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Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Book Review: A Single Journey by Frankie McGowan

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AD* | Harriet has begun to despair of her life.

With a failed relationship behind her, a business on the rocks and a flat that’s falling apart around her ears, she could really use some luck.

Elena Banbury, née Guseva, an elderly but imposing Russian woman who is Harriet’s neighbour and landlady, frequently entertains the punters at Harriet’s jewellery stall with tales of the palaces of St. Petersburg and the treasures of Fabergé. But Harriet sometimes feels, guiltily, that she could do without the endless errands that seem to fall to her as Elena’s friend.

Then, unexpectedly, when Elena dies, she leaves all her worldly goods to a grateful Harriet. In time, however, it becomes clear that others are shocked by Harriet’s good luck, too. Shocked... and very, very unhappy.

Challenged in court by Elena’s family who live in Berlin, Harriet is forced to give up her inheritance and long-dreamed-of plans for a new business, and start her life again. But with her reputation in tatters and the memory of Elena tainted, Harriet knows a great injustice has been done.

Against the advice of her friends, family and lawyers, Harriet sets off on her own, very singular journey to Berlin.

In the weeks that follow she meets rich and poor, the glamorous and the criminal, the honest and the secretive, and begins to see that perhaps she has something to learn from them all. Something to learn about herself, and something to learn about her priorities.

She knows she has to fight for justice. But, when she meets the scholarly, perceptive Neil, who generously tries to help Harriet in her mission, but who is struggling with a complicated marriage, she must also decide if she’ll fight for love, too.

a-single-journey, frankie-mcgowan, book, blog-tour

I'm excited to be on the blog tour for A Single Journey by Frankie McGowan and even more excited to be sharing my own thoughts on the book with you today!

A Single Journey is a grand story of sweeping proportions, telling a tale that spans several generations, multiple countries and entire lifetimes of history. It's ambitious, but through careful planning, the author successfully manages to weave an intricate web of a story that keeps you hooked throughout.

Our main character, Harriet, is both likeable and realistic - her flaws are evident, which makes her even more relatable. As the story progresses, we find ourselves rooting for Harriet and willing her to succeed, something which helps to lend a more personal air to the events taking place in the book.

The plot itself is rich and dense, keeping you wanting to read on without setting a breakneck pace. Indeed, as each chapter progresses, you find yourself getting slowly and inextricably drawn into the plot and trying to guess what will happen next.

In addition, there are also several important points, or perhaps even morales, that are addressed in the book. A Single Journey reminds us about the importance of following our dreams and staying true to ourselves; all too often, we can find ourselves bogged down in the mundanities of day-to-day life and realise that we are living without really living. Harriet's journey to come to terms with the events of the story perfectly encapsulate this and represent the fact that sometimes, we must listen to our hearts rather than our heads.

Another important message to take away from the book is the way that older people are treated in our society. With the UK's over-worked care system, it's all too easy for vulnerable elderly people to fall through the cracks and end up with their struggles going unnoticed, as portrayed by Elena's situation at the beginning of the book. In real life, there may not always be a Harriet around to help, and A Single Journey helps to highlight the very real issue of the UK's elderly care crisis.

A Single Journey is a moving, heartfelt story about love, loss and staying true to yourself. The perfect accompaniment to a nice cup of tea and a relaxing Sunday afternoon, reading this book is a wonderful way to spend a weekend this summer.

Rating: 3 stars

A Single Journey is available to buy now.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Will you be grabbing a copy of the book? Let me know in the comments below!

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