As always, I am humbled and delighted to take part in the blog tour for a SE Lynes novel. And today I have the double pleasure of being one of the bloggers to open up the books on tour for one of my all time favourite authors! It’s fair to say, I am absolutely buzzing!
Thanks to the author and to the publishers for the invite to take part in the tour for The Housewarming.
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
Everyone is going to the housewarming party.
All the same people who lived on the street the day Abi vanished…
Will her mother finally learn the truth?
Ava only left her daughter in the pushchair for five minutes. The buckle was fastened, and she was sure it was safe. But when she came downstairs, the door was open and Abi was gone – she walked down the road, past the Lovegoods’ house, and was never seen again.
A year later, the Lovegoods are planning their long-anticipated housewarming party. Ava doesn’t want to go. She can’t bear to look down that end of the road, to see the place where Abi vanished, and she doesn’t want to spend time with people who don’t share her grief. Her husband Matt persuades her: he’s worried about her. A night out might do her good.
But as her friends and neighbours chat, and the drink and gossip flows, Ava learns something new about the day she has re-lived a thousand times. A throwaway comment which could change everything.
Ava thought she knew every last detail of that day.
She’s about to find out she was wrong…
One day I am going to run out of words as I try to convey to others just how utterly beautiful SE Lynes’ writing is. I have no words that could ever do her justice but once again I will try my best.
I open up a book by SE Lynes knowing that I am going to be lost inside the world she has created, a long time after I turn the last page and The Housewarming was no different. I can’t get Ava and Matt and their story out of my head or out of my heart.
The blurb tells you all you need to know about the story so let’s talk about all the feels and feels is something this book will give you in shedloads!
Right from the outset a rawness dripped from the page as I was immediately immersed inside the character of Ava; it wasn’t the easiest space to occupy as I found myself in the bitter truth of what “just one more minute” can mean, the devastating consequences it can have. The guilt suffocated me as I crawled around inside of her head, replaying with her, each moment of the day her daughter went missing. The panic turned to terror, to guilt, to a strange kind of “no man’s land” state of grieving as her little girl disappears never to be seen again.
It explored everything associated with the loss of a child; a process of grieving where nobody knows what to say, where your daily grief is cruelly laced with hope and guilt at the same time. I can’t for the life of me explain the gut wrenching feelings I had reading this. I felt everything that both Matt and Ava were feeling.
We meet neighbours and friends of Matt and Ava and watching friendships develop, destruct and wither as the impact of a child’s disappearance hits hard. The housewarming party, held by the Lovegoods was a masterpiece in tension and release as one throwaway comment served as the tipping point of what was about to be uncovered. There are beautiful scenes with the Lovegood’s daughter Jasmine that really touched my heart. When you read the book and the acknowledgments you will understand why this is.
I still find myself thinking about Matt and Ava, I wonder where they are now and I hope they are happy. I think they will stay with me for a very long time.
The Housewarming explores so many themes, grief, loss, isolation, responsibility and community. It scratches away at the surface and provides not just food for thought, but a whole damn feast! By the end of this you will be thinking, what if…if only…what would I do?
The writing is sharp, it’s edgy and at the same time it is beautiful and poignant. She creates a frenetic energy by placing the reader in the head of the characters but at the same time can bring you down to slow motion giving you time to explore the thoughts and the themes that emerge as you read.
But while The Housewarming is emotional, and if you are anything like me you will be ugly crying when reading this, there is a very real message of hope. In amongst the isolation of grief, the fear that you will infect others with your emotions; the guilt and the mistrust; there is also a very strong message of hope, kindness and community.
I don’t even know if I’ve reviewed this book properly, I’ve told you nothing of the storyline and talked about all the emotions. I can’t help myself, I’m sorry but SE Lynes is one of the most exquisite writers I have ever read, she draws out all the feels every time and at the same time uses her writing to deliver messages that are oh so relevant. I swear her books speak to me. Anyone who knows how much I love SE Lynes books and the admiration I have for her, knows how I’ll finish this review off. Susie Lynes, you’re a genius hen!
DO NOT MISS THIS BOOK! GO BUY IT NOW!
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