Book Reviews

The Lavender House by Hilary Boyd

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List Price: £7.99


Paperback: 432 Pages.

Published: 09 February 2017 by Quercus

ISBN: 1784294144

EAN: 9781784294144

Nancy de Freitas is the glue that holds her family together. Caught between her ageing, ailing mother Frances, and her struggling daughter Louise, frequent user of Nancy's babysitting services, it seems Nancy's fate is to quietly go on shouldering the burden of responsibility for all four generations. Her divorce four years ago put paid to any thoughts of a partner to share her later years with. Now it looks like her family is all she has.

Then she meets Jim. Smoker, drinker, unsuccessful country singer and wearer of cowboy boots, he should be completely unsuited to the very together Nancy. And yet, there is a real spark.

But Nancy's family don't trust Jim one bit. They're convinced he'll break her heart, maybe run off with her money - he certainly distracts her from her family responsibilities.

Can she be brave enough to follow her heart? Or will she remain glued to her family's side and walk away from one last chance for love?


3.0 Stars3.0 Stars3.0 Stars  by Anne

Torn between the needs of two generations

Many women of a certain age will understand the position of Nancy in this book. She is divorced and has had her confidence eroded by family issues. Her mother is demanding but uncooperative. Her daughter has problems and is very needy. Nancy is lonely but when she meets Jim who is a singer she thinks that she has now found something for herself. Of course, it isn't as easy as that.

The plot of this book was fine and the issues that both Jim and Nancy feel seemed real to me. The problem is that Nancy is too much of a doormat at the beginning of the book and that neither Frances not Louise are sympathetic enough for us to understand why she devotes so much of her emotional energy and time to them - in fact, they would both have benefited had she walked away earlier. I know that Nancy changes during the book but my opinion of her was formed in the earlier pages so I never really warmed to her. I also found Jim a bit of a weak character.

This isn't a bad novel at all but when I read a family story I need to identify, or at least sympathise, with the main character and in this novel I didn't. I received an advance copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley

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