Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Place to Call Home Book Review

A Place to Call Home by Carole Matthews

Blurb: Ayesha knows that she must escape from her marriage for the sake of her daughter, Sabina. Slipping away in the dead of the night, they head for London to start a new life.

Hayden, a reclusive pop star, hides himself away in the mansion which he shares with two more damaged souls - Crystal, a professional dancer with a kind heart and Joy, an ill-tempered retiree.

When Ayesha and Sabina land on their doorstep, Hayden reluctantly agrees that they can stay with them too. And, although they're all different people with troubles of their own, they quickly form a loving if unlikely bond. So when their peaceful life is threatened, they do whatever it takes to save each other.

Heart-rending, emotional and uplifting, this is a story of finding love and A Place to Call Home...

Review by Brittany:

I am a huge Carole Matthews fan, so picking up this book was no question for me. Matthews is a UK bestselling author who lives in Milton Keynes, and most of her books are not released in the US, except on Kindle.

This book was a little bit heavier than most of her others. In this one, Matthews battles such topics as death, grieving, domestic abuse, suicide, and crime. Ayesha is a character who has suffered from domestic abuse at the hands of her husband, and slipping out into the night is the only way she can think to save herself and her child, Sabina. Luckily, Sabina has never been abused by her father, although she does show signs of recognizing the trauma her mother has gone through.

The other characters who live in the house - Hayden, Crystal, and Joy - are all well-developed characters who have suffered traumas of their own. I love how Matthews created Crystal to be so big-hearted, but her occupation and her appearance are not what you would immediately think of. She challenges her reader to drop the initial judgement of her character. Joy is an older woman in her seventies who basically just misses her family, and her grumpiness slowly dissolves as the story unfolds. Hayden suffered a loss of his own, the death of his fiancee, and has become almost a hermit. When Ayesha joins the group, she turns things around and each member of this dysfunctional family helps the other to heal.

Matthews always writes stories that end happily and that come together; it is merely a matter of getting there. The one complaint that I had about this book was that Hayden is a type of character that has become a trope - he is an attractive, unbelievable rich man who is so giving that no one in the book really has to worry about money. This has a bit of a false ring to it and is a character that is used often to allow writers to almost be lazy about the money thing. It is a small factor that does not take away from the character of Hayden or his development, but it is something that I see too much of in modern literature.

I would, of course, recommend this book as Matthews only writes winners. It is also a nice relief from the erotica and the emotionally tearing books that have become so popular recently.

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