Poignant yet immensely heartwarming.
Oh wow, where do I even begin with this one. Do you remember way back when, in the very beginning, just who it was that gently persuaded me (pushed me into 😉 ) starting this blog? Yep that’s right, it was no other than Carmel Harrington. She had self published Beyond Grace’s Rainbow and she was my first review and my very first author interview. Mmmm we should really see what we can do about getting a follow-up one of those, do you think she would oblige?
Anyway BGR as we affectionately call it was self published by Carmel back in 2012 and she has come a long way since then but if you want to know about all of that you can look back through my archives or on Carmel’s own Website.
There is something very special about following an author from the very beginning and reading their books in the order in which they are released. With every book you can see the author grow and the writing style develop and mature. I loved Carmel’s first book and the other two after it but this book, oh this book, is on another level entirely. If I had to sum it up I would say it is a cross between Cecelia Ahern’s P.S I Love You and anything Sheila O’ Flannagan. The story flowed so naturally and at the perfect pace. At no time did I feel like I wanted a particular scene to be over or for the story to move on. It was fluid, and so extremely well told.
Setting a book on a road trip is no easy feat, the research involved must have been overwhelming but it was certainly comprehensive. The detail used to describe each area was immense and made for a spectacular visual, adding to the beauty of reading.
I don’t often read a paperback, preferring instead to immerse myself in my kindle. There was nothing however going to keep me from reading this one. Right from the very beginning I was hooked, I literally could not put it down. I could tell right then that my emotions were going to be put to the test. I should have expected that really, it wouldn’t be the first time that a book by Carmel has broken me! It was funny too though. All the characters had their moments and gave me a giggle but the little boy Jamie just stole my heart and pops wasn’t far behind him!
I laughed and I cried, then I cried some more. That is how i spent my bank holiday weekend. Curled up reading a book and shutting the rest of the world out. There was food in the fridge – no one was going to starve. So as I lay on my bed today and finished this amazing book, balled up tissues in the bin beside me I felt like I had travelled Europe and had been through the mill along with the Guinness family and came out the other end a happier stronger version of myself. Why? Because while this book will make you laugh and will definitely make you shed a tear it was also provoke many thoughts about how you can live your best life!
Carmel Harrington is a bestselling & award winning Irish author from Co. Wexford, published with Harper CollinsUK. Like Maeve Binchy, Carmel writes with incredible compassion and warmth about characters so authentic, they could be sitting right beside you. Her page-turning novels are to be published worldwide, translated into eight different languages and are regular chart-toppers.
Carmel is the Chairperson of Wexford Literary Festival. She is a panelist on TV3’s Midday Show, a book reviewer for South East Radio and writes feature articles for The Irish Independent & many other newspapers and magazines. A popular keynote speaker she has given talks in Ireland, UK & USA.
Carmel lives with her husband Roger and two children, Amelia and Nate, in Co. Wexford, Ireland, where she credits the rural idyll as a constant source of inspiration for her stories.