Tuesday 12 May 2020

Review: Where We Belong by Anstey Harris

One summer.

One house.
One family learning to love again.

Cate Morris and her son, Leo, are homeless, adrift. They’ve packed up the boxes from their London home, said goodbye to friends and colleagues, and now they are on their way to ‘Hatters Museum of the Wide Wide World – to stay just for the summer. Cate doesn’t want to be there, in Richard’s family home without Richard to guide her any more. And she knows for sure that Araminta, the retainer of the collection of dusty objects and stuffed animals, has taken against them. But they have nowhere else to go. They have to make the best of it.

But Richard hasn’t told Cate the truth about his family’s history. And something about the house starts to work its way under her skin.
Can she really walk away, once she knows the truth?

Review: Where We Belong (also published as The Museum of Forgotten Memories) is the second novel by British author, Anstey Harris. The thing that kept striking me and wowing me throughout this novel was the level of description we have on every single page. Anstey Harris can make a salad sound like the only thing I would veer want to eat, can make the simple act of hearing a car on a driveway sound like the turning point of someones life and she just constantly wows me with her way with words. This was the real standout in this novel for me, I loved the imagery and I loved the pure artistry on the page. 

Cate is a very intriguing character. It take a good chunk of the book before we get to know and understand her a little better than we did at the start. I didn't always find her likable and I didn't always agree with her choices for the house or her family buy boy was i intrigued by her and her life. She is definitely prickly but that is nothing compare to Hatters caretaker Araminta Buchan. Araminta is stiff and formal with Cate, but softer towards son Leo. She’s explained the museum is under threat of closure, and it isn’t until Cate offers to help with a tour group that she unbends a little. Could they, together, actually save the place? 

Ah Leo, Leo is the perfect antidote to Cate and to their whole situation. I loved getting to meet him. I loved how literally he sees the world. I feel like he was the heart and soul of the book for me. Some characters definitely underestimated him but really we need more Leos in our lives. There is definitely some mystery surrounding all of the characters in this book and their lives and their secrets unfold beautiful as you continue to turn the pages. 

There were definitely some dramatic moments in this book and Hatters itself is almost Gothic in its nature, I was getting some definite Jane Eyre vibes at certain points in the book. This book also explore mental health and to a certain extent disability although this latter is never discussed overtly. I loved how depression and mental health in general is a constant theme in the book and it is never spoken off as if it is an issue or a problem, just a part of every day life and something that people have in their lives. 

I really enjoyed this book I didn't know how it was going to end or how Cate's story was going to pan out and whilst I would love to see the museum that this was based on I have to admit that I would be a little scared of some of the Hatters galleries if they actually exist!

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

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