By Isabelle Broom
A book that's filled with wonder and love, teaches us all that life is not always about the destination, but the journey and the people who join us along the way.
Published: Hodder & Stoughton (2020)
Book review, no spoilers I swear!!!
I first read Isabelle Broom last year with One Winter Morning, which if you haven't already read I strongly recommend you check it out for yourself, its brill. Anyway, I fell in love with her writing and storytelling last year and so when I heard about Hello, Again being released I was like, Hello? Yes please Amazon wish list which my friend sent for my birthday so I have to thank Megan for buying me this book. A friend who sends you books is a friend for life people.
Moving on, this book has it all, but before I tell you more, perhaps I should leave you the blurb, give you an idea of what it's about...
Philippa Taylor (Pepper to her friends) has big dreams. When she closes her eyes, she can picture exactly who she ought to be. The problem is, it's about as far away from her real life in a small coastal town in Suffolk as she can imagine.
So when her elderly friend Josephine persuades Pepper to accompany her on a trip to Europe, she jumps at the chance to change her routine. And when Pepper bumps (literally) into the handsome Finn in Lisbon, it seems as though she might have finally found what she's been looking for.
But Pepper know all too well things are rarely as they seem. Her own quiet life hides a dark secret from the past. And even though she and Finn may have been destined to find each other, Pepper suspects life may have other plans as to how the story should end.
A romantic and sweeping story about friendship, love and realising that sometimes it's about the journey, not the destination.
Oh my oh my. I have so much love for this book!
First of all, a huge wave of applause for the representation of artists and creativity in this book. As an art student myself I found this so exciting and relatable. Also, I've been struggling on what to name my latest female portrait which I will now call Pepper after the character in this book. Completely unrelatable, but I just thought you guys should know.
Back to the review...
Pepper is our artist who is stuck in a rut, a routine that is plain, boring and unfulfilling. Haunted by the past, Pepper is trapped in grief and guilt, which ultimately has prevented her from spreading her wings. Her art is filled with self-doubt, frustration, and lack of confidence that she has never truly had, or believed that she is capable of greatness in making a name for herself.
Just like Broom's other books, this one will sweep you up from your comforts of home and take you to some jaw-dropping, wonders of the world. From Lisbon, to Hamburg to Barcelona, the journey the characters take are enough to encourage anyone to take flight and leave. (Following covid guidelines obvs.) Pepper's travels are exactly what she needs, and meeting Finn. Well I'll just have to let you figure that one out on your own.
Finn is charming and sweet, and as him and Pepper get closer on holiday, everything seems possible, not only does Finn open Pepper's eyes, he also sparks her unlit flame. It's only when the distance comes between them does things start to get complex, but they're in love right?
The realities of Pepper and Finn's relationship tests what they want from life compared to where they need to be. Broom makes a play at our heartstrings with this, never quite giving away what's in sort of our love birds or how there story is going to end. I felt myself not able to catch my breath on the last hundred pages, a true whirlwind I'll tell ya.
Side note: My housemate, (also an artist) has a boyfriend who lives in Germany (a tailor). They're really cute together, absolute relationship goals. They both wear vintage clothes every single day, he even sends her skirts that he's made for her.
Pepper's relationship with other characters such as Josephine, her mother and Samuel kept me enticed throughout with there own stories linking in with Peppers. The characters complex and flawed, Broom isn't afraid to make her characters unique and relatable, the realism of Pepper's journey can only ring too true to many people.
And I almost squealed in delight with the sheer mention of a certain character from One Winter Morning.
This is a book that deals with love, loss, heartbreak and self-confidence, finding out what you want and going for it. If there is one thing I will take from this book it is to live, and to live fully.
So what are you waiting for?
Rating: 4.5* out of 5.
Emotional, original and the perfect read for fans of Cathy Bramley, Cecelia Ahern and Rachael Lucas.
After all tomorrow is another day spent reading.
Till next time,
Hello, Again is available to buy from Amazon in both Paperback, ebook & audio.