30 July 2015
Book Review: One Small Act of Kindness by Lucy Dillon
Libby helps a stranger, and transforms her life in the process.
Libby and her husband Jason have moved back to his hometown to turn the family B&B into a boutique hotel. They have left London behind and all the memories - good and bad - that went with it.
The injured woman Libby finds lying in the remote country road has lost her memory. She doesn't know why she came to be there, and no one seems to be looking for her.
When Libby offers to take her in, this one small act of kindness sets in motion a chain of events that will change many people's lives . . ."
You can buy One Small Act of Kindness as a paperback on an eBook now.
One of the highlights of my reading year is a new book from Lucy Dillon. I absolutely love her heart-warming stories, always stuffed full of memorable characters with stories that you really care about, and look forward to picking up each evening! Her latest book One Small Act of Kindness was another superb read from Lucy Dillon - it follows the story of Libby and Jason, a couple who have recently bought into the family B&B, and how they are trying to make it the new must-see hotel for the area. Things aren't exactly going to plan, especially when Jason's mother, the original B&B owner starts putting her foot down over Libby's plans. When Libby finds a badly injured woman in the middle of the road, she feels somewhat responsible for her well-being, and takes her in until the woman can remember who she is - but what repurcussions will Libby's one small act of kindness on those around her?
As you can see, the story is a very interesting one, and I loved the idea of a mystery surrounding the woman who Libby finds injured in the middle of the road. It certainly made the read even more interesting, and I was desperate to find out who she really was, and how she ended up injured in the road, and why! Libby is the main focus of the book - she's the one we hear from most of all, and the main part of the story is focussed on her helping her new mystery friend to recuperate as well as revamping the B&B. Her marriage isn't exactly in a great place either, so I did feel sorry for Libby - she was shouldering a lot of burden on her own, and I did want to give her husband Jason a bit of a kick up the backside and tell him to stand up to his mother, and help his wife out!
However, I felt their marriage, both the good and bad bits, was a very realistic storyline, and certainly the tension between Libby and her mother-in-law felt real enough too. Although I felt sorry for Jason's mother, you couldn't help but want her to move with the times a bit and allow Libby to take the reins a bit more. Dillon writes these parts of the story well - I could really picture the lovely B&B in my mind, and could also see what Libby wanted to do it, with her good intentions. As the book progresses, more secrets and scandals are revealed, to do with Jason's brother, why Libby and Jason had to leave London and move to take over the B&B - and it just added yet another element to what was an already brilliant story, I just loved reading on waiting to be stunned further. Make sure you look out for a few familiar faces from A Hundred Pieces of Me (Lucy's previous book) popping up too, it was lovely to see them again!
Whilst the revamping of the B&B is a big part of the book, there is of course the story which relates to the mysterious woman who Libby finds after being hit by a car. Curiously, she wakes up in hospital, unable to remember anything about herself - her name, where she's from or what she was doing when she was hit. Pippa, as Libby and the woman decide to call herself for the time being, bonds with Libby over being new to the area, and soon strike up a friendship that I really enjoyed reading about - it was genuine, real and based on the fact the women genuinely liked each other, especially as Pippa really didn't know anything about herself - I couldn't imagine how hard that must be. Dillon does a great job in conveying Pippa's despair over her situation, you can't help but feel sorry for her and hope that her memory does come back. As the story progresses, I became even more hooked on what I was reading, and flew through it until the last page, completely blown away!
The title of the book is absolutely perfect for this story - it really is just a small act of kindness from Libby to Pippa, but it makes such a difference to both women's lives - in particular Pippa's. It goes to show that it doesn't always need to be a big, expensive gesture to make someone happy or wanted, it's the littlest things that can mean the most. I loved the chain reaction of the act of kindness, how it changed people's lives and started them all on new paths. There's quite a few of these kindness acts running through the book, and it is just a life-affirming, kind-hearted, uplifting novel that will leave you with a big smile on your face and wondering what small act of kindness you can bestow on the people around you. A beautifully written story that will have you reading late into the night, I loved it - and now I can't wait for Lucy's next book!