I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for The Beauty of Broken THings by Victoria Connelly. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this beautifully written book.
Let me show you what it is all about…
United by tragedy, can two broken souls make each other whole?
After the tragic loss of his wife, Helen, Luke Hansard is desperate to keep her memory alive. In an effort to stay close to her, he reaches out to an online friend Helen often mentioned: a reclusive photographer with a curious interest in beautiful but broken objects. But first he must find her—and she doesn’t want to be found.
Orla Kendrick lives alone in the ruins of a remote Suffolk castle, hiding from the haunting past that has left her physically and emotionally scarred. In her fortress, she can keep a safe distance from prying eyes, surrounded by her broken treasures and insulated from the world outside.
When Luke tracks Orla down, he is determined to help her in the way Helen wanted to: by encouraging her out of her isolation and back into the world. But Orla has never seen her refuge as a prison and, when painful secrets and dangerous threats begin to resurface, Luke’s good deed is turned on its head.
As they work through their grief for Helen in very different ways, will these two broken souls be able to heal?
This was an amazing read full of emotion that was a mix of heartbreaking storylines but with a glimpse of something better in the future.
The main characters are Orla and Luke, they don’t know each other. It is only when Luke checks his wife’s phone that he discovers she was friends with someone called BB. Helen and BB had an online friendship and an interest in photography. It is through the photographs that Luke is able to track down BB and discover who BB is.
Orla is a recluse, she lives in a castle. She doesn’t speak to anyone, she wont answer the door and she only goes out to walk her dog on a close by beach. He withdrawal from people is a sad story and it explains why her only presence is online with her photography.
The link between the Orla and Luke is Helen, a woman who had wanted to live life through her photography but settles for a job that pays the bills. It is when she decides that her and Luke are secure enough for her to finally take the chance and change her career. This is when tragedy strikes and her life is cut short.
The story is sad and there where many times I had tears and was just able to keep them at bay. There was a simple line in the story that broke me though and it was such a simple and yet poignant one “She left the world with a smile,” at the end of chapter 6. It summed up how Helen saw the life.
The story that followed was about how Luke and Orla gradually become friends, one helping the other to overcome grief and pain. Challenging each other to take steps, but while one of them is taking steps forward the other is in denial and hides in the shadow of grief. It is a story about things happening when it is time for them and when you are ready to face them. Grief and tragedy cannot be measured and categorised into simple stages with a time limit on each stage.
This is a stunning read and one that I read in one sitting. It is emotional as the author takes the reader into the lives of two people that have had two very different things happen to them. Even though these events are different they still have to go through similar processes of acceptance. While reading the story I was willing the two main characters forward, but I also knew that there would be setbacks.
A fabulous story that I thoroughly enjoyed, heartwarming and emotional as well as one of hope. The title is just perfect and it fits so wonderfully with the story. I would definitely recommend The Beauty of Broken Things.
Victoria Connelly studied English Literature at Worcester University, got married in a medieval castle in the Yorkshire Dales and now lives in rural Suffolk with her artist husband, a young springer spaniel and a flock of ex-battery hens. She is the million-selling author of two bestselling series, Austen Addicts and The Book Lovers, as well as many other novels and novellas. Her first published novel, Flights of Angels, was made into a film in 2008 by Ziegler Films in Germany. The Runaway Actress was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Comedy Novel award.
Victoria loves books, films, walking, historic buildings and animals. If she isn’t at her keyboard writing, she can usually be found in her garden either with a trowel in her hand or a hen on her lap.
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