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The Home for Broken Hearts Paperback – September 7, 2010


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The Home for Broken Hearts + Lessons in Laughing Out Loud + The Accidental Family
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 343 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (September 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439156859
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439156858
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,266,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

For the past year, ever since Ellen Wood lost her husband in a car accident, she's been afraid to leave the house. She struggles to keep her head above water and care for her adolescent son, Charlie, which becomes that much more difficult when she discovers just how little money she has. At a loss for ideas about how to keep her home, Ellen reluctantly agrees to her sister's suggestion that she take in lodgers, and soon a German businesswoman, a handsome journalist, and Ellen's favorite romance author are all living under her roof. Coleman's newest novel tells a mature, thoughtful story, successfully juggling a large cast of characters and creating men and women alike with balance and humor. While some of the twists are predictable, the engaging cast and heartwarming story go a long way toward making up for it.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Ellen Wood has always defined herself as a wife and mother until her husband unexpectedly dies in a car crash. Her world is now limited to her 11-year-old son Charlie, the bodice ripper romances by Allegra Howard that she proofreads, and intermittent visits from her sister Hannah. When the insurance money does not come through, Ellen is in danger of losing her beloved Victorian house in London until her sister suggests taking in boarders. She ends up with three: Sabine, a transfer from Germany who left her husband; Matt, a journalist who just got his dream job writing about the exploits of a single man-about-town; and Ellen’s favorite writer, Allegra Howard. Each makes Ellen realize how isolated she has become, and she starts to grow as a person. Ellen’s relationship with her son changes for the better, but her always contentious relationship with her sister starts to deteriorate, causing a huge rift. Coleman (The Accidental Family, 2009)displays her usual charm and wit as she creates genuine characters and explores love, life, and sisterhood. --Patty Engelmann

More About the Author

I'm Rowan Coleman, also writing as Scarlett Bailey, and I live in England with my husband, and five children, including my seven month old baby twins! I've been a published writer for ten years, although a story teller since I could speak. I've written a total of ten novels for women, including the bestselling THE ACCIDENTAL MOTHER and ANOTHER MOTHER'S LIFE and my most recent book LESSONS IN LAUGHING OUT LOUD is out now. I also write under the name Scarlett Bailey and my festive romantic comedy with a heart MARRIED BY CHRISTMAS is now available to download. THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS will also be available too! Growing up as a dyslexic made my dream of becoming a writer seem impossible, but I never gave up trying and in 2001 I won Young Writer of the Year competition in Company Magazine. This lead to the publication of my first novel, and I've never looked back since.

Customer Reviews

The characters are very well developed.
Jennifer
Yes, there are parts that were a little predictable, but the writing is so wonderful, it is an easy thing to overlook.
Mary Bookhounds
Hannah actually admitted she was jealous that Ellen got to grieve her husband but Hannah didn't.
Angrygreycatreads

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Laurel-Rain Snow TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Young widow Ellen Wood feels as though she's treading water in the first few months after her husband's death. Her eleven-year-old son Charlie is her primary focus, as well as the books she edits for romance author Allegra Howard. Her Victorian home is her sanctuary, and between maintaining that home for herself and her son, and working from home, she scarcely even needs to leave it--which suits her fine, because she loves this home that seems to embody everything precious in her life.

So when she learns from the accountant that there is no more money, and that the life insurance will not pay off on her husband Nick's death because he died from his own "reckless behavior," she must do something. Quickly, if she doesn't want to lose the one important thing in her life.

Ellen's sister Hannah suggests she take in boarders. The home is huge and can accommodate several, so the procession of candidates begins. When the three boarders join Ellen in her home, and when one of them turns out to be Allegra Howard, who needs a home and an assistant, a whole new world opens up for Ellen.

While the plot may be slightly predictable--I've read a few stories in which the financially-strapped have taken in boarders--this one has a few unique plot twists that set it apart. I loved the setting--I'm a fan of British surroundings--and it didn't hurt that one of the boarders is someone who can actually help Ellen become more independent.

All of the characters in The Home for Broken Hearts felt like real people, and the sibling rivalries between Ellen and Hannah had many layers. A few secrets came to light along the way, too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Deborah VINE VOICE on December 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
I knew I was going to enjoy this book as soon as I read the description. For some reason, I seem drawn to books about people who take boarders into their own home. I love reading about how many different personalities and secrets lie under one roof. As soon as I began the book, I began to see that very plot begin to take shape right before me. Ellie and her young son are still trying to get over her husband's untimely early death. I was a bit disheartened to see that Matt had completely left Ellie in the dark about everything in their lives and now that he was gone she was completely clueless. However, by forcing her to open up her house it forces her to start to change her lifestyle and be open to more people.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I love British chick lit books and this book fits the genre very well. I found the whole take on the cougar storyline to be interesting because it comes at it from a different point of view. Ellie is not on the lookout for a younger boyfriend, in fact she's not on the lookout for any sort of relationship at all. Matt is not the typical guy for her but their chemistry works out perfectly. There is some fantasizing that goes on but I found it fitting to the story and not like a romance novel at all.

The only person that really bothered me was Hannah. I didn't like her character from the start of the story and as the novel progressed, her actions didn't help me to sympathize with her character at all. Part of the reason may have been because the reader mainly sees her from Ellie's point of view as the the older sister. Still, I felt Hannah to be a character that brought a lot of drama in her life and couldn't see things from others' point of view because she's too caught up into herself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer on September 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
I sometimes find it hard to get into books about England because even though they are written in English the slang and differences in language make it difficult for me to fully grasp what the characters are saying. While I did experience a bit of that with this book for the most part it was pretty easy for me to pick up on. I'm finding that the more I read from English authors, the easier the language differences are to decipher. Having said that I really thought this was a great book.

The whole premise of the book is that Ellen's life is ripped apart by the death of her husband and she is trying to rebuild. What ensues in that rebuilding is a great story of family and friendship. The relationship that Ellen has with her young son and her sister are already strained and the fact that a year after Ellen's husband's death she is still not sure on how to "recover" make the relationships even more strained. Then the lodgers come into the story and everything Ellen has thought about her life, her future, her ability to cope are turned upside down.

The characters are very well developed. I really liked Ellen, she needs some work, but who doesn't... And given that her husband was her life she's very lost. She comes off as being meek and weak-willed, but as the story gets going she finds her strength and her ability to live a life without her husband.

I really liked the writing. It was humorous at times, not poking fun at the situation, but humorous none the less. It was also very emotional. Understanding what emotions Ellen is feeling is almost painful at times. I could feel the grief she was dealing with. Although the main plot was a bit predictable there were more than enough twists thrown in to make the story really stand out.
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