21 May 2016
Book Review: My Map of You by Isabelle Broom
But when Holly receives an unexpected letter explaining that an aunt she never met has left her a house on the Greek island of Zakynthos, the walls she has built begin to crumble. Arriving on the island, Holly meets the handsome Aidan and slowly begins to uncover the truth about the secret which tore her family apart.
But is the island where Holly really belongs? Or will her real life catch up with her first?"
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One book that I have really been looking forward to this year is the new novel from author Isabelle Broom, called My Map of You. When the cover for the book was released on Twitter, I loved it straight away and knew it was a book I would want to be reading! Luckily enough, I was able to get a review copy on Netgalley, and eagerly got stuck into reading it all as quickly as possible, I loved it and couldn't put it down!
Holly has lived a pretty solitary life since her mother's death, and is hiding many of her own secrets from her boyfriend Robert, only letting him know exactly what she wants him to. When she receives a letter from an aunt she's never met telling her that she has been left a home in Zakynthos, Holly decides it's time to get some answers and travels out there alone to find out more about the family she never knew existed. Her next door neighbour, handsome vet Aidan introduces her to life on Zakynthos, and Holly begins to enjoy herself for the first time in a long time. But is it where she truly belongs, or is her past going to catch up with her once more?
I have to say I loved Holly from the beginning. She was a bit of a prickly character, hard to get to know because she seems to hold a lot of herself back all the time, but you can tell that there is something hurting her deep down, and I was curious to find out what it was. As the book progressed and we found out more about Holly and her past, you can understand why she is how she is, and her motivation for many things in her life. I enjoyed reading about her trying to find out about her family's secret, in particular more about her aunt, and I enjoyed the pace at which this was revealed throughout the book.
There aren't many other characters in the book, but I always like a book where there are just a few characters we get to know really well rather than many characters I struggle to follow. The other main character in this book was Aidan, the living next door to Holly's aunts house. The pair have a great chemistry and strike up a quick friendship, he was very likeable and I could see why Holly was quite taken with him, despite the fact she was already spoken for (which did make me feel a bit uneasy I have to say!). As well as Aidan, there were a few Greek characters that I loved, and certainly added an authentic Greek feel to the book, and I could picture them all as I was reading, Broom's descriptions of them were very well written.
Zakynthos was a great setting for the book, and somewhere I have never been myself. I've always wanted to visit the Greek islands so perhaps this is something I will have to do in the next few years! I've been lucky enough to read a few books set in Greece or on Greek islands as of late, and they all sound very idyllic, this book being no exception. You can see why Holly quickly fell in love with the island and its inhabitants, it was a real change from the her home life in London, and offered her a true escape, as well as a concrete link to her past and her mother. Broom's descriptions were really vivid, everything from the beaches, to the homes and the dusty tracks they explore sounded picturesque, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading them.
This book was really fun to read from the first page to the last, and I really enjoyed everything about it. It is definitely the perfect beach read for your summer holiday, with a cast of characters that you'll love and a glorious setting too. I was swept away by Holly and her new world in Zakynthos, determined to race to the end to find out all of Holly's secrets, heartbreak and what decision she would make by the end of the book. A fabulous novel, and I will certainly be looking out for more from Isabelle Broom, hugely recommended from me!