After throwing herself into work to escape the loss of her sister, Leena gets sent on a two month sabbatical, where she ends up living at her grandmother’s house in the countryside. Meanwhile, her grandmother Eileen goes to live in Leena’s flat in London in order to do the things she missed out on.
Spoiler Free Review:
Content Warnings: anxiety/panic attack, loss of a family member, cancer, grief, abusive relationships, cheating
This was one of my most anticipated releases of 2020 and it did not disappoint at all! I can firmly say that Beth O’Leary is a favorite author of mine and I will read anything she writes.
I loved the parallels of Leena and Eileen’s journeys. Eileen was held back by her dead-beat husband for her whole life, so she finally gets a chance to see what she missed out on when she was Leena’s age. Leena throws herself into work, so she had kind of lost all sense of who she was. They both had the opportunity to do what actually makes them happy, without being held back by what other people want from them.
The cast of side characters was great in this book! Leena and Eileen have their group of friends in their respective places, so seeing them get to know a whole new group of people was fun. I particularly enjoyed Leena settling in to her grandmother’s role and getting to know the small town.
Leena’s sister passed away from cancer about a year before this book takes place, so she not only has to deal with the grief, but also her relationship with her mother, who also lives in the small town. The grief has caused their relationship to fall apart, so Leena being so close by allows her the time to mend that relationship.
There is also a fair amount of romance in this book, but I don’t really feel like it is the focus, or at least, it was balanced very well with the other elements of the story.
Balanced is actually a great word to describe this book, in my opinion. There isn’t too much or not enough of any element of this story. It is quite sad at times, but it can also be incredibly heartwarming. This book just felt so warm and inviting, like a comforting hug.
I adored this book and I can’t wait to read whatever else Beth O’Leary releases!