26th January 2017
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.
My thoughts about the book..
What Lucy Diamond always does so well is to craft a story that could so easily be about people you meet every day, in fact, many people in real life could find themselves in the same sort of situations as the women who are the focus for The House of New Beginnings. It's a story about finding your way when everything around you seems to be thwarted against you, but yet, you know that deep down with good friends you can survive and come through, and hopefully, at the end of it all be stronger and more prepared to face life than ever before.
The author writes with great understanding of what makes women tick and soon plunges her characters into the nitty gritty of life's problems and yet, at the same time she keeps the writing warm and compassionate. There are some nice areas of light and shade, with moments that made me happy, but there are also some sadder recollections, particularly Charlotte's story, which made me want to make everything better for her. The other characters who flit into and out of the story add complexity and there some unexpected surprises along the way which help to make the story all the more thought-provoking.
I found much to enjoy in The House of New Beginnings, not just about the situations the three women find themselves in but also about living and working in Brighton, about sharing secrets and about starting life anew when it would be just as easy to carry on in the same old rut. This is one of those stories that you could comfortably read at any time of year. It would make a perfect holiday read but it's also one of those lovely books that you can just curl up with on a cold afternoon, preferably with a cup of hot chocolate close at hand.
Best Read With...One of Rosa's salted caramel muffin and a creamy cappuccino
Lucy Diamond lives in Bath with her husband and their three children. She is the author of the bestselling novels Summer at Shell Cottage, The Beach Cafe, The Year of Taking Chances and The Secrets of Happiness.
Website click here
My thanks to Jess at Pan Macmillan for my copy of this book