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Title: The Beauty of Broken Things
Author: Victoria Connelly
Published: 9th of June 2020 – Lake Union Publishing
Format: eARC (Netgalley) – 314 pages
Hello Hello! How are you?
I’m back for my second blog tour of the day and I’m so happy to be showing off this lovely little book that I’ve been looking forward to reading since I signed up for this tour a few months ago! I love the variety of books that Rachel offers on her Rachel’s Random Resources blog tours and I couldn’t help but be drawn to this book, the cover completely won me over, the blurb really intrigued me and I’m really glad I gave it a go.
Thank you so much to Rachel for inviting me to take part in this tour, it’s always a pleasure! Keep reading to find out my thoughts on this lovely little book.
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?
The Beauty of Broken Things by Victoria Connelly is a fresh, lovely contemporary fiction novel, in which we follow Orla and Luke and their dual perspectives as they get over tragedy and come together thanks to Galleria, an online social media photo app (think Instagram). This book was definitely out of my comfort zone, I don’t tend to read too much contemporary fiction as I just don’t enjoy it as much as my favoured historical fiction and fantasy, but I actually really enjoyed this book and was quite surprised by it.
This book is set in Suffolk, which is actually the closest to where I was born in Norfolk. I’ve read so many books set in England and it was lovely for once to have one set close to my home county and with the same type of landscapes. It was lovely to have the castle down by the coast and I found it to be such a nice setting for this story, I think that the author did a great job of setting the scene.
This book follows Orla and Luke, but they are brought together by Helen, even though she only appears in the first chapter. I thought that the book would be about her and her photography, but I was surprised when this book deviated quite a lot and ended up being more about her husband and the relationship he strikes up with Orla, one of her online friends from Galleria. I absolutely loved the backdrop of this social media app, I have a passion for photography and I know I don’t do enough, I still haven’t set up my Bookstagram page as it was before I left for Scotland at the start of the year, and this book has reminded me just how much I loved the process of taking those photos. It also reminded me how much I loved taking photos of nature, just walking through the forest or fields to capture a few beautiful angles. I really need to get back to this.
I love when you figure out the reason for the title of the book, and I have to say that I really enjoyed figuring it out and for things to be revealed over the course of the book. I think it holds a really strong message that you can be the most beautiful person and still have problems, or you can be a bitter soul but still find beauty in the world. I do enjoy contemporaries like this one that are more on the inspiration side with impactful messages, and this one didn’t let me down.
Orla and Luke were easy to like, I loved how they got to know each other over the course of their time in the castle, how he helped her to get out in the community and make friends, how he helped her come to terms and how she also helped him with everything that he had been going through. I read so many romance contemporaries, but it made such a lovely change to have this be a friendship instead and I found it much more impactful.
MY THOUGHTS AND RATING
Overall, I found this book to be delightful, it was really impactful and you can definitely tell that there is a strong inspiration message behind the events in this book. Even after tragedy and through the cruellest adversity, the characters came together, they helped one another out of their shells and become their true selves, they used their passion and love for broken things to fix themselves and I found it to be such a lovely story.
I gave this book 4 stars, I really enjoyed it and would highly recommend for people who enjoy a light, lovely story about passion, finding yourself and working through struggles. I will say however that there are some tough topics in this book such as death, grief, illness, hospitals, loneliness and maybe a few others I have missed, so please be aware of this going into the book. There are some other spoilers that I consider quite severe but are spoilers, so if you would like to know more about them in case you are worried that you would be triggered, please feel free to contact me through my contact form, or DM me on Twitter.
Thank you so much to Rachel and Victoria for letting me take part in this tour and thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed this review, see you soon, stay safe,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – VICTORIA CONNELLY
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.
If you would like to purchase this book, you can find it here: Amazon UK (affiliate link) – Amazon FR (affiliate link) – AbeBooks (affiliate link) – The Book Depository (affiliate link) – Audible FR (affiliate link) – Amazon US – Waterstones – Audible UK