Meet the residents of number 24 in the warm, witty and wonderful new novel from bestselling author Juliet Ashton.
When your marriage falls apart, the last place you'd want your husband to move to is downstairs. Unfortunately for Sarah, up in the eaves at number 24, her ex-husband now lives one floor beneath her with his new wife. Their happiness floats up through the floorboards, taunting her.
A child psychologist, Sarah has picked up great sadness from the little girl, Una, who lives with her careworn mother three floors below, but is Sarah emotionally equipped to reach out?
The Spring brings a new couple to the house. Jane and Tom's zest for life revives the flagging spirits, and Sarah can't deny the instant attraction to handsome Tom. Having seen at first hand what infidelity does to people, she'll never act on it ... but the air fizzes with potential.
The sunshine doesn't reach every corner of number 24, however. Elderly Mavis, tucked away in the basement, has kept the world at bay for decades. She's about to find out that she can't hide forever.
Juliet Ashton weaves a story of love, friendship and community that will move you to laughter and to tears. Think Cold Feet meets David Nicholls, with a dash of the joy of Jill Mansell added for good measure.
Oh my goodness I was not expecting this book to be as outstanding as it turned out to be. I set myself up for a little lighthearted chick lit read when this book is so much more than that.
I found myself thinking about this book when not reading it - wondering what was going to happen next, what the characters would be getting up to. I'm so sad to finish reading it as really I became enveloped in the world of Number 24.
When the book began I wasn't sure what I was reading could be right. Sarah had just been to the reception of her ex husband in the flat downstairs....... Then there are Sarah's friends:-
absent friend Smith - what part did she play in Number 24?
unlikely new friend Mavis, tucked away in the basement flat with her foul mouthed Cockatoo Peck - named after his favourite pastime.
and the wonderful Jane - so much life and soul to her character and someone I would love to have as a friend.
So many levels to this book from the dastardly Leo (I could have throttled him several times over!) and the doe eyed Sarah still in love with him. The career Sarah has which she feels unable to fulfil any longer and the children she has treated. Sarah's attempts at finding a new love interest and her involvement with all the other residents at Number 24. Not to mention her decorating sessions with her ex husband while his new wife is out. Not forgetting Smith and the part she played in Sarah's life.
So many twists and turns, one which made me gasp out loud and then be determined to finish the book in one go, as I had to know what was going to happen.
So many great memories of this book - I really feel like I was a fly on the wall at Number 24.
I'm giving this book 5 out of 5 stars. My thanks to Netgalley for an advance copy for review.
Would you risk everything for a second chance at first love?
At forty-nine-going-on-fifty, Adam Sharp likes his life. He works part-time in IT consulting, is a leading member of his local pub-quiz and has a stable relationship with his partner, Claire. But there's something he can't shake: a longing for the life he might have had with smart, strong-willed actress Angelina Brown.
Then, out of nowhere, Angelina walks back into his life. All the intensity of their affair twenty years ago resurfaces and Adam must make a decision.
Should he let her go again? Or does he dare to live dangerously?
Maybe it's unfair to expect an author to produce another book like The Rose Project - but I was at least expecting some of the same style of writing. Unfortunately I was disappointed.
The book is told from the perspective of a 49 year old man - which I welcome as a lot of books these days don't cover this age group. Adam begins his story in the present day and then begins to relive his encounter with Angelina 20 years ago.
I really didn't see the point in going over the events of 20 years ago, but as the book progressed and he reunites with Angelina in the present day, I began to see why the book had been written that way.
Maybe it was a mid life crisis Adam was having - the grass is always greener on the other side - I don't know - but it did nothing to engage me. I disliked the character of Adam the book playing out like a badly directed movie, and when he becomes part of a menage a trois I lost a lot of interest in the book.
The hook of the book is it is based around music - unfortunately I don't have a great knowledge of music and maybe that was why I also did not take to this book. Pages of music trivia did nothing to engage me.
All in all it is a book that is worth a read - just don't expect the wonderful writing shown in The Rosie Project and maybe your expectations will be met better than mine were.
I'm giving this book 3 out of 5 stars. My thanks to Netgalley for a copy of the book for review.