Thanks to Gallery Books for letting me be a part of this blog tour.
About the Book
THE DOOR IS OPEN . . .
For young widow Ellen Wood, her Victorian home is a refuge—a place to feel safe with her eleven-year-old son, Charlie. But when money grows so tight that Ellen could lose the house, her sister, Hannah, makes a radical suggestion . . . rent out some of the rooms. Soon Ellen has three lodgers: Sabine, a German coworker of Hannah's, recently separated from her husband; Allegra, an eccentric but wise novelist; and Matt, an up-and-coming young journalist in search of his voice, who has just landed a plum job in London.
Ellen thinks three strangers are the last complication she needs, but they make her realize just how isolated she has become. Their presence exposes a secret she's been keeping hidden, as well as a conflict with her sister that is both shocking and revealing. And while a love affair with a younger man seems like a fantasy powered by her imagination, Ellen can't deny her deep connection to Matt, or the changes he inspires in her and her relationship with Charlie. Outside her home's sheltering walls lies a world of opportunity as well as danger. Now that she's had the courage to open the door, does Ellen dare step through?
Witty, moving, and deeply insightful, The Home for Broken Hearts celebrates everything that makes life worth living, from an author who knows just how to speak to the heart.
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I sometimes find it hard to get into books about England because even though they are written in English the slang and differences in language make it difficult for me to fully grasp what the characters are saying. While I did experience a bit of that with this book for the most part it was pretty easy for me to pick up on. I'm finding that the more I read from English authors, the easier the language differences are to decipher. Having said that I really thought this was a great book.
The whole premise of the book is that Ellen's life is ripped apart by the death of her husband and she is trying to rebuild. What ensues in that rebuilding is a great story of family and friendship. The relationship that Ellen has with her young son and her sister are already strained and the fact that a year after Ellen's husband's death she is still not sure on how to "recover" make the relationships even more strained. Then the lodgers come into the story and everything Ellen has thought about her life, her future, her ability to cope are turned upside down.
The characters are very well developed. I really liked Ellen, she needs some work, but who doesn't... And given that her husband was her life she's very lost. She comes off as being meek and weak-willed, but as the story gets going she finds her strength and her ability to live a life without her husband.
I really liked the writing. It was humorous at times, not poking fun at the situation, but humorous none the less. It was also very emotional. Understanding what emotions Ellen is feeling is almost painful at times. I could feel the grief she was dealing with. Although the main plot was a bit predictable there were more than enough twists thrown in to make the story really stand out.
I think I'm going to have to pick up some of Coleman's other novels. And I have to say that as I'm writing this I'm thinking of ways that the story could continue into a series with all these characters. It was truly an engaging story.
The Home for Broken Hearts