When I first set eyes of Westhill House with it's perfect-taking views of the sea I knew it was the perfect place for a fresh start.
The place may be falling apart, but it can be fixed with some tender loving care. And as Jack and I work to repair this beautiful building, maybe we can repair our relationship too. Maybe we can make Westhill House a refuge from all the tragedies that came before.
Lori has come to Westhill House for shelter too. She says it used to be a place where women went for safety. How can I turn her away, when violence waits for her outside these high walls?
But the longer Lori stays, the more time Jack spends away. And the more time she helps me restore the house, the more secrets start to be revealed.
Like the children's drawings under the wallpaper in the back bedroom.
The hidden pages underneath the floor boards in the turret room.
But why does Lori know so much about Westhill House, if she's never been here before?
What does she really need protection from?
And now I've invited her into my dream house, is there any escape for either of us?
Author: Jess Ryder
Publication Date: 21st June 2019
I purchased a cope of this book to read and review.
This book deals with the tough subject of domestic violence but it was dealt with in a very understanding and clear manner. There were violent aspects of the book but these needed to be there for the sake of the story but the violence was not just put there to add drama to the story line.
The first chapter of the book really gripped me and I needed to find out who the solitary woman was wandering around the secluded garden in the middle of the night alone on bonfire night.
We then meet Stella. Her and her boyfriend Jack have recently bought the dilapidated Westhill House with the view of renovating it into her Dream House but with only a solitary builder undertaking her huge project things are not going according to plan. I really loved the beautiful descriptions of this old and worn out house and I could picture exactly what the character was seeing and had fallen in love with. Although this wouldn't be my dream house I could easily see why Stella had fallen in love with the place and especially the views.
To be honest I then got a little lost as we met Kay. It took me a while to clearly understand that Kay escaped to the house back in the 70's when the house was a refuge for women. The chapter headings didn't make this clear and it took a few more chapters to fully see that this story was being told from two time lines. Kay in the 70's and Stella in the present day. It would have been helpful if the chapters had had a date rather then just staring Then and Now.
When Lori knocks on the door in the middle of the night, battered and bleeding, Stella tries to explain that the house in no longer a refuge but hasn't the heart to turn away someone that is in need so invites her to stay for the night. One night leads to two, which leads to weeks.
There is so much going on in this book that once I'd settled into the two time frames I flew through the chapters intrigued as to what would happen next and became totally immersed in the characters lives.
Each of the characters are fighting their own demons and this is a brilliant story of heart break, friendship and broken families. I really enjoyed this book and will be looking to read more from this author.