My enormous thanks to Emma Finnigan PR for a copy of The Homecoming by Rosie Howard in return for an honest review. I had intended to read The Homecoming some months ago but life’s events got in the way when my mother was ill and my reading time evaporated. It was certainly worth the wait.
The Homecoming is published by Allison and Busby and is available for purchase here.
Maddy fled the idyllic market town of Havenbury Magna three years ago, the scene of a traumatic incident she revisits most clearly in her dreams. Even so, when she is called back to help at the Havenbury Arms when her godfather Patrick suffers a heart attack, she is unprepared for the welter of emotions her return provokes.
Psychologist and ex-army officer Ben is sure he can help Maddy to resolve her fears, until he finds himself falling for her, and struggling with a recently uncovered family secret of which Maddy is blissfully unaware.
Then Maddy’s mother, Helen, arrives and Patrick himself must confront a few uncomfortable truths about his history and the pub’s future.
My Review of The Homecoming
Patrick’s heart attack means Maddy has to return to Havenbury and to a trauma she’s desperately trying to forget.
I have an aversion to using genres to categorise books, but I can’t think of any other way to describe Rosie Howard’s The Homecoming than to say it is women’s fiction at its absolute finest. The Homecoming is such a satisfying read and I enjoyed every moment of the experience.
Firstly, The Homecoming is so well written and mature. Rosie Howard’s prose style is effortless to read – a bit like eating the finest dark chocolate. It does have the ubiquitous 30 somethings of its genre in Maddy, Flora and Ben but it also has more mature characters in Serena, Giles, Patrick and Helen so that it goes beyond the usual scenarios into a much more engaging and entertaining read which held my attention without fail from the first page to the last. I love the potential for future Havenbury stories as there is a cast of people I already care about waiting to be developed in new adventures. Even Pirate the parrot felt real and vivid.
The plot is so well structured. Rosie Howard provides a wonderfully warm and engaging main story which is brilliantly entertaining escapist reading with lovely romance and self-discovery at its heart, but so much more besides as she explores the concept of community, PTSD, issues of trust and how one small untruth can impact whole lives. I think any reader with similar elements in their own lives would derive huge comfort from this story. There are totally realistic and plausible twists and turns along the way so that the reader is completely entranced by, and immersed in, the narrative.
I loved the way in which relationships were presented. As in real life, people in The Homecoming do not always behave well or rationally and I found myself desperate for them all, except Kevin and possibly Simon, to have a happy ending. You’ll have to read the book yourself to find out whether that happens – and I really recommend that you do!
If The Homecoming is to be the first in a new Havenbury series then let me move in. I’m desperate to know more about the people and the place. I thought Rosie Howard had produced a pitch perfect story that left me feeling uplifted and beguiled and I can’t wait for the next installment. I loved it.