Earlier this year I read the Book Lover series and the first one, The Book Lovers became one of my favourites on my forever shelf. When Rachel’s Random Resources invited me to this tour, I quickly agreed because I knew I would be in for a treat. Scroll down to see if it matched my high expectations.
Book Review: The Beauty of Broken Things by Victoria Connelly
Title: The Beauty of Broken Things
Author: Victoria Connelly
Publisher: Amazon Publishing UK
Release date: 9th June 2020
Genre: Women’s Fiction
United by tragedy, can two broken souls make each other whole?
After the tragic loss of his wife, Helen, Luke Hansard is desperate to keep her memory alive. In an effort to stay close to her, he reaches out to an online friend Helen often mentioned: a reclusive photographer with a curious interest in beautiful but broken objects. But first he must find her—and she doesn’t want to be found.
Orla Kendrick lives alone in the ruins of a remote Suffolk castle, hiding from the haunting past that has left her physically and emotionally scarred. In her fortress, she can keep a safe distance from prying eyes, surrounded by her broken treasures and insulated from the world outside.
When Luke tracks Orla down, he is determined to help her in the way Helen wanted to: by encouraging her out of her isolation and back into the world. But Orla has never seen her refuge as a prison and, when painful secrets and dangerous threats begin to resurface, Luke’s good deed is turned on its head.
As they work through their grief for Helen in very different ways, will these two broken souls be able to heal?
The tone of this book was different to the Book Lovers series, but I loved it and it showcased Victoria Connelly’s ability to write a more emotive, slightly darker novel delving deeper into the subject of grief and adapting to a different life after tragedy.
One thing this has in common with the series is her knack of bringing ideas, objects and hobbies alive with the descriptions inciting all the reader’s senses. In the Book Lover’s series it was reading, music and colour. The reader experiences the joy and pleasure along with the protagonist, and in this instance; it is photography and gardening. The beautiful prose allowed me to capture Helen and Orla’s passion for photography and the smell of the garden and allotment. I became immersed in the plot immediately with the opening scenes with Helen. She may only have been in the opening chapter but the essence of her is the thread binding the two central characters and I would love to know more about her and experience life in her eyes for a while. Her viewpoint was uplifting.
Luke’s grief and bewilderment leapt off the page as he makes the decision to find his wife’s elusive friend. The setting of his destination is stunning and has given me another place to visit on my Bucket list. Along with Orla’s fear of the outside world it gave an insight into mental health after trauma and life-changing experiences. It handles the raw pain of grief in a sensitive manner. I loved watching the blossoming friendship between Orla and Luke and the emotional journey they go through to heal.
All characters have depth, including those with smaller roles like Bill and his friends. The community spirit made me long to live in the village with him and his wife. It is the small details like her knitting that add to the depth of characters bringing them alive.
This novel is about true love, friendship, courage and learning to live your life appreciating every snapshot small and large.
Would I recommend?
Yes. It is set in a beautiful location and there are many memorable characters to cherish including One Eye, the dog who I would love to own. It is an emotional read which left me feeling warm, upbeat and full of hope and also longing for more. I can’t wait for her next release.
Victoria Connelly studied English Literature at Worcester University, got married in a medieval castle in the Yorkshire Dales and now lives in rural Suffolk with her artist husband, a young springer spaniel and a flock of ex-battery hens. She is the million-selling author of two bestselling series, Austen Addicts and The Book Lovers, as well as many other novels and novellas. Her first published novel, Flights of Angels, was made into a film in 2008 by Ziegler Films in Germany. The Runaway Actress was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Comedy Novel award.
Victoria loves books, films, walking, historic buildings and animals. If she isn’t at her keyboard writing, she can usually be found in her garden either with a trowel in her hand or a hen on her lap.
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Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and the advanced copy so I could give my honest and unbiased opinion.
Happy reading and stay safe!