Is there a cure for a broken heart?
Once upon a time, Ellen Woods had her ‘happily ever after’ moment when she married her beloved Nick. But fifteen years later her husband’s tragic death leaves her alone with their soon-to-become-a-teenager son and a mountain of debt.
On the verge of losing the family home Ellen decides to rent out some rooms, and all too soon a whole host of characters enter her ordered but fragile existence – each with their own messy life in tow. But will this be enough to pull her out of her grief so she can learn to live – and love – again?
A Home for Broken Hearts by Rowan Coleman is an entertaining novel that remains an easy read, despite centering around some quite serious subjects (all of which I won’t list so as to avoid any spoilers, but a main one being grief/ loss). As the reader you see Ellen’s awful heartache over losing her husband, and how this affects her interaction with her family and, most significantly, her relationship with Charlie, her son.
The characters were all quite convincing and I was rooting for some of them by the end. They each seemed to develop in their own way which I liked; Ellen came out of her shell and felt like she could start to live again whilst I definitely felt that Matt was a bit of a twat at the start of the story- I really didn’t warm to him at all but he did develop into a more likeable, mature character as the novel went on. Whether, in that space of time, he’d really go from a men’s (Zoo, FHM & Nuts style) magazine writer immersed in ‘lad’ culture to a mature, committed man is debatable, but for the purposes of the book it’s quite nice to read about, and I do enjoy
Don’t worry- I haven’t given anything away that you won’t guess pretty early on, or that you can’t see form the synopsis! It’s obvious from the beginning that certain characters are going to go through big changes, and it’s pretty obvious how, as well. It was certainly quite predictable- I saw one significant twist coming a mile off, and I knew from pretty much the start of the book how Matt was going to fit into the story. This is kind of typical of the ‘chick-lit’ genre though, so I expected to guess what was going to happen. The fun bit is reading how, and though there were plenty of cliches, Rowan Coleman never made the story too cheesey, which I was really pleased about.
The passages from the romantic novel which Allegra was writing were quite entertaining, and an amusing sidestep from the main story, though it all became interlinked at the end anyway. I don’t tend to read a lot of proper Mills & Boon style romances, but those kind of storylines can often carry you away into another world so effectively!
I felt that this was an enjoyable chick-lit novel which is unlikely to surprise the reader, but will nevertheless entertain them as they read- and to me, that’s the main criteria. It wasn’t right up there as the best I’ve read from this genre, but it’s worth a read if you like a pleasant, easy chick-lit read.
Many thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this novel in return for an honest review.