Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Learning to Love by Sheryl Browne

I have the pleasure of introducing my first review as an associate blogger for Loveahappyending Magazine.


What They Say:

Exploring the Fragility of Love, Life, and

Relationships

Widower, Dr David Adams, has recently moved to the village – where no one knows him, ergo there's no fuel for neighbourhood gossip – to start afresh with his ten year old son, if only he can get to a place where his son wants to speak to him. Angry and withdrawn, Jake blames his dad for the death of his mother, and David doesn't know how to reach him.
Andrea Kelly has too many balls in the air. With three children and a "nuts" mother to care for, her fiancé can't fathom why she wants to throw something else into the mix and change her career. Surely she already has too much on her plate? Because her plates are skew-whiff and her balls are dropping off all over the place, Andrea points out. She needs to make changes. Still her fiancé, who has a hidden agenda, is dead-set against it.
When Andrea's house burns mysteriously to the ground and Andrea and her entourage are forced to move in with the enigmatic Dr Adams, however, the village drums soon start beating, fuel aplenty when it turns out someone does know him – the woman carrying his baby.

What I Say:

Andrea lives with her partner Jonathan, her mum Dee and her 3 children Ryan, Sophie and Chloe along with Yorkshire Terrier Dougal.  She is planning a change in career by opening a retro/designer clothes shop, to spend more time with her mother.  Jonathan isn’t keen on the idea and tries to talk Andrea out of it (the reasons why become clear later in the book).

Dr David Adams and his son Jake move in across the road from Andrea and her family, he is trying to put his life back together after losing his wife Michelle to cancer.  His relationship with Jake is factitious to say the least.  Trying to keep his distance David is aloof and abrupt with Andrea when then first meet.

Tragedy strikes when Andrea’s house is burned down, David saves her children and offers her somewhere to stay, Jonathan has gone on the missing list, and her mum seems to be cracking up.  Andrea doesn’t know which way to turn and starts to wonder who she can trust, she sees a different side to David than she had at first.

The book flows along nicely as you get to know both Andrea and David, with added bits of there children along the way.  There is a colourful array of other characters; Sally and Eve are the main ones that stand out.  In parts I really did feel sorry for Sally after being dumped by her husband Nick, her self confidence at an all time low, she tries to throw a spanner in the works between Andrea and David.  It became obvious that they had fallen in love with each other even if they couldn’t see it and both wanted to ‘do the right thing’.  The character I liked was Andrea’s mother Dee, partly because she was portrayed as being a bit dotty, when actually she wasn’t that bad, she was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, but she had quite a few periods of lucidity, even at times it didn’t sound as though she had.  I loved Andrea's 2 eldest kids, they were typical teenagers but they did show that she had brought them up to be nice kids deep down.

The author tells you the story from both Andrea and David's point of view and also hints that things may not be as they seem with Jonathan but leaves you hanging with questions.

I enjoyed the book and the back story it is nice read, the main characters are easily likeable, Jonathan had made mistakes and I certainly didn't feel sorry for him, there was little bit of a twist to the story, it was well set up.

4 out of 5 Stars

11 comments:

  1. Thank you so much, Jo for sharing your lovely review of Learning to Love! I must admit I felt quite sorry for Sally too. I think her friends will be there for her though. Really appreciated, sweetie. Thrilled you enjoyed it! :) xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your lovely comment, I looked forward to reading more of your books. xx

      Delete
  2. You hit the nail on the head, Jo, 'a colourful array of characters' is what I've come to expect from Sheryl's books and she never disappoints! Great review, thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the support Linn, greatly appreciated. xx

      Delete
  3. I'm looking forward to reading this one! Great review!

    Mandy :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Like all Sheryl's books, this one was a feel-good read with enough tension thrown in to keep me wondering how the dilemma would be resolved. Sheryl's "little bit ditzy" heroines always have an endearing quality to them. The world needs more of the compassion her heroines display. Nice review, Jo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much for your kind comment xx

      Delete
  5. Thanks for this excellent review, Jo! I loved this story and always appreciate how Sheryl mixes such great humour with very tender, touching love stories. She is such a fine talent!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for you comments xx

      Delete
  6. Thanks for this great review, Jo. Sheryl is such an endearing author!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for such a thoughtful review Jo. I love that Sheryl's books are filled with characters to care about and to worry over - and Learning to Love sounds like exactly my kind of read.

    ReplyDelete