Wednesday 4 March 2015

Review ~ People We Love by Jenny Harper.


Title: People We Love.
Author: Jenny Harper.
Publisher: Accent Press.
Genre: Women's Fiction.
Publication Date: January 25, 2015.
Source: Review copy.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon US

Her life is on hold – until an unlikely visitor climbs in through the kitchen window.

A year after her brother’s fatal accident, Lexie’s life seems to have reached a dead end. She is back home in small-town Hailesbank with her shell-shocked parents, treading softly around their fragile emotions.

As the family business drifts into decline, Lexie’s passion for painting and for her one-time mentor Patrick have been buried as deep as her unexpressed grief, until the day her lunch is interrupted by a strange visitor in a bobble hat, dressing gown and bedroom slippers, who climbs through the window.

Elderly Edith’s batty appearance conceals a secret and starts Lexie on a journey that gives her an inspirational artistic idea and rekindles her appetite for life. With friends in support and ex-lover Cameron seemingly ready to settle down, do love and laughter beckon after all?


People We Love is a touching novel with an emphasis on relationships and the love, pain and heartache that come with them. Lexie and her family are grieving after the death of her brother Jamie and still struggling to take that final step to try to get on with their lives, as hard as that is. For anyone who’s grieving, anyone who’s been knocked down and is finding it hard to pick themselves back up, People We Love is the book to read. It’s a heartfelt novel, gorgeously told and as Lexie begins to rediscover her love of art, her passion for life is slowly being rediscovered too and there’s a surge of hope and optimism throughout. Everybody has a story to tell and a life to make the most out of and People We Love is a gentle reminder that you can get through the difficult times in your life.

I will say that it took me a little bit of time to really connect with this book. Each chapter begins with a brief description of a shoe and the story of its owner and I thought this was interesting from the start but it isn’t until later on in the novel when they become really relevant and I wanted to go back and read the beginning to each chapter again. They were so beautifully written, as was the whole book, and such an original idea. The moment when Lexie discovers an old woman climbing through her window is the moment I became utterly drawn in to the story for two different reasons; one because the idea of an old woman climbing up through your window is completely mad and intriguing but more importantly because Edith led to the most important aspect of this book, Lexie’s art and the moving stories found within her project and the other characters that we meet.

My favourite part of this book by far was Lexie’s art project and the beautiful message it put across. Lexie’s art led to various characters sharing their stories and Jenny created and wrote each character with depth and I was put at ease switching between the snippets of their lives we learn about, and then going back to Lexie’s life and the struggles she was facing. The story that came with each shoe was fascinating, at times moving and at times putting a smile on my face and they all brought that edge that made sure even though this book looks at grief and other emotional themes, it’s still kind of uplifting. Lexie was a flawed protagonist that I really liked and all the other characters like Molly, Pavel and Lexie’s mum in particular also felt genuine, with traits and characteristics easy to relate to. People We Love has quite a powerful outlook on life and relationships and I am glad I got the chance to read it, at the right time of my life as well.

Review also posted on Goodreads | Amazon UK

Jenny CC 6 web
Jenny Harper lives in Edinburgh. She is the author of four books about Scotland and Scottish culture, a history of childbirth, and The Sleeping Train for young readers. When she isn't writing, she enjoys walking in the Scottish countryside or anywhere warm, and travelling to Europe, America and India.

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1st Prize: 1 x Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolour Sketchers Pocket Set and an E-copy of People We Love by Jenny Harper

2nd Prize: 1 x Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolour Sketchers' Pocket Set

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