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The Lavender House Kindle Edition
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Love hurts no matter what your age and unfortunately, fate is not yet finished with Nancy de Freitas. Having given up her own music career when she married, Nancy now finds herself alone when Christopher walks out after thirty-four years. Four years later, she is all that is holding her small family together. Her ailing mother Frances refuses to get the medical treatment that she needs, her daughter Louise is in a troubled marriage to a man that cannot see beyond his own dreams to understand that his family is suffering. And two adorable granddaughters that are of the age where they can both see and need to be sheltered from the dynamics surrounding them.
Taking an evening for herself, Nancy is introduced to Jim, a pseudo successful, but past his prime, country singer. There is a spark, but Nancy knows that she has more pressing responsibilities at home then starting up with a man that may not be completely honest when it comes to his current situation.
Yet she cannot get this man off her mind. This may be her last chance at not being alone, that is until fate once again steps in. Does she choose Jim and the new life that he has to offer or does she stay firmly within her comfort zone and resign herself to the needs of her family.
That is what I like about Hilary Boyd – she writes realistic characters. We can feel Nancy’s pain and confusion and we can understand why Jim is not willing to let go. We find ourselves constantly preaching to and cheering on this couple and it is not until the last pages that we can finally exhale and hope that destiny has finally connected this couple.
The problem is her family, they have come to rely on her to be there and help out at the drop of a hat and this puts a huge strain on her fledgling relationship.
Whilst I enjoyed this book, the familial set up was extremely frustrating. I found Nancy’s family selfish and self-centred. I found her Mother cold and distant, her daughter Louise was in short a bitch. She had issues with her marriage and reasons for being anxious and on edge but the pressure she put on Nancy to be at her beck and call to look after her children was totally unreasonable, I kept thinking just hire a bloody babysitter you tight cow!
I also got frustrated with Nancy, I felt like she let her family treat her like a doormat, she never stood up for herself and what she wanted. It made me feel sorry for Jim, even when he was doing silly things, making mistakes I just felt like he was due a pass for all the messing about from her.
I come from a close family, the kind of family where we all do anything for anyone, but we wouldn’t expect anyone else to give up their own happiness for another member of the family. I felt the dynamics in Nancy’s family were all wrong and just really uncomfortable to read.
This was, however, a wonderful novel and a great contemporary romance, and I imagine it mirrors many real life stories in many ways which made it even more beautiful. Waiting to see if Nancy and Jim could find their way to love was painful but also enjoyable, and this is a great story about people finding love in their mid-life.
A huge thanks to Hilary Boyd and Quercus for the ARC via Quercus Summer so that I could read and honestly review this book.
Nancy had been married to a very selfish man whose tune she danced to for the whole of their marriage until he upped sticks and left for a younger model. With an ailing mother to care for and living in extremely close proximity to her daughter and her family she rarely has time for a social life. But for her friend Lindy she may never have met Jim, but she did and love and passion are not just for the young! Will love conquer all though? Read this and find out. A fabulous novel!!
I received an arc of this book from Net Galley for my honest and unbiased review.