‘You know those cracks in your heart, Lorna, where things didn’t work out, but you picked yourself up and carried on? That’s where the fear gets out. And where the light gets in.’
It was Betty, defiant to the end, who sent Lorna back to Longhampton. If Lorna’s learned one thing from Betty it’s that courage is something you paint on like red lipstick, even when you’re panicking inside. And right now, with the keys to the town’s gallery in her hand, Lorna feels about as courageous as Betty’s anxious little dachshund, trembling beside her.
Lorna’s come home to Longhampton to fulfil a long-held dream, but she knows, deep down, there are ghosts she needs to lay to rest first. This is where her tight-knit family shattered into silent pieces. It’s where her unspoken fears about herself took root and where her own secret, complicated love began. It’s not exactly a fresh start.
But as Lorna – and the little dog – tentatively open their cracked hearts to old friends and new ones, facing hard truths and fresh promises, something surprisingly beautiful begins to grow around the gallery, something so inspirational even Lorna couldn’t have predicted the light it lets into her world . . .
An inspiring, life-enhancing novel that will make you see your life afresh . . . Fans of Jojo Moyes, Lucy Diamond and Veronica Henry will love it.
Such a wonderful book!!! I love reading books from Lucy Dillon as she always creates such warm characters who you immediately connect with, and this story follows Lorna as she goes back to where she has some bad memories, but just taking that brave step to face them head on and start a new project just brings out the best in her – and changes the life of those around her too!
We first meet Lorna as she is volunteering at a hospice where she spends time with those in the final stages of life, and you instantly see how compassionate she is, and how she acquires the little dog Rudy!
Lorna only has her sister Jess left around as they lost their parents years ago, and while Jess has a husband and family, Lorna is left feeling a little lost and is looking for a new direction in which to take her life. And that is when moving back to Longhampton to buy the failing art gallery becomes her plan!
As soon as she arrives she finds many faces from her past that evoke a number of feelings, no more so than when she finds Sam is back in the area – she used to have a major crush on him during her teenage years and she finds those feelings don’t seem to have gone away. Is he still the same kind of character that she remembers though?!
The friendship and bond Lorna then builds up with Joyce is a wonderful and touching part of this story. Joyce is an artist, but a reclusive one and is happy to live her life on her own, with her dog Bernard, and has developed a hatred of her social worker! But she sees something in Lorna that resonates with her and is quick to trust her, first with walking Bernard for her and then being more open to sharing her artwork to help the gallery.
There are a wide range of topics throughout this book – memories, family secrets, yarnbombing, a community pulling together, facing your fears – and I found myself unable to put the book down at times as I became so wrapped up in the characters and the situations they found themselves in! There were tears too!!
A fabulous read!!
My thanks to the publisher and author for the advanced readers copy in return for a fair and honest review.