The Forever House by Veronica Henry
Publishing Date: 18th May 2017
Source: Received from the publisher in return for an honest review!
Number of pages: 384
Genre: General Fiction (Adults), Women’s Fiction
The house of your dreams. But can this dream last forever?
Hunter’s Moon is the ultimate ‘forever’ house. Nestled by a river in the Peasebrook valley, it has been the Willoughbys’ home for over fifty years, and now estate agent Belinda Baxter is determined to find the perfect family to live there. But the sale of the house unlocks decades of family secrets – and brings Belinda face to face with her own troubled past.
A gorgeous escapist read for anyone needing a hug in a book – perfect for fans of Erica James, Lucy Diamond and Harriet Evans.
“The Forever House” is my third book by Veronica Henry and when I thought that there is nothing that could overdo her “How to Find Love in a Bookshop”, I can certainly state that this newest release is as good as the latter. I’ve no idea how Veronica Henry does it, but there is such warmth to the writing, it is so inviting that you immediately feel at home when reading her novels. She brings all the emotions and feelings of the characters so effortlessly to life and I very quickly found myself engrossed in their lives and couldn’t wait to see what’s going to happen. Last year I read a book very similar in topic to “The Forever House” but I must admit that, even though it was by a very respectable author, the novel by Veronica Henry much better captures the whole idea of the forever house. And! This book has one of the most beautiful covers, guys, with beautiful colours, font, picture and some glitter – I love it!
Hunter’s Moon is a gorgeous property, a house with history, handed from one generation to the next. However, Sally and Alexander need to downsize, there are some very heart – breaking reasons for this decisions, and they managed to convince themselves that it is the right decision, even though you can see and feel from the beginning that it is the last thing they want to do. They’ve been happily living in this house for over 50 years, brought up their children there, and all their memories are in those walls.
The story is interlacing past and present. We get to know all the characters, their past, how they all met and how their stories started to intertwine. And always, in the heart of their lives, there was Hunter’s Moon. I absolutely loved the chapters dedicated to present, I was immersed in Belinda’s story but also the parts about Sally and Alexander set in the late 1960’s were brilliant – the author has captured the atmosphere of those time in the best possible way. In the past we see how young Sally met Alexander, how come she got to belong to the Willoughby family, why they all couldn’t do without her – starting with the best – selling author, Alexander’s extravagant mother, through his sisters to his unhappy father, and how she fell in love with Hunter’s Moon and the family living there.
Present introduces us to Belinda Baxter, an estate agent with her own story and history. She’s the one looking after the sale of Hunter’s Moon, and I loved how she took it seriously and differently – she wanted to find not only those people who’s pay the biggest sum, but she also wanted to find the right people. She truly cared about the homes she was to sell, and also about the people. She also knew how it is to find you perfect, forever house and then loose it, so maybe this is what made her tick, understand and be so sensible and understanding. She was full of passion and loved her job and she was really likeable from the first word.
As I have mentioned, Belinda has a history, that, very unexpectedly, comes back to hit her hard. What was absolutely adorable was that Belinda loved shopping in the Nightingale Books bookshop that we so well know from Ms Henry’s previous novel!
The characters are so very well developed, there is depth in them, they are believable and likeable – all of them, even the background ones. You really have a feeling that any time they can just jump out off the pages. Hunter Moon’s is a character in its own right. It is this kind of house that, once you entered, you never wanted to leave. It was a house that has been with the family for many years, a house that has seen a lot and has secrets of its own. Also, the setting of Peasebrook is gorgeous and there is this lovely community feeling.
This story deals with some more serious issues but not in a way that makes you feel overwhelmed with them. This makes the book so down – to – earth and realistic, as life is not always a bed of roses and the author has brilliantly portrayed it in her book. It is above all about families and their dynamics, and about the old saying that home is where the heart is. The writing style is so charming and the story is really addictive and I raced through the pages to eventually reach a very satisfying, beautiful end. “The Forever House” was an incredible read – the kind that you just want to stay inside it and never leave; a very emotional tale, mixing sadness with happiness, hope and despair in a perfect way, capturing imagination. Highly recommended!