#BlogTour THE GARDEN OF LOST MEMORIES by RUBY HUMMINGBIRD #BookReview @bookouture @BOTBSPublicity

Hugely excited to be taking part in the Blog Tour today for the wonderful THE GARDEN OF LOST MEMORIES by RUBY HUMMINGBIRD. My thanks to the author, publisher and Sarah of https://twitter.com/BOTBSPublicity for letting me be part of the tour and putting it all together!

Book Description:


Just because you feel ordinary doesn’t mean you aren’t extraordinary to someone else.
Sixty-two-year-old Elsie knows what she likes. Custard creams at four o’clock, jigsaw puzzles with a thousand pieces, her ivy-covered, lavender-scented garden.


Ten-year-old Billy would rather spend his Saturdays kicking a ball, or watching TV, or anything really, other than being babysat by his grumpy neighbour Elsie and being force fed custard creams.


If it was up to them, they’d have nothing to do with each other. Unfortunately, you can’t choose who you live next door to.
But there is always more to people than meets the eye…


Elsie doesn’t know that Billy’s afraid to go to school now, or why his mother woke him up in the middle of the night with an urgent shake, bags already packed, ready to flee their home.
Billy doesn’t know that the rusting red tin he finds buried in Elsie’s treasured garden is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode her carefully organised life. And that when he digs it up, he is unearthing a secret that has lain dormant for twenty-eight years…


This moving tale is for anyone who has ever felt the pang of loneliness, or worried that their broken heart might never be the same again. Fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, The Keeper of Lost Things and The Library of Lost and Found will fall head over heels for this life-affirming novel that shows us that if you’re willing to take a risk, happiness is only ever a heartbeat away.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ruby Hummingbird is a novelist based in the English countryside. She loves nothing more than writing uplifting and heartwarming fiction that gets her readers reaching for the tissues. When she isn’t storytelling, she can be found tending to her beloved sunflowers or sipping on hazelnut lattes.
@HummingbirdRuby

Buying Links:


Amazon: https://bit.ly/2WQVYiJ

Apple Books: https://apple.co/33QZRpk

Kobo:  https://bit.ly/3amwGNh

Google Play: https://bit.ly/3bqY3Wr


MY REVIEW


Stick a garden in a book and I’m immediately interested! Throw in a wonderful character in the form of Elsie and the unlikeliest of friendships of forming, and I’m smitten!! I adored this book and really took these characters to my heart!

Elsie lives alone, is elderly and gets through each day with her routines, doing her best to avoid the ‘chit chat’ of neighbours or people she bumps into at the shops.  She’s also prone to making judgements about people before knowing the real story, and she finds herself doing that with her new neighbours.  10 year old Billy lives with his mum next door and they’ve moved away from his Dad. He’s scared, frustrated and being bullied at school so he often lashes out at the wrong person and definitely isn’t a fan of being left in the care of Elsie when his mum has to go out to work.  She seems strange to him, sees her talking to herself and would rather be anywhere else but there! But something magical happens when she gets him to help her in her beloved garden that has become a little too much for her to cope with.  And this healing power of a garden was one thing that really connected with me. It gives you the chance to focus on something else in the world and it does Elsie and Billy the power of good, especially with the outside world causing them so much suffering.

When they uncover a tin buried in the garden, it leads to an extraordinary journey for the both of them and it was just so uplifting to see them heading out together to piece together the pieces of memories left behind in this tin.  Elsie is reluctant to visit one place but Billy goes by himself and makes a new friend and he starts to believe in himself again and feel less angry at the world.

This is a story that pulls on the heartstrings and shines the spotlight on how important it is not to judge people on first impressions.  I enjoyed watching the story of their pasts unfold, and how coming together helped them all move on.  Wonderful!

★★★★★

#BookReview THE WISH LIST OF ALBIE YOUNG by RUBY HUMMINGBIRD @bookouture

ABOUT THE BOOK

This unmissable, unforgettable book will crack your heart in two and piece it back together again. Have a packet of tissues handy…

Sometimes you have to hit the bottom before you can float to the top.

Maria Birch is seventy years old and, for her, every week is the same.

On Monday, she does her weekly shop. On Tuesday, she goes for a blow-dry. On Wednesday, she visits the laundrette. But Thursday is her favourite day of all – everything hurts less on a Thursday.

Every Thursday Maria walks to her local café. Waiting for her at one of the red gingham-topped tables is Albie Young, a charming man with a twinkle in his eye and an impressive collection of tweed flat caps. Every week, the pair share a slice of marble cake and a pot of tea.

Except, one week, Albie doesn’t turn up.

When Maria finds out what has happened, her perfectly ordered life is ripped apart at the seams. Suddenly, she is very lonely. Without her Thursday friend – her only friend – she no longer has the energy to circle the weekly TV listings, she has no reason to leave her apartment, no reason to laugh.

Then she discovers that Albie isn’t who she thought he was, and she’s left wondering if she knew her friend at all. But Albie has left behind a legacy – a handwritten list of wishes he never got the chance to complete.

Maria is resigned to facing the rest of her days heartbroken and alone. But fulfilling Albie’s wishes could hold the key to her happiness – if only she’s able to look past his secret…

This life-affirming and heartfelt tale is for anyone who has ever looked at their life and wanted more. Fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and The Keeper of Lost Things will love this poignant story, which shows us that for the truest loves, the end is never really the end…

Published by Bookouture

Publication Date – 12th November 2019

PRE-ORDER LINK

Amazon UK – 99p

MY REVIEW

Spoiler alert – books about old people always make me cry! And you’ll have to have a heart of stone if you don’t find yourself shedding a tear or two during this stunning debut from Ruby Hummingbird that captures beautifully those little moments that often end up meaning the most and how just a simple action can start a wonderful chain reaction off, bringing hope to those who need it.

It’s set in Brighton, and we follow the story of Maria.  She lives alone and has a weekly routine that she sticks to rigidly – Thursday is her favourite day though after a chance encounter with a man in a cafe, means she now meets up with him every Thursday for tea, cake and a chat.  Until one day he doesn’t show and she’s devastated to lose that connection.

When she receives a call from a lawyer, the truth about Albie is revealed and it was heartbreaking to see how Maria reacted to the news. But Albie has done something rather wonderful for her and her life and routine is set to change, if only she can cope with the loss.

With the discovery of a list that Albie left behind, she finds out he’s been a good samaritan  in his life, with a wish list where he helps a number of local people. Many of the plans he had are still unticked so she sets out to carry on his good work and starts to meet up with the people that Albie had gone out of his way to spend time with.  From a homeless man, to a troubled youngster and even to Albie’s sister, Maria starts to disover a life outside of her routine and the wonderful feeling you get when you can help someone  – it’s one of those stories that makes your heart burst with happiness when you see the positive effects a simple action can create.

Maria finds her own name on the list and ticking her ‘wishes’ off the list might prove the most difficult as she has to face some heartbreak from the past.

Maria finds that helping people isn’t always taken in the right spirit but the sense of purpose and responsibility really makes her shine, and knowing that Albie wasn’t doing these things for attention, but just to help, is just another heartwarming aspect of this whole book.  

Totally adorable and a wonderful antidote of a read to the often heartless and harsh world we are living in. A must read!!

★★★★★

My thanks to the team at Bookouture and Netgalley for the advanced e-copy in return for a fair and honest review.