Saturday, September 18, 2010

Review of Home for Broken Hearts by Rowan Coleman

The Home for Broken HeartsThe Home for Broken Hearts by Rowan Coleman tells the story of Ellen Woods whose husband Nick has recently died and left her and their son, Charlie alone and in a difficult financial situation.  Faced with the potential of losing her home, Ellen takes in an unlikely assortment of lodgers to help pay the mortgage.  Allegra Howard, an aging romance novelist, arrives and demands a room painted lavender; Matt has recently arrived from Manchester and is working as a columnist for a "lad's mag" while Sabine has left her husband behind in Germany while she contemplates whether they should stay together.  The three lodgers, of course, bring so much more to Ellen's life than just help with the mortgage - they force her to face fears and open herself and her home to others.

My thoughts
I have read and enjoyed a number of Rowan Coleman's  books - they are generally set in London and feature a girl going through some transition in her life.  This latest book is not my favorite of hers - I enjoyed it and looked forward to reading it but I liked her earlier books more.  There was a predictability to this storyline that left me underwhelmed.

Ellen is reluctant to bring people into her home - she is essentially introverted and has lived a solitary life (with the exception of the company of her son, Charlie) since her young husband's accidental death.  She is left with no choice, however, when she is faced with losing her home if she cannot continue to make mortgage payments.  The inevitable rejuvenation begins as Ellen starts to bond with her housemates and they slowly pull her from her shell.  She learns to depend on others and to trust herself as she shares not only her home but her life with the lodgers.  Along the way, there is a revelation about Nick, Ellen's late husband, that seemed obvious from the outset of the book.

Although this book disappointed me, I am still a fan of this author and encourage you to read some of her earlier books - they are among my favorites in this genre.  Perhaps if those had not been so good, I would not have been disappointed in this one!

For some other perspectives, please check out these reviews:
Rundpinne
My Book Views


I received a copy of this book foe review from the publisher

14 comments:

  1. I came over from your twitter post -- you are right: good example of a review for a book you didn't enjoy. Thanks!

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  2. I have never read anything by Rowan Coleman, but it sounds like these might nwork as good comfort reads for me. I guess I won't start with this one, would you recommend another book by her?

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  3. I had been looking forward to this one but maybe I'll move it down a bit on my mental list :)

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  4. I've never read any of this author's work, but I do love the cover of that title. I'll be sure to start with a different book when I get a chance to try her books.

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  5. This is a new to me author. Maybe I should try some of her other books first.

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  6. I am a new follower from a post on Book blogs, I really enjoyed this review. I appreciate that you are able to give a fair and impartial review on a book you did not necessarily care for. I also like that you still give the author kudos and encourage your audience to look up prior works from the author that you did like.
    Great review, I am a fan.

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  7. Wrighton - welcome and thanks for stopping by!

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  8. Allegra Goodman?!? That's the name of a somewhat-famous literary novelist as well. LOL. She lives in my town and I've read one of her books, KAATERSKILL FALLS, which was excellent.

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  9. I could never just take in random people in my house! I haven't read any of her books, so I guess if I do I'll have to start with one of her others.

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  10. This author is new to me as well, I would really like to read this one. It sounds like my type of book.

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  11. Marie - this is what happens when I read all these book blogs - I confuse my author names! The author's name in this book is Allegra Howard - sorry for any confusion - I have corrected the name in my post above!

    For those of you looking for another Rowan Coleman book to try, I recommend "The Accidental Mother"

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  12. The premise reminds me of The Beach House by Jane Green, but that book worked really well. Too bad that this one didn’t. Good review, though. It’s helpful to hear why you were disappointed.

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  13. Sarah - you are right - the premise is similar to The Beach House. I hadn't realized that until you pointed it out. I agree - it worked well in that book whereas it didn't work as well here.

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