The Broken Hearts Book Club by Lynsey James
Release Date: 4th September 2015
Publisher: Carina UK
Secrets never stay buried for long…
Lucy Harper has always been good at one thing: running from her past. But when her beloved Nana Lily passes away she has no choice except to return to the one place in the world she most wants to avoid…
Luna Bay hasn’t changed much in the eight years she has spent in London. The little Yorkshire village is still just as beautiful, but the new pub landlord is a gorgeous addition to the scenery!
Lucy only intended to stay for a day, yet when she discovers that Nana Lily has not only left her a cottage but also ‘The Broken Hearts Book Club’, Lucy is intrigued. Her Nana never have mentioned the club and Lucy can’t wait to get started, but walking into her first meeting she is more aware than ever that her past is finally catching up with her.
One way or another, Lucy must finally face the secrets she’s kept buried for so long – or spend the rest of her life on the run…
After Lucy’s beloved Nana Lily passes away she is forced to return to Luna Bay, the village where she grew up, for her funeral. This might sound normal enough at first, why wouldn’t she want to re-visit the gorgeous seaside village in Yorkshire? Her parents live there, it’s an idyllic sounding place and it’s filled with memories from her past. However, the memories sadly aren’t all good and this is precisely the reason Lucy is so reluctant to leave her bolt hole in London and face up to the past. It’s going to be ok though – Lucy plans to make her first return to Luna Bay in eight years a fleeting visit. She’ll attend her Nana Lily’s funeral and then be on her way… If only things were that simple…
Lucy soon discovers that her beloved Nana has left her her gorgeous cottage in her will. But she can’t even consider moving back to Luna Bay. Can she? However, it seems as though Nana Lily has a few conditions to leaving Lucy Rose Cottage. Not only must Lucy live in the cottage herself (no renting allowed) but she must also take over the legacy of running Nana Lily’s book club. However, this is no ordinary book club. The Broken Hearts Book Club is filled with members who are struggling to come to terms with losses and are living with grief. Nana Lily started the group after the death of her husband and its members use books as a way to give them strength and escape the heartbreak of everyday life during difficult times.
Whilst Lucy is in awe of the idea of The Broken Hearts Book Club, returning to Luna Bay and putting herself in the spotlight by running the club is a whole different ball game.
But why is Lucy so reluctant to return to Luna Bay in the first place? What was it that happened all those years ago to make her so afraid of facing Luna Bay and all of its residents. and does she possess the strength to finally stop running from her past?
I was mega excited about reading The Broken Hearts Book Club. Not only did I love Lynsey’s debut novel, Just The Way You Are, but I thought that the premise for The Broken Hearts Book Club sounded absolutely fantastic. Books involving books or book clubs are personal favourites of mine and Lynsey’s second novel certainly didn’t disappoint.
I was drawn into this novel right from the off. I immediately warmed to Lucy, she was a brilliant lead character. She is kind, funny and has a tendency to burst into song at inappropriate moments. What’s not to love? Despite Lucy’s sparkly demeanor, it quickly becomes clear in the earlier parts of the story that something awful happened in Luna Bay eight years ago and Lucy was clearly involved. During the story Lucy refers to the incident as the ‘Vicky thing’. I was desperate to find out what had happened and why Lucy was so intent on running from her past. Lynsey does a great job of introducing characters from Lucy’s past and hinting at the incident but never giving away what really went on.
Luna Bay is an idyllic setting for the story. Lynsey really brought the Yorkshire village to life through her descriptive writing and had me dreaming of visiting Luna Bay for myself.
As expected, I also loved the idea of a book set around a book club. Getting to know members of the group and reading about their choices of books and the book-related discussions that they had was just heavenly. Having a book club based around people who were struggling to come to terms with grief was also a brilliant touch. Seeing how the members helped each other and how the books helped them in return was touching to read about.
I loved meeting the characters of Luna Bay. Lucy’s Dad was adorable (I loved the incident with the flooding at the start of the book…) and then there’s Fitty McFitterson…Um…*cough* I mean Jake. I was fixated on their relationship right from the start. There was just something about these two characters that had me hooked and rather obsessed with their relationship. Ok, so not everything runs smoothly but this provides the odd chuckle along the way. They had such a strong connection and I loved the interaction between them when they were together. But you never quite know how things are going to turn out…
The Broken Hearts Book Club is definitely my favourite Lynsey James novel so far. It’s a perfect piece of chick lit that explores grief, heartbreak, family and love. It’s heart-warming, intriguing and what I like to call an ideal ‘Sunday Afternoon Read’ – y’know the sort. The kind of book that is just perfect for curling up with in front of the fire under a big blanket on a gloomy Sunday afternoon. It’ll take you away from reality for a few hours and completely transport you to the beautiful Luna Bay with it’s fascinating range of characters and unpredictable goings-on.
I can’t wait for more from Lynsey James…
A huge thank you to Jenny from Neverland Blog Tours for providing me with a review copy of The Broken Hearts Book Club. ♥
Lynsey James was born in Fife in 1991 and has been telling people how to spell her name ever since. She’s an incurable bookworm who loves nothing more than getting lost in a good story with memorable characters. She started writing when she was really young and credits her lovely Grandad- and possibly a bump on the head from a Mr Frosty machine- with her love of telling stories. She used to write her own episodes of Friends and act them out in front of her family (in fact she’s sure she put Ross and Rachel together first!)
A careers adviser at school once told Lynsey writing wasn’t a “good option” and for a few years, she believed her. She tried a little bit of everything, including make-up artistry, teaching and doing admin for a chocolate fountain company. The free chocolate was brilliant. When Lynsey left her job a couple of years ago, she started writing full-time while she looked for another one. As soon as she started working on her story, Lynsey fell in love and decided to finally pursue her
dream. She haven’t looked back since.
When Lynsey’s not writing, eating cake or drinking tea, she’s daydreaming about the day Dylan O’Brien FINALLY realises they’re meant to be together. It’ll happen one day…