To celebrate the recent paperback publication of one of my favourite reads of last year, I’m sharing my review again today.
One family learning to love again.
Cate Morris and her son, Leo, are homeless, adrift. They’ve packed up the boxes from their London home, said goodbye to friends and colleagues, and now they are on their way to ‘Hatters Museum of the Wide Wide World – to stay just for the summer. Cate doesn’t want to be there, in Richard’s family home without Richard to guide her any more. And she knows for sure that Araminta, the retainer of the collection of dusty objects and stuffed animals, has taken against them. But they have nowhere else to go. They have to make the best of it.
But Richard hasn’t told Cate the truth about his family’s history. And something about the house starts to work its way under her skin.
Can she really walk away, once she knows the truth?
Thank you to Simon and Schuster UK for a digital advanced review copy via NetGalley – my views are totally my own.
This was the first novel I have read by Anstey Harris (I did read The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton last year too). I had seen great reviews for both, so was thrilled to be given the chance to read and review this.
The book is very different to anything I’ve read before. The story looks at loss, grieving, secrets, a teenager growing up, dealing with prejudice, and a museum full of treasures from the past.
The storytelling is wonderful, full of little details and flawed (but mostly) loveable characters. At this current time with the world hit by a global pandemic, it is a story to escape into and to feel uplifted by the community spirit.
A five star read for me and now available in paperback.
Anstey Harris is based by the seaside in south-east England where she lives with her violinmaker husband and two dogs. She teaches creative writing in the community, local schools, and as an associate lecturer for Christchurch University in Canterbury.
Anstey writes about the things that make people tick, the things that bind us and the things that can rip us apart. In 2015, she won the H G Wells Short Story Prize for her story, Ruby. In novels, Anstey tries to celebrate uplifting ideas and prove that life is good and that happiness is available to everyone once we work out where to look (usually inside ourselves). Her short stories tend not to end quite so well…
Things that interest Anstey include her children and granddaughter, green issues and conservation, adoption and adoption reunion (she is an adopted child, born in an unmarried mothers’ home in Liverpool in 1965), stepfamilies, dogs, and food. Always food. She would love to be on Masterchef but would never recover from the humiliation if she got sent home in the first round.