Thursday, 20 April 2017

Book Review - The Woman at Number 24 by Juliet Ashton

Amazon UK
Title: The Woman at Number 24
Author: Juliet Ashton
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 
Publication Date: 20th April 2017
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Meet the residents of number 24 in the warm, witty and wonderful new novel from bestselling author Juliet Ashton.

When your marriage falls apart, the last place you'd want your husband to move to is downstairs. Unfortunately for Sarah, up in the eaves at number 24, her ex-husband now lives one floor beneath her with his new wife. Their happiness floats up through the floorboards, taunting her.

A child psychologist, Sarah has picked up great sadness from the little girl, Una, who lives with her careworn mother three floors below, but is Sarah emotionally equipped to reach out?

The Spring brings a new couple to the house. Jane and Tom's zest for life revives the flagging spirits, and Sarah can't deny the instant attraction to handsome Tom. Having seen at first hand what infidelity does to people, she'll never act on it ... but the air fizzes with potential.

The sunshine doesn't reach every corner of number 24, however. Elderly Mavis, tucked away in the basement, has kept the world at bay for decades. She's about to find out that she can't hide forever.

In Notting Hill, there is a rather special property, its not obvious from the outside, put for the people at number 24 it is home. And over the course of The Woman at Number 24, you will get to know all the residents in this house, see how they all interact, and perhaps even become more than just causal acquaintances. 

Meets the characters of number 24. 

At the top of the building is Sarah, she is trying to recover from discovering her husband having an affair, their divorce, and then a couple of weeks after the ink is dry on the decree, the wedding of him to the mistress. 

Oh and this ex-es name is Leo and he lives downstairs in the next flat down,  with his new wife, however there are times where you have to wonder about his and Sarah's interactions, given Leo doesn't come across as a particularly faithful man! 

Then there are the Boyces, Jane and Tom who have moved into their new flat, after Lewis (Sarah's former best friend) had moved out. Sarah is attracted to Tom but knows she can't act on it, and makes a firm new friend in Jane. 

Then there is Lisa and daughter Una. Una is currently going through a period of selective mutism, but whether Sarah, a child psychologist, but suffering with confidence crisis at work, will offer to help out Una, is an initial question. 

Finally the last main resident, and important character is Mavis, who lives in the basement flat. She is an older woman, who seems to be in a permanently bad mood, and seems to complain about everything. However she is also one of the most interesting characters, and as the story progressed I loved seeing her fledgling friendship with Sarah emerge. 

Oh and there are two rather cool pets in this property, Peck a foul mouthed Parrot who is quite amusing and Mikey who if you are anything like me will fall for on the first meeting. 

The focus of the book is on Sarah, and its her life we are following, as she renovates her flat and prepares to move out in a few months time, as living about her ex isn't the best plan. Nothing it seems in her life is that simple, and there are so many moments I loved, not least her reaction to a piece of information that the hints were there for, relating to Tom and Jane. 

I was loving the book as I was reading it, and finding myself frustrated that while reading in my lunch breaks that I couldn't just sit back and continue, instead of working for the rest of the day. My thoughts for two afternoons were definitely with Sarah and her friends, especially after some twists I wasn't expecting, which added a whole new dimension to the book. 

The Woman at Number 24 is a thoroughly enjoyable story of friendships and of building a community within a building.

Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

1 comment:

  1. I've been eyeing this one up, so really glad to see you liked it (pops in basket)


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