How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Random House UK/Ebury Publishing
Ellen Woods spends her days immersed in the escapist pages of the romantic novels she lovingly edits. But her reality is somewhat less rose-tinted. Once upon a time, Ellen had her ‘happily ever after’ moment when she married her beloved Nick, but fifteen years later her husband’s tragic death leaves her alone with their soon-to-become-a-teenager son, faced with a mountain of debt, and on the verge of losing the family home.
On the brink of bankruptcy, Ellen finally succumbs to her sister’s well-meant bullying and decides to rent out some rooms. And all too soon the indomitable Allegra with her love for all things lavender, Sabine on secondment from Berlin and estranged from her two-timing husband, and unreconstructed lads’ mag aficionado Matt enter her ordered but fragile existence – each with their own messy life in tow. And Ellen finds herself forced to step out of the pages of the romantic novels she hides behind, and learn to live – and love – again.
Maybe a new chapter is about to begin for them all…
I really enjoy Rowan Coleman’s writing style, so when I saw a book from her back catalogue available, I just had to request it. I thought The Happy Home For Broken Hearts was a good read, if a little predictable in places.
The Happy Home For Broken Hearts centres around Ellen and her son Charlie. Ellen’s husband Nick, died in a car crash and her world has been turned upside down. Ellen is trying to move forward with her life, but with debt looming over her, she finally accepts her sister’s help and decides to take in lodgers to help her out with her money situation. Ellen takes in three lodgers, all very different. There’s Sabine, a woman that’s dealing with her husband’s affair, Allegra- an older lady who writes steamy romances and Matt, who writes a column for a lad’s magazine. Each lodger has their own fair share of problems. Ellen finds herself making friends and moving on. She doesn’t expect them to support her as much as they do, as secrets from the past are revealed.
Ellen is the main protagonist and very easy to warm to. She is dealing with grief, yet trying to sort things out financially for her family. Ellen has completely lost who she is, she hasn’t left the house since her husband’s funeral. We see Ellen trying to make life normal for her son, but at the same time, she can’t leave the house and panics when her son is out of the house. Ellen’s son, Charlie is such a sweet character. It’s hard not to feel sorry for him. He can clearly see his mum is having trouble with her grief, and as well as grieving for his dad, he’s desperately wishing his mum could be happy once more. I adored the lodgers as they definitely had more to them than met the eye.
This book was hard to put down. It was so easy to read and although I could predict what was going to happen, it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the story. This book isn’t the happiest of reads, but there are moments of hope and humour and that’s exactly what I enjoy in books like this.
Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars.