The 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.
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:
My Book Views
I received a copy of this book foe review from the publisher