One of my goals this year might be to get five of you to pick up your first Jane Lovering book and delight in her ability to provide the unexpected. She has quickly become one of my favorite British writers and, for the US, and perhaps elsewhere, I should add: whom you’ve never heard of. I hope you take a chance and change that this year because her books are worth it. They are sincere, funny, and surprising. While they are categorized as romance, I think they fall more under women’s fiction, especially in the case of There’s No Place Like Home in which the main character is on a mission to improve her circumstances and finds love only accidentally.
p.s. For those of you with Kindle Unlimited, There’s No Place Like Home is included with your subscription. What better news could I provide?
Now, on to the review.
Blurb: Isabel, Izzy to her friends, has got nothing left to lose when she makes the bravest decision of her life.
A month living under canvas on the Yorkshire Moors with five strangers wouldn’t normally be her idea of a good time, even if there is prize money to be won at the end of it, but she’s all out of options.
Joining her in this wild goose chase, being filmed for a TV show, are farmer Seb, whose marriage is creaking but who is desperate not to lose his family. Sheltered Ruth who needs an opportunity to show she can make her own decisions. Glamorous socialite Kanga, who has been living a lie. American Junior who has his own secret that has led him there. And last but not least, mysterious and brooding Mac, who Izzy can’t help but be drawn to.
As the fickleness of nature tests them all to their limits, this disparate group come together to face the challenge. But when Izzy finally tells them the truth that has brought her out on the Moors, will that be the end of their adventure, or the beginning of her future? Because what Izzy really needs is a place to call home, and someone to share it with could be even better…
Izzy finds herself in miserable weather camping with five strangers all as part of a reality TV series that under normal circumstances she would never participate in, but her circumstances are currently far from normal, hence the camping. With her is earnest Sebastian who believes that he once saw something out on the moor and wants to verify while also keeping a secret as to why he is there; posh Kanga who is certain that this opportunity will lead her to greater things; church-sheltered Ruth who is very young, inexperienced and is hoping to start spreading her wings, just not too far; Junior, a tracker who might be as big as the Bigfoot he tracks in the US; and Mac, who at first is a grump but becomes a lot more. With such disparate characters, what could possibly go wrong in Jane Lovering’s There’s No Place Like Home?
As I mentioned in the introduction, one of the things that I love about Jane Lovering’s books is the total unexpectedness. In a genre that is frequented by over-used tropes, Lovering’s book are fresh, taking the reader on an adventure, which is really one of the reasons why we read, different worlds, different experiences.
Izzy’s character is multi-dimensional. She may currently be treading difficult waters but she’s supportive, kind, and level-headed, even to someone like Kanga who frequently doesn’t deserve such kindness. In fact, all of the character are multi-faceted, seeming like real people you might see on a reality TV show.
I confess to not having watched any reality TV, but I could imagine one in which groups of people are out searching for mythical or supposedly-sighted beasts and the fun of it being the meshing of different characters so I don’t think the plot is too far-fetched. It’s just a matter of time. 😉
As for the personal circumstances that Izzy and the other characters are in in their real worlds, those also rang true and endeared the characters to this reader, particularly Izzy and her situation in which she has felt embarrassment, desperation, and humiliation over an event that was not her fault but that has made her stronger and gradually more adamant.
A quick, enjoyable, and heart-felt read with good humor and some hilarious moments.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.