My enormous thanks to Francesca Russell at Penguin Random House for an advanced reader copy of My Map of You by Isabelle Broom in return for an honest review.
My Map of You
Holly Wright has had a difficult few years. After her mother’s death, she’s become expert at keeping people at a distance – including her boyfriend, Rupert.
But when Holly receives an unexpected letter explaining that an aunt she never met has left her a house on the Greek island of Zakynthos, the walls she has built begin to crumble. Arriving on the island, Holly meets the handsome Aidan and slowly begins to uncover the truth about the secret which tore her family apart.
But is the island where Holly really belongs? Or will her real life catch up with her first?
My Review of My Map of You by Isabelle Broom
Holly has had an unsettled past but is making her life in London with boyfriend Rupert. However, a letter is about to undo the stability she has created and make her question everything about herself.
I absolutely adored My Map of You. Just occasionally a book comes along that totally resonates with what you want to read or with the mood you’re in and Isabelle Broom’s My Map of You did exactly that. I found everything about this novel, from the cover design and title to the Acknowledgements, just perfect. The title is so apt as many of the characters are in need of an emotional map to understand themselves and their own identities as well as there being a couple of physical maps that also inspire the story.
The story is so satisfying. The third person chronological approach feels so comforting after all the time slip and first person present historic novels that are so popular at the moment. It is a proper story with a beginning, a middle and an end reached by intelligent and engaging writing. The conflicts, difficulties and events are totally believable.
The characters are flawed, but completely human. I missed them when I wasn’t reading the book. I liked the way that Rupert was presented especially, as he is a perfectly acceptable man and not the over stereotyped villain that boyfriends are sometimes made out to be. Even the most minor characters feel like people you might meet in real life. I think many readers will be able to find elements of themselves in Holly too.
What is so gorgeous about My Map of You though, is Isabelle Broom’s setting and her ability to transport the reader to Greece. If you’ve been you’ll recognise every word she writes is true of Zakynthos and if you haven’t been, you’ll want to after reading My Map of You. I was transported away from grey skies of England to the warmth and relaxation of Greece.
Whilst I would say this is very much traditional women’s fiction, with romance very firmly threaded throughout, the themes in My Map of You are compelling and thought provoking. What makes us who we are? How do we deal with grief? How much can the past affect our present and future lives? How far do we settle for just enough rather than take a risk?
My Map of You is a perfect summer read and I cannot recommend it highly enough – especially if you’re off to Zakynthos for your holidays. I might just have to book myself a trip there now!