By Penny Parkes
Home is engrossing and warm as well as intriguing as you open each door in different parts of the country as you travel with Anna as she does her job and meet different people who own the homes in this intriguing, warm,’Must Read’ book that you may have to take with you through every door you go through as it’s so compelling to read.
Find out more in the blurb and more of my thoughts in my review and then a bit about the author.
Firstly, thanks to Books and the City – Simon and Schuster publishers for inviting me to review for the blog tour and for gifting me with the book that has many doors – Home. The book was published 8th July and is her 5th book. It is a standalone.
‘Moving, hopeful and heartfelt… an ideal book group read’ AJ Pearce (who wrote Dear Mrs Bird, Yours Cheerfully)
A gripping and heartfelt story about overcoming the past and finding where you belong.
Anna Wilson travels the world as a professional housesitter – stepping into other people’s lives – caring for their homes, pets and sometimes even neighbours. Living vicariously.
But all Anna has ever really wanted is a home of her own – a proper one, filled with family and love and happy memories. If only she knew where to start.
Growing up in foster care, she always envied her friends their secure and carefree lives, their certainty and confidence. And, while those same friends may have become her family of choice, Anna is still stuck in that nomadic cycle, looking for answers, trying to find the courage to put down roots and find a place to call home.
Compelling, rich and evocative, Home is Anna’s journey to discovering that it isn’t where you settle down that matters, but the people you have around you when you do.
What an invitation to open every door just by opening a book. Who could resist to see who lives behind each one and where in the country these lovely doors are located.
The book takes readers to different parts of the country on a journey, which means arriving, stopping for a bit before moving on and meeting more and more new people. It adds to the excitement and intrigue of this book, which is all very interesting. It also shows a certain way of life and the trade-offs, the need for self-protection, a certain strenght and resilience as well as maturity and more in Anna’s character makeup.
Live life in 2019 in: Oxford, Dittisham, Bath, London, Chipping Norton
Have a past between 1998 and 2019 in: Swindon, Coventry, Oxford
The book begins in 2019 in Oxford she then moves onto Dittisham and then Bath. Some owners she meets, others she doesn’t. The properties often sound wonderful and the people she does meet, colourful and full of life. Anna is in-fact a house-sitter and also has another dream job she is meant to be working on.
Housesittin sounds an amazing responsibility and wonderful job and one I didn’t know existed. I am now thinking of exchanging my job to be a house-sitter, this book makes it sound so interesting.
The book shows that housesitting isn’t a walk in the park, with not only the house to keep safe and clean, but also sometimes pets and the comings and goings of other people and the rules that are left to follow to the letter.
Anna and her friend Kate are also into books in a big way and have a sense of joviality about them as well as the seriousness of life and how not even friendships are easy . They are terrifically conceived characters, who have a certain pull and you want to get to know. What’s also great are these characters try not to take anything for granted, including their lives, the scenery, the architecture, they just take it all in and are continually awe-inspired
The book also goes back to Anna’s childhood and the social workers she had as part of her care package and what a hotchpotch of people she had. It also shows her growing up, so as much as lots of the book is set in 2019, this gives an interesting back-story. She also, in this time meets her dad, so you get to know him a bit and what happened that she was in care and in university. All in all it is nice to see her life to progress to where she is now, in 2019. It’s also interesting to see why she is how she is.
All that travelling and meeting new characters kept me absolutely engrossed! It is easy to say that I highly recommend this book.
About the Author
Penny Parkes survived a convent education largely thanks to a ready supply of inappropriate novels and her passion for writing and languages.
She studied International Management in Bath and Germany, before gaining experience with the BBC. She then set up an independent film location agency and spent many happy years organising shoots for film, television and advertising – thereby ensuring that she was never short of travel opportunities, freelance writing projects or entertaining anecdotes.
Penny now lives in the Cotswolds with her husband, two children and an excitable dog with a fondness for Post-its.
She will often be found plotting epic train journeys through the Alps, baking gluten-free goodies or attempting to reach an elusive state of organisation.
In 2017, Penny won the RNA Romantic Comedy Novel of the Year Award. This is her fifth novel.
Follow Penny on Twitter and Instagram: @CotswoldPenny