The House of New Beginnings by Lucy Diamond
Publishing Date: 26th January 2017
Source: Received from the publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!
Number of pages: 480
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction
Number 11, Dukes Square, looks just like the other houses on the Brighton seafront: a Regency terrace with elegant sash windows, a winding staircase, and post piled up in the hall for its tenants. It might be part of the city’s history, but it’s also a place of brand new beginnings.
Georgie has followed her childhood sweetheart to Brighton but is determined to carve out a career for herself in journalism. Throwing herself into the city’s delights is fun and exciting, but before she knows it, she’s sliding into all kinds of trouble . . .
Charlotte’s in the city for a new start, hoping to keep her head down and somehow get over the heartbreaking loss she’s suffered in the past. But Margot, the stylish old lady on the top floor, has other ideas. Like it or not, Charlotte must confront the outside world, and the possibilities it still holds.
A terrible revelation sent Rosa running from London to start again as a sous chef. The work is gruelling and thankless but it’s a distraction at least . . . until she comes up against the stroppy teenager next door who challenges her on her lifestyle choices. What if Rosa’s passion for food could lead her to more interesting places?
As the three tenants find each other, it’s as if a whole new chapter of their lives has begun. The House of New Beginnings is a moving and uplifting novel from bestselling author Lucy Diamond.
Oh yes, guys, it was a high time for a new Lucy Diamond’s book – I’ve been already experiencing Ms Diamond withdrawal symptoms, to be honest, missing her warm and inviting writing style and gorgeous stories about strong women. When I’ve seen the title of the new book – “The House of New Beginnings” – I really didn’t have to read the synopsis to know that it’s going to be a gorgeous novel about taking chances and starting afresh. And guys, this cover…! THIS COVER…! Better let’s not start on this beautiful, sparkly, eye – catching cover…
When starting a book by Lucy Diamond I know it is going to introduce me to some lovely, strong female characters. The author’s incredible strength lies in writing about people that easily could be our friends, neighbours, family. This time we have three main characters – Rosa, working in a hotel’s kitchen, chopping onions and avoiding flying knives, Charlotte whose marriage didn’t get through a tragedy and Georgia, following her boyfriend who’s just got a new job in Brighton. Of course, there is so much to the girls than meet the eye! They had some very complicated pasts and they all want to start afresh – even Georgia, who sees the move to Brighton as a chance to start a new career. What the girls have in common right now is their new address – they live in the same house, Number 11 Dukes Square, but soon they all are going to cross each other’s paths…
As always, the characters are incredibly well written. Lucy Diamond has this gift to create warm, realistic, not over – exaggerated characters, people that we root for and we can so easily relate to, as we could easily find ourselves in similar situations. This is what makes Lucy’s writing so exceptional, I think, that she writes about normal, everyday things but makes it in a special way and she doesn’t overweigh the readers with only sadness but wonderfully compensates the most tender and serious moments with happy and funny ones. I can’t say that I had a favourite character in this novel because I loved them all, from the very beginning. Their stories were so different, but they had something in common as well – they were all looking for happiness, for finding their way even when it seems that all the odds are against you. Rosa has been badly hurt by a man she’s trusted and her reaction was to run away, so she left her job, house, friends and moved to Brighton, and instead in the glamorous world of PR she is working in the hotel’s kitchen – training to be a chef, as she herself ironically states. It was clear that she is wasting her time in this kitchen, with the bully chef, guys, and my heart went to her. I couldn’t watch how she was flagellating herself because of this what’s happened in the past, she deserved so much more, she had so much to offer!
Charlotte’s story was heart – breaking and you really wanted to make things better for her. There is nothing worse than have your heart broken in a way Charlotte had and her sadness was so understandable. She was so honest and so believable in all her feelings and things she’s been doing, so realistic with her uncertainty and shyness and I loved to see her blossoming, coming out of her shell and finally not forgetting but accepting.
Georgie was the youngest of the three women and her biggest problem was leaving her best mates for few months when following her boyfriend Simon to the lovely Brighton. She didn’t have such problems like Rosa and Charlotte although she was very talented in complicating her own life. She was lovely, full of great sense of humour girl, although I wanted to roll my eyes at her sometimes and mostly I wanted to tell her, hey girl, you are great, you don’t need to hang on Simon so much.
And yet all the women, that have already hit the lowest point of their lives, were still dreaming and hoping of something better. And, what’s more important, with each other’s help, or with help of other great women, they eventually plucked up the courage – and it was beautiful to see how, throughout the story, they were – yes, they had so many downs on their ways – but they always picked themselves up and looked forward. It may all sound too pompous or serious, guys, but of course it isn’t – Lucy Diamond delivers (again!) a down – to – earth, light – hearted and uplifting story.
Even the background characters, that come and go – and even the ones that are not so significant, like Paul (oh my word! How much I laughed!) – they add so much to this story, and the book wouldn’t be the same without them. They also bring some twists and turns and that made the reading so hooking and so interesting and really, some of the surprises that were their doing were so unexpected. They were all very true to life and the author brought them so effortlessly to life – just like the setting, the house itself and all the events that happened when all the three women were living at Dukes Square. Lucy Diamond’s descriptions are colourful and vivid but she doesn’t need to write thousand words to describe a thing, she just finds the best words and ways to describe them in a way that has us glued to the pages. There was not a flat moment in this story, guys, and it was a real rollercoaster ride of feelings and emotions with a great dose of brilliant humour – Lucy Diamond at her best!
Truly, “The House of New Beginnings” is a brilliant read about new beginnings (sic!), friendship, dealing with grief and betrayal, finding your own feet – full of uplifting messages and hope. And the dishes that Rosa creates, oh my word, guys…! They sounded so, so delicious! I wouldn’t hesitate to become a regular at her diner! I found myself really engrossed in the book and the different storylines and the characters that – at the beginning – didn’t know each other, were working together perfectly and I kept my fingers crossed for them all. The story is not rushed, but it has a lovely pace to it that allows you to enjoy all the small and big things in the characters’ lives. And having created such brilliant characters the author doesn’t have to push on fireworks, an extravagant plot but this what she writes about is lovely and down to earth and I often found myself nodding my head with agreement at the characters’ way of resolving their problems. Another winner from one of my favourite authors and I can’t recommend it highly enough! Make sure you have it on your wish – list!