Published: November 25th, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Domestic Fiction
Format: Hardcover, Kindle, Audiobook
Welcome to my review of this heartwarming novel. Thank you to HQ for the gifted ARC.
One small act can make a big difference
Violet Strong is strong by name but not by nature, or so she thinks. She listens but never talks about herself. She’s friendly but doesn’t have many real friends. She’s become good at keeping people at a distance ever since she left home at eighteen and never looked back.
But when Violet is forced to return home to care for her estranged mother, Glenys, she quickly finds out that life as a carer isn’t easy. Feeling overwhelmed, she’s forced to turn to the other local carers, including childhood friend, Adam, for help.
Although returning home still feels like a mistake, maybe it will help Violet right some wrongs. After all, she can’t keep running from her past forever, and in learning to look after others, perhaps Violet can start to finally love herself…
“Not everyone’s burdens are visible, lots are inside. Trapped. Unseen.”
Sometimes you pick up a book and it is exactly what you need. That was the case when I decided to read this book on a whim at the weekend. Uplifting, heartwarming and tender, this book warmed me from the inside like a bowl of porridge on a cold day.
This is a story of friendship, community and forgiveness. A story about loving yourself and how there is joy to be found in helping those around us. The protagonist, Violet, is forced to move back home to care for the mother she’s not spoken to for 14 years, bringing her face to face with the people and place that she has been running from all that time. The terrible mistake she made haunts her every minute of the day and has left her feeling that she is Bad News and better off alone. Forced to face her demons, can Violet learn to forgive and love herself?
I was a big fan of Jessica Ryn’s debut novel so I was highly anticipating this one. She has a talent for enveloping important life lessons and social commentary in a heartwarming tale, executing it to perfection once more with this novel. Exquisitely written, it draws you into Violet’s world with descriptive, vivid imagery that makes the story leap from the page. I was mesmerised. Ms. Ryn has solidified her place on my list of auto-buy authors with this book for sure.
There is a compelling cast of characters who I loved; each one richly drawn and memorable. I loved Violet and was thrilled that the author made her a book blogger as it immediately gave me a connection to her. I enjoyed the many literary references throughout the book and how she finds solace in the pages of what she reads, something I’m sure we can all relate to. She is a wonderful character and I was desperate to know what she could have possibly done that was worth such self-recrimination. I also had a real soft spot for Tammy and enjoyed watching her blossom as the story went on.
Charming, warm and affecting, this is a hug in book form that will give you all the feels. The perfect read to snuggle under a blanket with this winter.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Jessica Ryn is a former midwife and homeless resettlement worker. She has recently completed her MA in Creative Writing at CCCU, and her stories have been shortlisted for the Kimberly Chambers’ Kickstarter Award, Wordsmag and the Val Wood Prize for Creative Writing. When she’s not scribbling away, Jessica can be found meandering through the woods, reading stories that pull on the feel-strings and eating yoghurt-covered skittles. Jessica lives in Dover with her husband, two children and their high-spirited springer spaniel. The Extraordinary Hope of Dawn Brightside is her debut novel and her second book, The Imperfect Art of Caring, will be published in November.
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Thanks for reading Bibliophiles Emma xxx