Monday 19 May 2014

Review: A Hundred Pieces of Me by Lucy Dillon

Letters from the only man she's ever loved.

A keepsake of the father she never knew.

Or just a beautiful glass vase that catches the light, even on a grey day.

If you had the chance to make a fresh start, what would you keep from your old life? What would you give away?

Gina Bellamy is starting again, after a difficult few years she'd rather forget. But the belongings she's treasured for so long just don't seem to fit who she is now.

So Gina makes a resolution. She'll keep just a hundred special items - the rest can go.

But that means coming to terms with her past and learning to embrace the future, whatever it might bring . . .

Review: oh what a gorgeous book. I haven't actually read anything by this author before, despite having a couple of her novels sitting on my shelves but I was recommended this book so many times by other bloggers and other authors that I knew I had to pick it up. I ended up listening to this on audiobook and found myself making excuses to listen at any opportunity it was so compelling and I needed to find out what was going to happen next. It was one of those novels that I really struggled to describe to someone as I was reading it, but I love something like that that doesn't conform to a particular mould or form!

First of all let me rave about Gina because she is such a special character. She has been knocked down again and again and again. She has been in an unhappy marriage, she has a difficult relationship with her mother she is struggling to buck against the stereotype that she has of a survivor and yet that is exactly what she is, a survivor. Someone who makes the very best of herself, by herself, she accepts help from others and yet does things by herself and for herself, she had decided to make herself happy, something which more of us should definitely be trying to do, be happy for ourselves by ourselves! 

Her best friend, Naomi is also an amazingly strong female and is a pillar of strength for Gina even if she doesn't realise it. She is written as the kind of best friend that all of us would want to have, just a little bit more outgoing and more straight talking that your average girly girl! Gina's ex is, of course, a character we kind of love to hate, but you also feel sympathy for him and I think Gina did too. Her relationship with her mother develops over the course of the novel and there is a very interesting couple that Gina works with, developing their house and gaining more than just a couple of business clients! 

The storyline jumps back and forth between present day and flashbacks to Gina's past but it is so well-written that you never feel confused as to what era you are in. The writing is truly beautiful, full of wonderful descriptive phrases and by the end of the book, i felt as if  the house she was developing was actually mine! There's a gorgeous dog for you to fall in love with as well and whilst reading about him, I felt I could actually see him sitting in front of me and see the pain in his eyes-aww! 

This is truly a novel to help you appreciate what you have and make you evaluate whether the material possessions in your life are anywhere near as important as the relationships that you have. This book is far from a downer though, it is full of moments of pure joy and will motivate you to seize the day, so to speak. This is a unique book and something which everyone should make space in their reading piles for! 

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