Cover Image: Finding Henry Applebee

Finding Henry Applebee

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Member Reviews

When Henry sets out on a journey he meets young Ariel also on her own journey and the two of them find each other and themselves in this lovely read. 
Genuinely a nice read but wasn’t for me unfortunately. Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for this arc in exchange for my honest review.
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This is a story about the unlikely connection three strangers make on a train journey from London to Edinburgh. Henry Applebee is an 85 year old man traveling to Edinburgh. He has lived a long life but he never forgot the girl he met in Blackpool in 1948. Losing her was his biggest regret. He never loved another and his search for her has led him to Edinburgh. 
Ariel is an 18 year old girl traveling to Edinburgh. Her mother’s dying wish was for Ariel to deliver a mysterious package to her friend, Mia. Ariel has tried to take care of her father and younger brother but it’s a heavy burden for a girl who is also grieving the loss of her mother. 
Travis is an American musician with a father that doesn’t get him. The only one that understands his passion for music is his hero, Uncle Frank. 
It took me a while to get into this book and at times in the beginning, I wanted to give up. Henry’s story is the most compelling and interesting but in the end I was charmed by the relationship forged by the three travellers.
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A train journey from London to Edinburgh where three people - Henry, Ariel and Travis, are all on their own separate missions. A train journey which takes them on the journey of their life and gives their world the most unimaginable and incredulous future that they always wanted.

Such a poignant and emotional read. Henry Applebee is a legend! And I am so pleased at the outcome! A delightful story that will make you smile, laugh and cry. Celia Reynolds is so talented - an incredible plot with wonderful characters, with their lives all cleverly intertwined. I loved the parts set in the Gower - such wonderful descriptions given throughout. You felt like you were on the train with them all, looking out the window. When the train broke down I was so nervous that they would not get moving again as they all had special places to go that evening - very tense!

Such a moving story with so many important messages. Listen to your heart, believe in yourself and always always follow your dreams. Do not take someone else's word - always find out for yourself as you cannot always trust the motive of others.
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Finding Henry Applebee
By Celia Reynolds

Finding Henry Applebee is such a heartwarming read I truly enjoyed.  I love reading about second chances, and of course reading about eighty five year old Henry Arthur Applebee is such a delight. Set on his ways and trying to do something about a regret from sixty five years ago really captured my attention. But throw in a stranger or two, a teen named Ariel, and Travis a young jazz musician and the trip from London to Edinburgh all of a sudden takes a marvelous turn in this journey that is heartwarming, charming and uplifting. 

Thank you for the opportunity to read this with the book club.
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Finding Henry Applebee is just ok. The plot takes quite a while to get going and when it does it’s fairly predictable. I was able to discern the “twists” pretty early on and the other plot lines added little interest. I think the story was over sold at the beginning which led to a slow middle and a disappointing end. I found the likelihood of someone still being in love with someone they essentially had a one night stand with over 65 years ago very unlikely but perhaps I’m not romantic enough to appreciate that. 
I was interested by the setting as I live in Swansea but even this annoyed me with the use of “Oystermouth” - a name not used in reference to the area - instead of Mumbles grating on my nerves throughout. I can see where the author was trying to go with this book but although it’s fiction it was a bit too much to suspend my belief at.  

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.
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I loved this book - heartwarming and delightful.

Henry has one regret so he boards a train from London to Edinburgh to find the woman who disappeared from his life decades earlier. He meets Ariel before boarding the train who has a mission of her own. The third traveller, Travis, has his own issues to resolve.

The story brings the three individuals together and allows each to resolve their dilemmas - even if not as expected.

A book I will be recommending.
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This is a beautiful story about love, never giving up on hope and the unlikely friendships. 

Henry Applebee, an eighty-five year old, is making a journey to Edinburgh with the hope of finding the woman who he met sixty-five years previously. 

On this journey he meets Ariel, a troubled teen who is making her own journey to Edinburgh in search of answers. 

The two build up a comradery on the train where Henry has invited Ariel to join him. On this journey we learn of Henry’s story and the importance of this trip to Edinburgh. A story that crosses decades and is full of love and heartbreak. 

The two are joined by Travis on their train journey in the neighbouring seats. Another with his own reasons to be travelling to Edinburgh. 

What I loved about this book and this story was that despite the three strangers chance meeting and their own individual stories that their lives become interwoven in ways that you least expect. 

The friendship that the two youngsters build with Henry is heartwarming as is the outcome to their stories. 

This story shows us that there is always hope.
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Yes there were a bit too many coincidences but it’s fiction so anything can happen. It was a nice story but also very sad, a lifetime of a lost opportunity. I enjoyed it.
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Finding Henry Applebee is an emotional journey. Henry is travelling by train to Edinburgh on a mission to right a wrong from 65 years earlier. A mishap at King’s Cross station leads him to Ariel Bliss. He then invites her to travel first class with him after discovering she is travelling on the same train to the same place following her assistance to his mishap. 
During the long train journey stories are told and they meet Travis. 
Once in Edinburgh a series of events occur that will leave Henry and Ariel linked for life and solve a 65 year old mystery. 
I enjoyed this book but I did find it quite easy to predict what was going to happen at each point of the book. Nonetheless it is worth a read and it is relatively easy reading. I would recommend this book if you are after something that is very easy and quick to read.
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Finding Henry Applebee, by Celia Reynolds
So great to find another feel good happy-but-sad story to read this weekend.  A tiny bit predictable, a tiny bit too coincidental but I didn’t mind.  The book has great characters, primarily the 85-year-old Henry and 18-year-old Ariel but also a couple supporting actors.  There are two timelines, a love story, a train trip to Edinburgh Scotland, an Elvis impersonator, a book store, a mysterious package, a single dad, a little brother, a 20 something sax player, a coming of age story, and a found family.  This book is more than 4 stars but not quite 5 (though I may change my mind).  I definitely recommend picking it up.  I requested and received this advanced copy to read and review from the publisher One More Chapter (Harper Collins UK) and NetGalley, all opinions are my own.
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Such an enjoyable and fun read. I loved getting a chance to review this.

The story  follows two generations and we not only have the dual timeline of Henry in 1948 with present day, but also perspectives from Ariel, Travis and Frank. 
The different stories come together in Edinburgh. 
I really became interested to know how they would all come together but it was a delightful journey.
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I wasn't sure at the start if I would enjoy this book but it soon became a delight to read!  85 year old Henry Applebee is going on a train journey to Edinburgh to try to track down the love of his life from many years ago.  When he suffers a nosebleed at the station, teenager Ariel is the only one to help him.  She is also going to Edinburgh in search of a friend of her recently dead Mother. Henry offers her his spare first class ticket as his planned companion let him down at the last minute.  
On the train, they meet Travis, a musician, also going to Edinburgh to meet up with his Uncle.  They all plan to meet or find someone in Edinburgh and they form an unlikely friendship on the train. As their trip and their lives intertwine, a lovely tale develops with both happiness and sadness added in.
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Loved this story, you knew the connections were there but how they all play out is spectacular and so enjoyable!
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This was a beautiful, charming story that managed to be both poignant and uplifting at the same time. I read this book after a run of quite gritty reads, so this was a nice refreshing change which I thoroughly enjoyed.

The story follows the three main characters Henry, Ariel and Travis as they travel from Edinburgh to London for different reasons. The descriptions of the journey were beautifully vivid and made me feel that I was right there in the carriage with them. I felt each part of their journey personally as if I was living it too, with all the setbacks they encounter making me feel very nervous that they wouldn’t be able to finish their journey.

The characters were wonderful creations and memorable ones that I’ll remember for a long time to come. I loved how the author gradually lets us learn more about the characters and their past lives so that we get to see why they are like they are. They started to feel like old friends and I enjoyed following them on their journey as I willed them to succeed in their mission. I especially liked Henry’s past with the wonderful descriptions of the years after the war and the dance halls that I’d loved to have seen!

Overall I absolutely loved this charming story that made me laugh and cry as I read. There’s a wonderful message behind the story about unlikely friendships and how it’s never too late to change things. The ending was brilliant and I finished the book feeling sad that it was finished, while wishing that I could find out what happens next for them. This book was similar in style to Harold Fry so if you liked that book I think you’ll like this one too.

Huge thanks to Claire Debby for inviting me onto the read along and One More Chapter for my copy of this book via Netgalley.
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Finding Henry Appleby by Celia Reynolds is a eloquently told story of love and regret. Told from the perspective of three, Henry, an 85year old ex serviceman who is searching for his first love, Ariel a student on a mission set by her dead mother and Travis, a young saxophonist visiting his relative whilst finding his feet in the UK. All meet in the first class carriage of the London train bound for Edinburgh, apprehensive about what they will find at their final destination they share their tales together. The separate stories are all elaborated on as the train journey proceeds, with Edinburgh releasing the secrets on their arrival,
My favourite was Henry, the descriptions of Blackpool in the past, of how fragile relationships can be and the lack of advancement in communications give Henry's story a sad side and he very much regrets his behaviour however, is very much looking forward to owning his mistakes and fixing the problem. 

The characters are very believable, all the side characters have charm as well. It's a nice story which encourages thoughtfulness and kindness to others especially strangers, as you never know who they are or what they are going through.  I found it a slow burn of a read but still very enjoyable. 

Thanks to One More Chapter, OMC read along and NetGalley for the ARC.
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I adored this book! Thank you so much to Harper Collins for hosting these fun readalongs lately, I have been loving the books picked and being able to engage with the bookstagram community, while reading amazing titles like this one. 

What's not to love about a second chance romance? & how could you NOT just love on this title as Henry decides that it's never too late, and he has to try to right some wrongs in his life. Was it predictable? maybe a bit cheesy? It certainly didn't stop me from every minute of this adorable, quick read.
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An uplifting read which captures the heart.  A story of coincidence and how we can be linked to others without knowing it.  A well developed warmhearted book with delightful characters that can't help but touch your heart.  Sometimes you think you know what's coming and the book just surprises with a little twist so even the predictable parts have another dimension.  Slightly quirky too which I love.
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4.5 Star

Finding Henry Applebee was touching fiction that revolved around three travelling companion Henry Applebee, Ariel and Travis and how their chance meeting connected them for life. It was about intergenerational relationship, friendship, family, guilt, misunderstanding, forgiveness, kindness, and how it’s never too late to pursue your dream and right the wrong.

Writing was beautiful, vivid, descriptive, and captivating. It was written in dual time line- the present and the past of all characters was in different timeline- in third person narrative, mainly from Henry, Ariel and Travis’ POV, and Frank’s perspective for couple of chapters. There were many places mentioned but setting of London and Blackpool was amazingly described.

Book started with how 85 years old (and still counting) Henry living his life after his brother’s death. He was ex-serviceman and former language teacher but he had one guilt and regret; how one phone call gave him purpose and mission to go to Edinburg; and how at King Cross station he met 18 years old Ariel who also was on her own journey to Edinburg to fulfil her mother’s dying wish and on the same journey they met Travis- 20 something, an American jazz musician- who was traveling to meet his Uncle Frank. It was interesting to read their purpose on this journey and to find out what happens at the end of the journey. I was curious to know if Henry could find his love and right the wrong he did 65 years ago, what was in the letter Ariel was carrying with her, and why her mother told her to deliver it to Maia.

All characters were realistic, developed, and likable. I instantly loved Henry. He was kind, humble, wise and amiable gentleman. I admired his determination and strength, at the same time I wasn’t happy knowing his naïve and stupid action that separated him from his love and still It was easy to immerse in his story, put myself in his situation. I could understand and feel for him. I loved how he handled everything he found out at the end of the journey.

Ariel was developed, caring and kind for her age. I loved how she supported her family after her mother’s death. Her insecurities on finding Rosemary renting their attic was genuine. I’m glad there wasn’t bitterness in her after all she was going through. She was lovely throughout the book and her kindness towards Henry touched my heart. It was amazing to read how she appreciated her mother, her love, and family when she got to know the truth at the end of journey.

Travis was kind, lively and cheerful but his back story told about his sadness and life problems well that he hid well. I liked reading about turning points in his life that made him musician and his strong connection with his Uncle Frank who was fiftyish and also jazz musician. His and Ariel’s friendship on the train journey was interesting to read. He didn’t have much role but he was lovely and I loved how he helped and supported all characters in the book.

Best part of the book was intergenerational relationship, train journey and music. Jazz music was important for all characters. I don’t know much about jazz but all the insights given in the book was interesting. Their train journey from London to Edinburg was vivid and atmospheric. I could imagine myself sitting with characters in same coach. We know most of Henry’s story in this part which was emotive and mesmerising. I knew with elderly main character the story was going to be emotional but I was not prepared for the depth of it. This story made me cry both happy and sad tears.

Intergenerational relationship was amazing. It was explored between Frank- Travis, Ariel- Frank and Ariel- Henry. I loved how both Ariel and Travis were kind to both Frank and Henry, they helped and supported them throughout the book and boosted their confidence whenever needed. Both Frank and Henry inspired and motivated them about passion, music and living their dream, being different and finding rightful place in the world.

Some turns were predictable while some were good. Climax was most interesting. The last part, The Secrets, wrapped the story. I felt sad for Frank, what Travis did for him was great. Henry’s meeting at the book shop and at the house of Francine’s daughter was shocking and bittersweet. Ariel’s meeting with Mia was equally surprising. I loved knowing more about her family. It was amazing to see how they all connected with each other at the end. End was perfect, bittersweet and moving.

Why 4.5 stars-

Even though I loved Travis’ back story and his passion, I wish there was more role for him. Sometimes it felt the story could have been the same without him and I would have enjoyed it even though he wasn’t there.

Overall, Finding Henry Applebee was emotive, thought-provoking, moving and lovely fiction. I recommend this book if you love books with octogenarian main characters.
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A lovely heartwarming tale of friendship, coincidence, a misunderstanding, lost love and the reconnecting of family.  Henry Applebee is the perfect gentleman trying to right a wrong from 65 years ago.  This is not a genre I would normally read but I thoroughly enjoyed it’s gentle, uplifting theme.

Many thanks to the publishers and netgalley for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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I absolutely loved this. What a truly moving story that all connected in the best possible way. This made me cry at parts and at other parts made me feel joy.
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