Saturday, 3 September 2016

Book Review - A Home For Broken Hearts by Rowan Coleman - Back Catalogue Books

Back Catalogue Books is my new regular Saturday feature, focusing on books that are not the latest releases. There is going to be a mix of Q&As and also reviews, depending on what I have the space for. 

If you are an author wanting to take part in Back Catalogue Books then please do email on gilbster at gmail dot com and I'll whizz the questions over to you. 

I hope everyone enjoys this weekly look back at some of the slightly older books that are about but still great, and that I eventually make a dent in my TBRs as a result of it! 

So today I have a review of A Home For Broken Hearts that was originally released under a different title, and has been re-branded in the last year. 

Amazon UK
Title: A Home For Broken Hearts
Author: Rowan Coleman
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Ebury
Publication Date: 28th August 2014
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Is there a cure for a broken heart?

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?

Rowan Coleman manages to get the right mix between heavy emotions, some big issues, romance, comedy and all round fabulous writing in A Home For Broken Hearts. 

Ellen had the "perfect" marriage, when her husband Nick suddenly dies. A year later, Ellen is still coming to terms with everything. She then discovers the financial mess he left her in, and its suggested that she should take in some lodgers, so that the house can pay for itself. 

With the lodgers in place the house feels more alive yet Ellen is still struggling to cope. However everyone is trying their hardest to help. 

From time to time the focus shifts to Matt, who is working for a lads mag, and moves into Ellen's as its near the job. He initially provides fantastic comic relief with his cheesy pick up lines, and typical man about town ways, but slowly his true depths emerge and I found myself liking him more and more. 

Charlie, Ellen's nearly 12 year old son, is written brilliantly, he is the best mix between scared young boy, boy trying to become a teenager, and also concerned about his mum young man. Some of the statements he comes out with regarding sex are a mix of perceptive and innocence, and I just wanted to hug him. He is though a rather smart child  and when the hormones aren't raging was very perceptive and great to read about. 

And then there is Hannah, Ellen's sister who since Nick's death has been in their lives a lot more, but Ellen isn't really too keen, as they don't usually see eye to eye. 

As I have mentioned there are some big themes being explored in the book, that although they include key characteristics for a few characters and really do shape them, they don't overwhelm the story. They are though tackled head on, and sensitively handled. 

I really enjoyed reading A Home For Broken Hearts and at times found it almost impossible to put down. The story is immersive and I really wanted the best for all the characters. I am still wondering what happened to them after the book ends, which can only be the sign of a well written cast. 

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Ebury for this review copy. This was my honest opinion.  

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