Friday, July 20, 2012

Review: Going Home by Harriet Evans

I really enjoy Harriet Evans' novels, and this one didn't disappoint.  I'm embarrassed though to say that I started it around Christmas and didn't finish it until June.  Yes, here is one of those novels that just seemed to take me forever to read thanks to life!

Synopsis:  From Goodreads, "They say love feels like going home . . . But what if your home is no longer there? Leaving her tiny flat in London -- and a whole host of headaches behind -- Lizzy Walter is making the familiar journey back home to spend Christmas with her chaotic but big-hearted family. In an ever-changing world, her parents' country home, Keeper House, is the one constant. But behind the mistletoe and mince pies, family secrets and rivalries lurk. And when David, the love of her life -- or so she thought -- makes an unexpected reappearance, this one ranks as a Christmas she would definitely rather forget.

As winter slowly turns to spring, all the things that Lizzy has taken for granted begin to shift. Keeper House is in jeopardy and might have to be sold for reasons Lizzy doesn't understand. Her family seems fractured like never before. And, with a new man in her life, she may finally have to kiss her dream of a reunion with David good-bye. By the time the Walters gather at Keeper House for a summer wedding, the stakes have never been higher -- for Lizzy, for her family, and for love."

Review:  Harriet Evans writes great novels with a lot of characters and story going on.  This novel was no exception.  Let me cut to the chase though in saying that once things switched from a lovely English countryside Christmas to the toils of going back to work and her family's drama, it became a novel filled with tension.  I wanted to  enjoy my reading and relax, but found myself tense over the main character, Lizzy's, stubborn streak.  Things that needed to be talked about with her ex-"love of her life" and with her parents always got side stepped.  In fact, in the novel, the other characters commented on her inability to face the music and talk about things that were going on.  People wanted to involve her, but she strangely kept choosing to avoid everything.  I suppose she was protecting herself?  Obviously, this was how Evans meant to create the character and her story; I just found it put off any hope of resolution and kept the story dragging along a bit.  If we as readers don't know what's happening, then in some ways it doesn't matter to us.  

Thankfully, we find out that her family might lose their lovely family home and why.  Everything starts to unfold and Lizzy begins to be more honest with herself.  I appreciated that and finally really started to enjoy the novel after that point.  For me, the first 150 and the last 100 pages were the best and had me enjoying that escape reading experience that I love.

On the whole, I liked Going Home.  Admittedly, I'm a bigger fan of A Hopeless Romantic, but can now see some of the techniques that Evans might be using to draw out the storyline a bit.  I still find myself relating to her main female characters (stubborn streak and all) and hoping that they will get their final bit of happiness.  If you like British "Chick Lit" then you should try Harriet Evans.  I will continue to read her novels because they are interesting stories with a setting and themes I enjoy and just can't seem to get enough of in the long run!

*FTC Disclosure:  Review is based on a personal copy of the novel.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not a big fan of the cover, I have to say.