17 June 2017

Book Review: The Forever House by Veronica Henry

"Hunter's Moon is the ultimate 'forever' house. Nestled by a river in the Peasebrook valley, it has been the Willoughbys' home for over fifty years, and now estate agent Belinda Baxter is determined to find the perfect family to live there. But the sale of the house unlocks decades of family secrets - and brings Belinda face to face with her own troubled past. . ."

Rating: 5/5

I adore Veronica Henry's books, so when I was sent a review of her brand new book The Forever House, I was so excited to get stuck in and read it. It certainly disappoint, and it's my probably my favourite of Veronica's books so date, there was just something so brilliantly readable about it, with characters you can truly love, that left me not wanting to put it down each night, I couldn't stop reading! Here is why I think The Forever House is a must read for the summer.

What I loved about this book from the beginning was the warmth about the whole thing. Everything, from Belinda's tale in the present day, trying to sell Hunter's Moon and be respectful to its current owners, to the flashbacks to the hey-day of the house, and the family who occupied it - it was wonderfully written, with love, family and warmth flowing through the heart of the whole thing. I became quickly engrossed in the lives of these people, eager to find out what would happen to some elements of the story, although I truly didn't want to leave this book behind.

The book has two narratives. There's the present day one of Belinda, an estate agent who has a reputation in town for being a great seller, yet respectful to the owners, determined to find the right person for the right home. She loves Hunter's Moon herself, and knows it needs someone special to buy it, even more so when she finds out the plight of the current owners. Belinda clearly had a troubled past herself, which isn't revealed for much of the book, but you can always sense an aura of sadness around her, like something is missing in her life. I found her very likeable, I was willing for her to ensure Hunter's Moon went to someone who deserved it, because the house sounded wonderful, and Veronica Henry's descriptions of it make it sound like my dream home, just perfect in every way.

As well as this modern day story, we also flash back to the lives of the occupants of the house quite a few years back. The family living there, the Willoughby's, are quite decandent, with mother Margot being a famous author, and her children living off this money and her reputation. But all isn't as it seems under the roof of Hunter's Moon, and the cracks in the family are seriously beginning to show. Sally and Alexander's story, the couple who are selling the house in the up-to-date story, are young children in this, and its fascinating to read the start of their relationship, and how they came to be at Hunter's Moon together. The storyline takes some twists and turns, and as it hurtles to its conclusion, I just couldn't put it down, I found it very compulsive as I loved the Willoughby's so much!

The book is a joy to read, and left me with such a warm feeling inside as I turned the last page. I loved the whole atmosphere of this book, about how important a home can be to people, that it is the place you always return to when you need to. Belinda's whole ethos about selling a home to the right people rings true for me too, you just know when its right, and she was determined to find the right people for a very special home. Veronica's writing is stunning in this one, you can immerse yourself in the lives of the house, the characters... it's just perfect escapist reading. I loved it, and it's definitely one of Veronica's best books for me, without a doubt.

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