Would you believe it; this is my first ever “blog tour“! Am I a real #bookblogger now? Today it is my turn on the tour to talk about The Broken Hearts Book Club by Lynsey James.
The Broken Hearts Book Club by Lynsey James
*Picture used with permission!*
Publication Date: 04 September 2015
Publisher: Carina UK
Secrets never stay buried for long…
Lucy Harper has always been good at one thing: running from her past. But when her beloved Nana Lily passes away she has no choice except to return to the one place in the world she most wants to avoid…
Luna Bay hasn’t changed much in the eight years she has spent in London. The little Yorkshire village is still just as beautiful, but the new pub landlord is a gorgeous addition to the scenery!
Lucy only intended to stay for a day, yet when she discovers that Nana Lily has not only left her a cottage but also ‘The Broken Hearts Book Club’, Lucy is intrigued. Her Nana never have mentioned the club and Lucy can’t wait to get started, but walking into her first meeting she is more aware than ever that her past is finally catching up with her.
One way or another, Lucy must finally face the secrets she’s kept buried for so long – or spend the rest of her life on the run…
After devouring Lynsey’s debut novel Just the Way You Are in two train journeys, I was delighted when she announced her second novel, The Broken Hearts Book Club.
The Broken Hearts Book Club follows Lucy, returning home for her grandmother’s funeral in Luna Bay, a fictional seaside town in Yorkshire (woo!). She is stunned when she learns her grandmother left her the beautiful Rose Cottage, the house she grew up in and of which she has lots of amazing memories. However, there is a catch. To earn the house, she has to look after Nana Lily’s Broken Hearts Book Club for three months or the house goes up for sale. Lucy has a dilemma as to whether she should leave Luna Bay once more, or whether she can stay and face what she ran away from in the first place. Even though years have passed since Lucy left, there are some residents who still remember what Lucy did, and want her to leave. With all this going on, she also has to deal with the blossoming of a relationship with the local pub landlord… who has his own secrets. Phew!
I thought Lucy was a likeable protagonist and narrator. There were times I wanted to climb into the novel and give her a good shake when she deliberated between London and Luna Bay, but when you think about it, it made her more realistic and relatable as a character. Who wouldn’t do the easy thing and run away from a problem? Who would want to come back to a small town where you feel that everyone hates you, and refuses to forgive and forget? I personally can’t even decide what I want for lunch every day, never mind choosing what to do with my ACTUAL life!
I had a faint idea as to what the “secret” was that Lucy was hiding and whilst the mentioning of it did get a little repetitive at times, it was still a surprise when it was revealed and explored. Take it from me, people in a seaside town do love to gossip and they really do go over the SAME thing at any opportunity, so I think Lynsey hit the nail on the head here!
The Broken Hearts Book Club itself had loud, strong characters each with their own story. I found this aspect of the novel to be genuine and touching. I loved reading about the ways Lucy tried to help their ‘broken hearts’ (albeit unsuccessfully at times!).
There were some loose ends that should have been either dealt with or discarded completely, such as the solicitor checking up on her to make sure she was running the book club. I don’t want to sound mean, but it was mentioned once and never spoken of again. This didn’t bother me too much as there were other sub-plots to keep me entertained. I would have also liked to find out why her Nana set up the club in the first place, how she found the members and encouraged them to come together, and what books they had already read. Yes, I do want to hear about books whilst I am reading a book!
I really enjoyed reading The Broken Hearts Book Club. It was perfect to escape into, and it definitely helped my train journey whizz by. The story had plenty of twists and turns to keep me guessing and more importantly, keep reading! The twists and turns fitted into the story well and it didn’t come across as being stuffed in just for the sake of it. If you are looking for a book to get lost in, and to forget about everything else for a few hours, I would recommend this book (and Lynsey’s other novel too!)
I have to admit that this genre isn’t one I usually go for, but Lynsey brings something special. She has a distinct style of story telling that grabs you into the story. I would love to hear more about Lucy and Jake…. could we possibly have a sequel? The Perils of the Purple Partridge maybe? Lynsey, give us a bell…. (it means “call me” in Yorkshire!)