Monday 20 January 2020

Review: The Fall and Rise of Sadie McQueen by Juliet Ashton

It doesn't look like much from the outside, but Cherry Blossom Mews is a miraculous place. It's somewhere that finds you, rather than the other way around. 

Sadie McQueen has leased a double fronted space in this small cul de sac in a culturally diverse corner of central London. The cobbles muffle the noise of double-deckers roaring past the arched gates. Turn right and you are in a futuristic maze of corporate glass monoliths. Turn left and you see a wide street with many different houses. Towering above the mews are the degenerating tower blocks of an infamous estate. The old folks home and the nearby school are both in need of TLC; the private members' club that set up shop in a listed Georgian building has been discreetly refurbished at huge expense.
Into this confusion comes Sadie. She fell in love with the street the moment she first twisted her ankle on its cobbles. Her double-fronted unit is now a spa. She has sunk all her money into the lease and refurbishment. She's sunk all her hope into the carefully designed treatment rooms, the calm white reception space, the bijou flat carved out of the floor above.
Sadie has a mission to connect. To heal herself from tragedy. Sadie has wrapped the mews around her like a warm blanket, after unimaginable loss and unimaginable guilt. Her hard-won peace is threatened, not only by the prospect of the mews going under but by a man aptly named Hero who wakes up her comatose heart.  
Sadie has a lot to give, and a lot to learn, not least that some ghosts aren't ghosts at all.

Review: Well Juliet Ashton really likes to put her characters through it in her novels, she throws everything she has at them and this book is no exception. 

Sadie is such a complex main character. She has a troubled past and a positive present and she is such a solid part of her community. I loved what she tried to make happen in her little corner of the world and I also really respected where she had come from. There really is so much that has gone on in Sadie's past in so many ways that it is a surprise to us all she is living the life she is living. I love the storyline that this author wrote for Sadie and I really feel like I knew her as a real person by the end of this book.

This book has a whole host of side characters too, this is a really big cast and they really do each get their own slice of the pie when it comes to plot points. Each of them is well-developed and has their own drama going on either in their present or in their past. The trouble was, I was so invested in finding out about Sadie's past and her life that I didn't love the side plot as much as I should have done. I saw it a bit more as a distraction than as an enhancement to her world. I liked the little bit of romance that we had going on and the friendship but I didn't feel as invested in these other characters the same way as I felt invested in the main storyline. 

This book tackles some big issues and there are definitely some care warnings for domestic abuse, substance abuse and death that come with this book. This is not an issues based book though and I really feel like the substance abuse is dealt with really well over the course of the novel. If you love reading very character driven novels then this book is for you. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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