Friday, 14 April 2017

Book Review: Then. Now. Always. by Isabelle Broom

The Blurb
Are you ready for an adventure?
Hannah Hodges certainly is. And so when she is offered the opportunity to spend a month filming a documentary in Almeria, a magical village hidden away on the south-east coast of Spain, she grabs it. Almeria was where she spent a large part of her youth; where she made so many of her memories, and her mistakes.
But now she is twenty-eight and this time it is going to be perfect. Because she is not only going with her best friend Tom but also with her gorgeous boss, Theo. And this unforgettable place with its snowy white buildings, mesmerizing sunsets and deep blue sea is the perfect location to make Theo finally fall under her spell.
But Hannah's past is everywhere she looks, Tom is acting strangely around her, and her awful (half) sister appears determined to ruin everything, again. Even from a thousand miles away . . .
Hannah has just a month in paradise to secure the happy future she knows is waiting for her. Will Almeria work its magic? And will that future look exactly as she always thought it would?
My Review

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the advanced reading copy. All opinions are my own.

Isabelle Broom's books should come with a warning on the front cover: ADVISORY: READING  THIS BOOK WILL MAKE YOU WANT TO BOOK A HOLIDAY RIGHT AWAY!

Ahh this book is so lovely. As ever, Isabelle immerses the reader in beautiful, warm and sunny surroundings, and reading this is the next best thing to being in the Spanish village of Mojacar. It's descriptive without bogging the story down with too much detail, but enough to evoke the sights, sounds and smells of the setting perfectly.

The characters are written equally well. I felt I was Hannah, and could see why she was so in love with Theo. 

The awkward relationship between Hannah and her half-sister Nancy is very poignant. Despite blaming Nancy for her father's indifference, Hannah still feels the responsibility of an older sister and feels she has to look out for Nancy - even though she annoys the hell out of her.

Then there's another fly in the ointment; the beautiful Claudette, whose flirty French accent and high maintenance winds Hannah up further. But then best friend Tom is always on hand to calm things down, but then he starts acting a bit weird too. 

Of course the main reason for them all being in Mojacar is to film a documentary which could make Hannah's career. She meets the wonderful Elaine, an artist who has adopted the Spanish village as her home. But there's more to her story than the artist's community which existed years ago.

Of course the inevitable happens in the end, but the journey there is not always straightforward, and it is a great fun read that had me pouring wistfully over travel websites.

Isabelle Broom has filled me with wunderlust yet again...

Now. Then. Always. is published on 20th April, and you can pre-order it from Amazon or other retailers. It's the next best thing to an actual holiday!

About the Author

Isabelle Broom was born in Cambridge nine days before the 1980s began and studied Media Arts at the University of West London before starting a career first in local newspapers and then as a sub editor at heat magazine. Nowadays, when she’s not writing novels set in far-flung locations, Isabelle spends her time being the Book Reviews Editor at heat and walking her beloved dog round the parks of north London. 

Her novels My Map Of You and A Year And A Day (published by Penguin Michael Joseph) are out now. The third, Then. Now. Always. will arrive in April 2017.

If you like pictures of dogs, chatter about books and very bad jokes, you can follow her on Twitter @Isabelle_Broom or find her on Facebook under Isabelle Broom Author.

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