Where We Belong by @Anstey_Harris #review

Where We Belong by Anstey Harris

Title: Where We Belong
Author: Anstey Harris
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

[Synopsis]

One summer.
One house.
One family learning to love again.

Cate Morris and her son, Leo, are homeless, adrift. They’ve packed up the boxes from their London home, said goodbye to friends and colleagues, and now they are on their way to ‘Hatters Museum of the Wide Wide World – to stay just for the summer. Cate doesn’t want to be there, in Richard’s family home without Richard to guide her any more. And she knows for sure that Araminta, the retainer of the collection of dusty objects and stuffed animals, has taken against them. But they have nowhere else to go. They have to make the best of it.

But Richard hasn’t told Cate the truth about his family’s history. And something about the house starts to work its way under her skin.

Can she really walk away, once she knows the truth?

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[My review]

Where We Belong is a beautifully written, thoughtful book about a woman and her son trying to create a new life after some truly harrowing experiences. Cate’s husband, Richard, killed himself four years ago and since then her and her son Leo have lost their house and had to deal with conflicting emotions and overwhelming sadness too.

I really feel for Cate and everything she’d been through. I really liked her as a character, though she isn’t perfect – she herself admits she was a bit judgemental and snobby at points in the book. The situation with Richard, her late husband, and his friend Simon is also a very interesting one, and illustrates how love is often not as simple as we think!

The plot of Where We Belong takes us on a journey with Cate and Leo as they take up residence at the museum which belonged to Richard’s ancestors (and which sounds like an amazing place – Anstey discusses it in an author note in the book). It features romantic relationships but I’d say it is absolutely not a ‘book about romance’; its themes centre more on grief, family secrets, loneliness and new starts, and though some parts are a little darker, I really enjoyed reading it all.

I found this book uplifting and elegantly written, but it was also emotional at times, and pleasingly free of overdramatics or cheesiness! Definitely recommended.

[Rating: 4/5]

Many thanks to the publisher, Simon & Schuster, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.

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