I suspect many of you reading this will already be familiar with Rowan Coleman. Despite that fact that she already has a raft of novels under her belt, I shamefacedly admit I had not come across her books until very recently. I bought this book after hearing her speak so passionately about reading at the recent Quick Reads event I attended.
Ellen is coming to terms with being a widow, and a single mum to Charlie after the death of the love of her life her husband Nick. She has a large house, bills to pay and no money. Her work editing romantic novels from home doesn’t earn her nearly enough to survive, so with the encouragement of her glamorous and successful sister Hannah she decides to rent out her rooms in her house to bring in some much needed funds. Her life begins to change as she becomes embroiled in the complicated lives of her new tenants.
At first glance this might seem like a light hearted and easy read, and in many ways it is (which isn’t a criticism) but the novel tackles themes of grief, loss unfulfilled dreams, and much more. It does all this in a humorous but also warm hearted way. Ellen’s character is generous and likeable and I could not help myself wanting everything to be alright for her. I especially enjoyed the relationship between Ellen and Charlie. Ellen’s fear that something terrible would happen to Charlie each time he was out of her sight; Charlie’s frustrations with his mothers over protective nature but also the genuine concern he had for her were touching and believable.
I tore through this novel and thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m planning to read ‘The Memory Book’ next which was a Sunday Times best seller and pat of the Richard and Judy Autumn Book Club 2014.
Have you read any Rowan Coleman? Which would you recommend?