I loved this story of a woman's journey of re-discovery when her whole life, as she knows it, comes crashing down around her shoulders! It made me think about how easily we fall into a rut and take things for granted, losing sense of self and direction. Harriet thought her life had nearly come to an end when when discovered her husband had been keeping more than one secret which meant that her life with him and her three children would change drastically. The consequences of his actions meant that while changing her life, Harriet discovered new things about herself that she wasn't sure that she liked. Along with moving to a new neighbourhood, she found that the friends she thought she had had were not real and she slowly acquired new people in her life who were more down to earth and interesting. Ellie whom she hadn't really given the time of day to in her old life, becomes a great support and she has yet to discover the story of her newest neighbour, Ava who seems a little too glamourous to have moved into Willoughby Close and is not in a hurry to reveal herself.
The book tells of the dilemmas faced by Harriet including the huge decision of whether or not to remain in her marriage. She found that she needed to be true to her real self and the challenge began to discover who the real Harriet was that she needed to be true to. Along with her two younger children and her typical moody pre-teen, she tests herself and her marriage and realises that what she thought she wants in life may not be what she and her family need. Happiness can be achieved in different ways.
The reader has to wait until the end to find out what she decides as Kate Hewitt manages to keep us on tenterhooks. This book is well worth the read and I am now looking forward to reading the other books in the Willoughby Close series to find out about the other characters in Harriet's life!
Thanks for the chance to read and review this story, it has made my commute go so quickly this week and I nearly missed my bus stop twice!!
Kate Hewitt is the author of over 65 novels of women’s fiction and romance. Whichever the genre, she loves telling a compelling and emotional story. An American ex-pat and former New Yorker, she now lives in a small market town in Wales with her husband and five children. You can learn more about her books and life at http://www.kate-hewitt.com.
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1269244.Kate_Hewitt
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Release Date: 14/03/2017
Series – Willoughby Close #3 (can be read as a standalone)
Harriet Lang had the perfect life, so she's left reeling when everything is taken from her in one fell swoop. Suddenly, Harriet learns her beautiful farmhouse in the Cotswolds is double-mortgaged, her husband Richard’s been unceremoniously fired—and he’s become a little too close to his young, sexy assistant.
Then Willoughby Close begins to weave its healing magic on both her and her children, and Harriet begins to see a way forward. She even starts to date sexy local vet Tom Roberts--but when Richard reappears in her life, wanting to make amends, Harriet must make the painful decision about how much of the past can be forgiven—and what kind of future she is fighting for.
With the help of her neighbor and newfound friend Ellie Matthews, Harriet starts to rebuild her life--but dipping a toe in the dating pool feels strange and meanwhile her children are struggling in different ways. She wonders if starting over is really possible...
“Come on,” Harriet said now, as she climbed resolutely out of the car and gave them all as cheerful a smile as she could. “Let’s check it out.”
The movers had already come; Harriet had marked what furniture to take from their house to Willoughby Close, and it had been a depressingly small amount. The big, bespoke kitchen table wouldn’t fit, and the huge dresser with all the pottery she’d collected over the years wouldn’t either. In fact, at least two-thirds of their furniture was going into storage, which was expensive, but Harriet couldn’t bear to lose all of it along with the house. They’d need it when Richard got his job, and they bought something bigger.She’d spent hours and hours, weeks and months, selecting all the furniture for the house, with the help of the expensive interior decorator who had more or less held her hand through the entire process. She’d bought tasteful antiques interspersed with fresh modern pieces, carpets and kilims from various holidays,
watercolors and oil paintings of places that were meaningful to them. Sophie had once said, with admiration that bordered on envy, that Harriet’s house could be featured in Country Life.
And so it would again. This was a blip, damn it. Things were going to get better. Richard was going to find a job, he’d said so, and they’d get back their house or buy an even better house, and she’d live there without him, happy and defiant. Or something like that. She couldn’t picture specifics yet, but she couldn’t stand the thought of the rest of her life looking like… this.
The children trooped silently behind her as she fumbled with the keys and then opened the door to number two. The smell of fresh paint and emptiness hit her like a smack in the face. It was the smell of fresh starts, and she didn’t want one.
She stepped inside, reaching for the lights. Although it was only four in the afternoon it was already getting dark, the skies heavy and low with gray clouds. Spring felt a long way off, despite the fact that it was mid-February, and the spattering of snowdrops interspersed with an early crocus or two that she’d seen on the drive in.
“This is it?” Mallory’s voice rang through the empty space, scornful and incredulous. William kicked at the skirting board, scuffing the pristine white paint. Chloe stuck her thumb in her mouth.
“Yes, this is it,” Harriet said, trying to pitch her tone somewhere between firm and bright. “It’s lovely, isn’t it?”