Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the advance copy I received in return for my honest review.
This is a heartwarming, for the most part quite predictable, but extremely enjoyable read. Mel Sherratt, who usually writes gritty crime fiction, is writing in this completely different genre under the nom de plume of Marcie Steele.
Lily, Kate and Chloe have each reached a crossroads in their lives. The elderly Lily misses her husband Bernard, and wonders if she can re-open their tea-room as a coffee shop to give herself a new lease on life. Kate and her husband Nick have separated after months of realising their 10-year marriage isn’t quite what it used to be. Chloe has finished her final school exams and is ready to take her first steps into the ‘real’ world. But should she listen to her steadfast dad who insists she go to university, or should she follow her own path … one which she hasn’t quite mapped out yet?
As it goes in the world of fiction, these three meet and become unlikely friends, forming a close bond. And that really is the heart of this book. Despite the fact that I kept wishing that people in ‘real life’ were at least half as lovely as the ones I was reading about, the author has created characters who have very real flaws and failings. They make mistakes, misunderstand things, blame the wrong people, get angry and march off in dramatic huffs (I know people who do this … often!). They are individuals who it is very easy to relate to, which is what makes this book such an enjoyable and easy one to read.
It’s a sensitive, accurate look at relationships – how we view our existing relationships and how we’re sometimes forced to re-assess these, often in unfortunate circumstances. It also looks at the nurturing of blossoming relationships, both friendships and romantic liaisons and our attitudes towards these depending on the age and stage of life we may be at.
Well-constructed, as the story seamlessly flows between the perspectives of our three main characters, this is the type of book that will give you a feeling of warmth and comfort that you’ll want to wrap yourself in, like a warm blanket.