**We were gifted a copy of this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are our own**
The world may be slightly ‘off balance’ right now, but if you are anything like me you will be using the extra time at home to increase those page counts and do some of the reading you’ve been promising yourself for ages! If so, you may be looking for your next lockdown read and today’s post might just be able to help as I share my review of newly released title Family For Beginners by Sarah Morgan. Check out all the must know info plus my thoughts below and be sure to have a read of some blogger reviews from the publication tour. Many thanks to HQ for gifting me an ARC of this title.
About The Book
Who says you can’t choose your family?
When Flora falls in love with Jack, suddenly she’s not only handling a very cranky teenager, but she’s also living in the shadow of Jack’s perfect, immortalised wife, Becca. Every summer, Becca and Jack would holiday with Becca’s oldest friends and Jack wants to continue the tradition, so now Flora must face a summer trying to live up to Becca’s memory, with not only Jack’s daughter looking on, but with Becca’s best friends judging her every move…
The more Flora tries to impress everyone, the more things go horribly wrong…but as the summer unfolds, Flora begins pushing her own boundaries, and finding herself in a way that she never thought she needed to.
And she soon learns that families come in all shapes and sizes.
Flora lost her only parent as a young child and spent her formative years living with her cold Aunt feeling unloved, unwanted and in the way. Now after her Aunt’s death she finds herself forging a life of her own, however it’s not all it’s cracked up to be as it’s made her realise just how small her life actually is, with work being the most exciting thing she has. Flora has followed in her Mother’s footsteps and loves her job working in the same florist as she did and it’s a chance meeting there that turns her life as she knows it upside down.
Jack was thrust into single parenthood after the untimely death of his wife Becca and finds himself relying heavily on his teenage daughter Izzy to help keep things running at home. Realising Izzy deserves a special treat for her forthcoming birthday Jack finds himself staring blankly through the florist window at the huge choice not knowing where to start. In steps talented Flora who knows just the right floral combination to bring a smile to Izzy’s face and before he knows it Jack has asked her to join him for a coffee.
Cue a fledgling romance with the added complication of grieving children who may not be ready for the introduction of someone new in their Father’s life. Fate however has ideas of it’s own when an accident means Flora is made homeless and finds herself not only temporarily living in Jack’s spare room, but invited on the family’s annual trip to Cumbria to stay with Becca’s oldest friend – surely a recipe for disaster?
I expected Family For Beginners to be a relatively light-hearted read despite the mention of bereavement in the synopsis, however I was thrilled when what I actually got was a story with depth and substance. Whilst on the surface it’s a tale of two families coming together to form a ‘blended family’ it actually documents the emotional turmoil and upheaval felt by each and every character and how grief, loyalty and secrets have a significant impact on the ‘moving on’ process.
It’s a beautifully written story -that had me in tears more than a handful of times! – filled with likeable, relateable characters whom I found myself really invested in. In particular I found myself drawn to Flora whose strength of character and fierce loyalty really shone through. Despite having a difficult background herself and not having an easy time getting to know stroppy teen Izzy, she kept a smile on her face and didn’t give up, even when it could be to her own detriment.
A special mention also has to go to the backdrop of this story which begins in the colourful, fast paced city of New York, before switching to the stunning landscapes of my home county of Cumbria. Whilst the contrast between the two couldn’t be any more different, Morgan has written both so vividly I could envisage them both perfectly which added something extra to my reading experience.
I could talk at length about this book, however I want to avoid any spoilers, but suffice to say I LOVED it and would highly recommend – it’s an emotional ride, but will leave you with that warm fuzzy glow! It’s the first of Sarah Morgan’s books I have read, but will actively be seeking out some of her back list, having really enjoyed her writing style.
About The Author
Sarah Morgan is a Sunday Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction. She has sold more than 18 million copies of her books and her trademark warmth and humour have gained her fans across the globe. Sarah lives near London with her family and when she isn’t writing or reading, she likes to spend time outdoors walking or riding her mountain bike.
Family For Beginners is available to purchase now from Amazon*