I guess I need to stop being so surprised when I read a book outside of my usual crime fiction / thriller genre and enjoy it. Perhaps it’s (now) more the norm than the exception.
The House of New Beginnings
by Lucy Diamond
Published by Pan Macmillan
on January 31st 2017
Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction
ISBN: 150984175X, 9781509841752
Number 11 Princes Square looks just like the other houses on the Brighton seafront: a Regency terrace with elegant sash windows, a winding staircase and post piled up in the hall for its tenants. It might be part of the city's history, but it's also a place of brand new beginnings.
Georgie has followed her childhood sweetheart to Brighton but is determined to carve out a career in journalism for herself. Throwing herself into the city's delights is fun and exciting, but before she knows it, she's sliding into all kinds of trouble...
Charlotte's in the city for a new start, hoping to keep her head down and somehow get over the heartbreaking loss she's suffered in the past. But Margot, the stylish old lady on the top floor, has other ideas. Like it or not, Charlotte must confront the outside world, and the possibilities it still holds.
A terrible revelation sent Rosa running from London to start again as a sous chef. The work is gruelling and thankless but it's a distraction at least... until she comes up against the stroppy teenager next door who challenges her on her lifestyle choices. What if Rosa's passion for food could lead her to more interesting places?
As the three tenants find each other, it's as if a whole new chapter of their lives has begun.
I adored this book and read most of it in one sitting. I really liked the characters Lucy Diamond created – those we got to know very well, namely Rosa, Georgie and Charlotte – but also the support cast, such as the eccentric Margot and Bea, the daughter of another resident.
Diamond had the tenants meeting in a very haphazard ways which I appreciated, rather than anything too cliched. It felt very realistic and it made reading this book feel like I was observing people, even friends, in real life.
The dilemmas facing each of the women were also very relatable and Diamond didn’t shy away from the murky grey that accompanies relationships. The characters, their (previous / current) relationships and reasons for being at Number 11, Princes Square were complex. Not black or white. The ‘happily ever afters’ aren’t a given.
On occasions I found the way time passed to be a bit off-putting but loved underlying messages about NOT waiting for love, about rescuing ourselves, and about being ‘enough’ even when others make us feel like we aren’t.
The House of New Beginnings by Lucy Diamond is a delightful read and was published in Australia by Pan Macmillan.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.