It's Like Riding A Bike". Make sure to check it out. 

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