Release date - 18th May 2017
Book length -384 pages
Publisher - www.orionbooks.co.uk
Book Depository - www.bookdepository.com
Amazon UK - www.amazon.co.uk
Amazon US - www.amazon.com
ABOUT THE BOOK
Would you know your forever house if you found it?
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.
You know when you find that special book that you just want to stay inside the pages for as long as possible while at the same time you desperately want to see how it all ends up for the characters that you have come to love? Well, THE FOREVER HOUSE by Veronica Henry is that book for me. The minute I saw the beautiful cover I was desperate to jump into this story, and from the very first page, I was hooked.
Hunter's Moon is the type of house that once you encounter it you never want to leave. Perfect in every way, Belinda Baxter knows that there must be some serious reason for the Willoughbys to leave it behind them and sell it. Unusual for an estate agent, Belinda genuinely cares about the homes that she brokers, including the people behind them. She understands what it is like to find your forever home and have it all disappear from underneath you, destroying everything you thought your future would hold...
It is time for Sally and Alexander to say goodbye to Hunter's Moon - the place they fell in love, the place where there are living memories around every corner. When they received some tragic news they recognised that they could no longer afford to live in this little piece of heaven any longer. Struggling with what the future holds, they try to hide the truth from their adult children - Leo who is living in London, and their daughter, Jess, who is settled in Scotland. But you cannot hide forever...
This beautiful story switches from the past to present. In the past, we get to see a young Sally meet Alexander and become enveloped into the Willoughby clan as their housekeeper. From Alexander's flamboyant mother who is a successful writer, to his quirky sisters, and brooding father, Sally is welcomed and captivated by this unusual family and falls in love with Hunter's Moon. But like all families, the Willoughby's have their secrets.
In the present, we get to know Belinda Baxter, who has never truly moved on from her devastating past and has thrown herself completely into her work. Very successful, she hopes to find another home one day that will make her feel complete but has shut herself away from relationships and love. But as she prepares to sell two special homes, she must face her demons if she is to have any chance of the happy future she deserves. We also get to see Sally and Alexander's present-day story unfold, and the love that exists between them and their son, Leo.
The main characters are so well-developed and likeable that you cannot help but feel like you know them, as you desperately want everything to work out for them. THE FOREVER HOUSE by Veronica Henry deals with some heavy topics but it is so excellently written that it never feels too much. Life is never simple and plain sailing and this is perfectly portrayed in this novel.
The setting of Peasebrook is extraordinary as always, and the community really comes alive in this book. Hunter's Moon is everything you wish for in a home and the writing is so descriptive that you can easily imagine yourself there. Reading about the house from the past to the present really gives the house a life of its own and Hunter's Moon becomes a character in its own right. THE FOREVER HOUSE by Veronica Henry is an emotional and moving tale about love, family, sadness, and hope, and it is a book that should not be missed. A truly perfect read.
I AM SO EXCITED TO HAVE THE WONDERFUL VERONICA HENRY ON MY BLOG TODAY WHERE SHE TALKS ABOUT IMPORTANT HOMES IN BOOKS THAT HAVE INFLUENCED HER OWN WRITING. READ ON FOR THIS FASCINATING GUEST POST:
GUEST POST FROM VERONICA HENRY
Like my heroine Belinda in The Forever House, we didn’t have a home of our own until I was 15 and my father left the Army. As a result I was always obsessed with the houses in the books I read voraciously – I longed for four walls to call my own.
These are the literary houses that shaped my life and informed my writing:
LITTLE HOUSE IN THE BIG WOODS – LAURA INGALLS WILDER
My father always took me to the bookshop on a Saturday morning. I can remember choosing this because it was the first in a series, and I determined to go back every Saturday until I had the whole collection. I fell in love with the Ingalls but mostly with the homes Ma and Pa built for their children wherever they were. I longed for a calico dress though I’m still not sure what calico is even today …
THE GROWING SUMMER - NOEL STREATFEILD
So many children’s books start with siblings being packed off to live with someone eccentric (The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe!) but this is my favourite. The Gareth children are sent off to the wilds of Southern Ireland to stay with their Great Aunt Dymphna and find a mysterious boy who asks to hide out in her ramshackle mansion.… Years later I went to Bantry Bay and it was as wild and magical as described. Even as I type this bits of the book are coming back to me – including the RL Stevenson poem Aunt Dymphna quotes –‘I will make you brooches and toys for your delight’.
REBECCA – DAPHNE DU MAURIER
The opening line of Rebecca must be one of the most memorable in fiction – ‘Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again’. If I ever teach creative writing, I read the first chapter as an example of how to begin a book. It is so incredibly atmospheric, it teases the reader, it’s tense and ominous and how can you not want to read on? Manderley is firmly in charge of the story, holding the characters in its four walls and shaping their futures. It is almost the protagonist of the novel.
GONE WITH THE WIND – MARGARET MITCHELL
An epic love story, this doorstop of a book is so vivid and memorable, and every reader must have a clear picture in their head of Scarlett O’Hara’s beloved Tara. Her passion for her home is the driver for the narrative. It really does epitomise a sense of belonging somewhere, and I find that very inspiring.
COLD COMFORT FARM – STELLA GIBBONS
Cold Comfort Farm must be the ultimate do-er-upper. I can’t read it without imagining how it might end up – it’s ripe for renovation. But just as satisfying as fantasising about renovating is reading about the bonkers Starkadders and the redoubtable Flora Poste’s efforts to get them back on track.
BRIDESHEAD REVISITED –EVELYN WAUGH
A richly detailed and evocative story which is about so much more than Charles Ryder feeling somewhat out of place as he arrives at Brideshead, the home of his university friend Sebastian Flyte. Charles quickly becomes infatuated with the magnificent mansion and its inhabitants, the eccentric and privileged Marchmains. If you’re going to read one country house novel, this should be it.
RIDERS – JILLY COOPER
I could write a book about how much I love Jilly’s books. She is the mistress of ‘voice’ – her writing is just like she is – glamorous, sexy, witty, warm, mischievous and terribly English. Rupert Campbell Black’s Penscombe is my ultimate dream home, and Jilly’s descriptions of it are so lyrical and pastoral – you can smell the blossom and the hay and the horses. I think I’m in a fairly long queue for the role of Mrs Campbell Black.
THE DARLING BUDS OF MAY – H E BATES
I love literature that describes the English countryside and the social mores – Hardy and Wodehouse are amongst my favourites – but H E Bates is probably my best-loved author. I long to join the Larkins in their chaotic farmhouse – sit at the table and sip one of Pa Larkin’s cocktails while Ma conjures up one of her feasts. The strawberry-picking scene is a stand out piece of writing for me. If I could evoke a tenth of what Bates evokes with his words, I would be very proud.
I WANT TO THANK VERONICA HENRY FOR THIS GREAT GUEST POST, AND ALSO LAUREN AT ORION PUBLISHING FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO REVIEW THE FOREVER HOUSE, AND TAKE PART IN THIS BLOG TOUR. MAKE SURE YOU CHECK OUT THE OTHER STOPS ALONG THE WAY!
Hi fellow bookworms. My name is Linda and I'm a reviewer & blogger from Ireland. Oh and also a wife and mother!
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