Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Book Review: The House of New Beginnings

By Becky Gulc

‘Number 11, Dukes Square, looks just like the other houses on the Brighton seafront: a Regency terrace with elegant sash windows, a winding staircase, and post piled up in the hall for its tenants. It might be part of the city's history, but it's also a place of brand new beginnings.

Georgie has followed her childhood sweetheart to Brighton but is determined to carve out a career for herself in journalism. Throwing herself into the city's delights is fun and exciting, but before she knows it, she's sliding into all kinds of trouble . . .

Charlotte's in the city for a new start, hoping to keep her head down and somehow get over the heartbreaking loss she's suffered in the past. But Margot, the stylish old lady on the top floor, has other ideas. Like it or not, Charlotte must confront the outside world, and the possibilities it still holds.

A terrible revelation sent Rosa running from London to start again as a sous chef. The work is gruelling and thankless but it's a distraction at least . . . until she comes up against the stroppy teenager next door who challenges her on her lifestyle choices. What if Rosa's passion for food could lead her to more interesting places?

As the three tenants find each other, it's as if a whole new chapter of their lives has begun’ (Courtesy of Pan Macmillan.)

Lucy Diamond has written some fantastic novels with The Beach Café being one of my favourite books in this genre in recent years. I was very happy to have to the opportunity to receive an early copy of her upcoming novel, The House of New Beginnings, for review. After looking at the cover and synopsis, memories returned of some fantastic novels I’d read by other authors which explore the lives of different tenants (Marian Keyes and Lisa Jewell, to name two) and I hoped this novel would be equally as enjoyable.

It didn’t disappoint. It may only be January but I loved this book so much I just know it’s going to end up as one of my favourites of 2017. I found this novel to be uplifting, charming, moving, and thought-provoking.

Anyone who has lived in a shared house or building will know how easy it can be to shut your own door and never really get to know the neighbours despite your proximity. And behind every door is a different story, a different history. In this novel, we explore Charlotte, Georgie and Rosa’s stories. I loved every character equally so the narrative switching between the three tenants worked for me. They were the perfect mix of characters for the novel. There was sadness, resentment, but also lust for life in these characters, and I loved how they came together. There are also several other engaging characters (including other tenants) that play important roles in the novel and help Charlotte and Rosa to break the monotony of their quite isolated lives.

I particularly enjoyed the character of Georgie and her adventures trying out and reporting back on local events. There were some definite laugh-out-loud moments. The elderly tenant whom Charlotte befriends is also just amazing and I was very moved by their intertwining stories.

A fantastic novel for 2017, I couldn’t put it down.

Thanks to Pan Macmillan for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Lucy Diamond:

1 comment:

Janine said...

This book sounds really good. Thanks for the recommendation and review!