Make do and Mend a Broken Heart by Katey Lovell
Publishing Date: 9th January 2020
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!
Number of pages: 260
Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Romance
Buy the Book: Kindle
When you know how, you can make anything from scratch, including a new life after love…
When Leanne and Richard bought a dilapidated old seaside cottage to renovate together as their forever home, their future was full of hope and promise.
But heartbreak was just around the corner: fast forward a few months and Richard is gone. With his death, Leanne finds herself stony broke, faced with an uninhabitable home and lacking even the basic skills to do it up herself.
With the help of the friendly woman who runs the library and the reluctant assistance of the man who works in the local hardware shop, the cottage is lovingly restored. But broken hearts aren’t so easy to fix… are they?
Leanne and her husband are about to move in their dream house – but then something really horrible happens and Leanne is suddenly on her own, facing challenges she has no idea she’s strong enough to tackle by herself. The house needs a lot of tender loving care, not to mention tons of work and repairs, and the money is short – what is she supposed to do now? Abandon her dream of her having a house? Give up?
It was really a story about renovations and how they work, so if you’re planning a house move or renovation, you can easily be inspired by some of the ideas in this book.
The beginning took me totally by surprise, this what has happened and resulted in Leanne moving to her dream house alone was so shocking and sad, and I fell for her immediately. She took a lot of time to find herself afresh, and there were many moments that she felt so insecure but it was understandable, and usually such heroine would annoy me but Leanne was written with so much heart and feeling and it was impossible not to feel sympathy for her. I really enjoyed going on this journey with her, seeing her coming out of her comfort zones, and I truly wanted to give her a standing ovation for daring to do things that I – probably – wouldn’t dare by myself. So it turned out that she was brave and strong, even though she had so many weaker moments she didn’t wallow in self – pity, oh no, she still, after having a cry or two, rolled up her sleeves, recovered and continued – to live, hope and … yes, renovate!
I always love a story with a great community in it, and it was like this in the book, however it has also taken the community feeling to another level, a little too overdone. Except for one woman, who in the end of course improved herself, everybody loved each other and supported each other at every turn. I mean, nice, of course, but sometimes less is more? It doesn’t mean, of course, that I didn’t enjoy getting to know the characters, along with Leanne.
Sometimes the narration and the banter felt too woody, too forced, especially some of the dialogues, and there were really tons of descriptions of renovations, tools, sanding, painting and whatever you have to do to make your place beautiful. Some of the things happened very conveniently and altogether, things run very smoothly and are solved quickly and without any really big and life changing twists, and I’d love to see this plot a bit more ambitious.
As much as it is an entertaining story, there is this feeling of sadness and nostalgia to “Make Do and Mend a Broken Heart”, but they’re lovely and lovingly combined with hope and joy. It was a cosy, warm story, perfect for a winter evening in front of the fireplace that make you feel comfortable. It was an easy read, with straight – forward plot, so it’s not going to stay with me for long, nevertheless it was heart-warming and engaging book about community coming together, about friendships, trust and finding yourself.