Monday, September 23, 2019

Book Review: Escape to Giddywell Grange

By Sara Steven

Maddy Young thought she had it all.

Swanky city apartment? – yep. Fancy car? sorted. High-flying career? – tick.

Even if she’s lost most of her friends because of spending all her time at work, and can’t remember when she last had fun, it’s worth it.

Until she’s suddenly made redundant. Now she’s 37, jobless, and after the breakup with the former love of her life, unhappily single.

Enter Maddy’s childhood friend, Beth, the owner of Growlers, the doggy daycare centre at Giddywell Grange, on a mission to make Maddy see there’s more to life than work.

Soon, Maddy is swapping spreadsheets for volunteer duty at the library, daily Starbucks for cups of tea with elderly neighbours, and her Prada handbag for doggy poo bags… And with Beth’s gorgeous brother, Alex, back from the States, Maddy starts to think that Giddywell Grange might just be her happy place.

But when her old life – and her old boyfriend - comes calling, will Maddy go back to the job she loved so much? Or will she discover that the key to happiness lies in making others happy?
(Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)

While in the middle of reading Escape to Giddywell Grange, my husband found me on my phone, scrolling. When he asked me what I was doing, I told him: “I’m looking up potential jobs, just to see what’s out there.” That’s what Maddy’s story did for me. It opened up this whole new world of striving for the things you’re most passionate about. So much so, I felt the urge to put the book down if even for a moment or two, to see what was out there for me!

But it wasn’t always like that for Maddy. So much of this novel focuses on the growth and change that comes with the curveballs life throws at us when we least expect it. For so long, she has defined herself by her career. When the career is over, what then? She’s put into various situations that are a stretch, a definitive way outside of her comfort zone. In doing so, she slowly discovers that she’s tapping into familiar veins of happiness that she’d shut down years ago, a characterization of who she thought she should be, vs. who she really is, deep down. So many of us can relate to that scenario. How many hobbies and interests have we stopped partaking in, because we just don’t have the time to do it? Or, how many times have we said, “Well, I could do that in my earlier years, but now that I’m older…” Those are the same blocks Maddy faces while trying to rediscover herself, and we’re with her, every step of the way.

During this personal quest, she runs into Alex, someone she’d had strong feelings for in her youth. Not to mention her ex comes back into the picture, too, only muddying the waters. One represents the past, the other her present. Who will be her future? I really like the way her relationships with both men are presented, an uncertainty that felt very real and very honest. She doesn’t know if she can ever go back, and we don’t know if she could, either.

In appreciating the dynamics of this non-traditional love story, I found that I really enjoyed the motivating message that is sprinkled all throughout Escape. It is never over. There is always time to dream and to aspire to the things we enjoy doing. That sometimes, it is worth stepping outside of our comfort zone, just to see what will be on the other side. I woke up this morning with a renewed sense of purpose, not only in who I eventually want to be when I “grow up”, but in allowing myself to be okay with that. This is my life’s journey, no one else’s, and Maddy helped to remind me of that. This was truly an inspiring five-star read!

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US *Amazon UK * Kobo * iBooks

Kim Nash lives in Staffordshire with son Ollie and English Setter Roni, is PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture and is a book blogger at Kim the Bookworm.

Kim won the Romantic Novelists Association's Media Star of the Year in 2016, which she still can't quite believe. She is now quite delighted to be a member of the RNA.

When she's not working or writing, Kim can be found walking her dog, reading, standing on the sidelines of a football pitch cheering on Ollie and binge watching box sets on the TV. She's also quite partial to a spa day and a gin and tonic (not at the same time!) Kim also runs a book club in Cannock, Staffs.

Amazing Grace was her debut novel with Hera Books and came out in April 2019.

Escape to Giddywell Grange is Kim's second novel and it was published on September 18th 2019.

Visit Kim online:
Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Visit the other stops on Kim's blog tour:

No comments: