Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Book Review - The Forever House by Veronica Henry

Amazon UK
Title: The Forever House
Author: Veronica Henry
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 18th May 2017 
Rating: 5 Stars

Would you know your forever house if you found it?

Hunter's Moon is the ultimate 'forever' house. Nestled by a river in the Peasebrook valley, it has been the Willoughbys' home for over fifty years, and now estate agent Belinda Baxter is determined to find the perfect family to live there. But the sale of the house unlocks decades of family secrets - and brings Belinda face to face with her own troubled past.

Well everyone is looking for their forever home, some are luckier than others in that they are already living in it, others have to face the heartbreaking decision to move away from their perfect home, for all manner of reasons. 

And that is exactly what is happening with Hunter's Moon, a gorgeous property in Peasebrook. Sally and Alexander need to downsize and sell up, for a very good reason, but they have been very happy in the property for over 50 years. 

As we watch them explain to family why they are selling, we also see them reminisce over their first meeting, and Sally's arrival at Hunter's Moon and the first few months with the Willoughby family. I often have issues with sections of the books being written purely in the past, but in this case, I was so wrapped up in Alex and Sally's story, that I forgot it was the late 1960s, and just wanted to know how things worked out. 

Obviously as with every house sale, you need an estate agent, and Belinda Baxter is the one in charge of finding Hunter's Moon its new forever owners. I loved her philosophy towards selling houses, and frankly wish she was in charge of my current house move!  Belinda hasn't had the easiest of pasts, so watch out for her past and present colliding in a couple of ways during the book. 

One of the many things I loved about The Forever House was the setting of Peasebrook, which has featured in Veronica Henry's books in the past, and I also spotted nods to at least two other of her books with mentions of places or buildings. I suspect there may have been minor cameos from previous works but I can't quite put my finger on them. 

I thoroughly enjoyed everything that I read about the entirety of the Willoughby family, both past and present, all 3 generations of them that are present in the book, from Alex's mother Margot, to his sisters, to his children with Sally, Leo and Jess.  We only really met Leo, and he is a lovely young man, that is determined to help his parents as much as possible. 

The Forever House is an incredibly good book, for what appears to be central to the story, a house and an estate agent, neither of which are my favourite topics currently, being 3 months into the stress of a house move myself! Regardless I was hooked on the story, and fascinated by Sally and Alexander when they were younger. I also really enjoyed Belinda's story, which posed a few surprises itself. 

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Orion for this copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

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