Cover Image: Finding Henry Applebee

Finding Henry Applebee

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Member Reviews

Eighty five year old Henry Applebee decides, one morning, to put right his one regret - finding the woman who disappeared from his life many years ago. So, he boards a train with this mission firmly in mind. This is his story. Moving and nicely written this is a charming and emotionally charged read which you will just have to read to the very last page.
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Great read. The author wrote a story that was interesting and moved at a pace that kept me engaged. The characters were easy to invest in.
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This book was joy to read. It is a captivating story beautifully written. It did start a little slow, but then it gained momentum and sucked  you in. It was wonderful to see how the individual threads of the story intervowen created the intricate pattern of a rich tapestry. I loved the characters,old and young alike. It is a heartwarming and uplifting story and I shed some tears at the end. I recommend it to everyone who loves literary fiction telling a love story.
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'Finding Henry Applebee' is a story that takes the reader on a journey - both literally and metaphorically. In itself, it is reminiscent of a voyage: the intensity and excitement of commencement, through the dawdling hours of the main body, to the anticipation and drumroll of imminent arrival, before the leg stretch and bright, fresh air as you disembark.
     Henry Applebee, Ariel Bliss and Travis, are all in search of something that will make sense of the lives they've lived so far; they're all on a train to Edinburgh; through they're interaction, they all benefit far more than they would have had they travelled solo.
     With a feel of 'The Hundred Year Old Man' and 'The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry', Celia Reynolds' book offers us more as Henry interacts with his teenage companions.
     Less successful are her jarring and repetitive use of colloquialisms:
* "she wouldn't have a snowball's chance oin hell"
* "the ball's in your court"
* "guess both of us landed on our feet"
* "a couple of bad apples from out of town."
     Meanwhile, allusions to descriptive narrative feel self-conscious and a bit colour-by-number in their effortful naivety, "Ariel stared at the ghostly palette of her reflection embedded in the carriage window, the scud of clouds as nebulous and mercurial as her memories themselves-floating overhead."
     Nevertheless, the book has plenty to recommend itself and was a pleasant -if drawn out- read.
     My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for sharing an advanced copy in return for my honest opinion.
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I loved this book!! It was beautifully written, and some of the most important parts took place on a train journey from London to Edinburgh. You might think it is only the story of Henry Applebee’, an octogenarian, but it is so much more than that. Please do yourself a favour and read this lovely book!
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Finding Henry Applebee by Celia Reynolds is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late September.

An elder (the Henry of the title) is trying to figure out the outcome of his former flame, Francine. A young woman named Ariel is on the cusp of something and sets foot outside of her comfort zone for the first time. Eventually, circumstances bring them together, rather like a British rom-com between two non-typical, very uncertain people. Their incomplete thoughts and memories ramp up the pace to eventually soda/champagne-foam when they meet, then sputter unelegantly into the remainder of the book as they dotter between the rectifying the past and following through events in the present-day.
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I loved this book. A gem of a story about love, friends and family. 

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
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I was a little concerned when I first started reading this book,it was slow and I didn't think it was for me but I kept at it and I am glad that I did. It has been very well written and as the story went on it all came together. Please try and read this and you will see that you will enjoy it as I did. I will recommend you read this and I am giving it  4 stars.
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The story has a huge cute-and-sweet factor, and immensely likeable characters. I did notice I found it hard to really get into the story somehow, with the alternating points of view and alternating periods. To be fair, that could have very well had to do with my own state of mind the last couple of weeks.
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Finding Henry Applebee was somewhere between a 3 and 4 for me. I had some trouble getting into this book, but I think that was more about my headspace at the time than the writing. The story changes time and narrative focus between chapters, and while I don’t think it was confusing, I was a bit distracted when I started this and found the frequent shifting made it more difficult to settle into the story. 

Generally the story focuses on Henry, both in the present as an eighty-five year old man and in his past as a young man coming home from war. On his way to Edinburgh, he crosses paths with a teenage girl named Ariel, and she also becomes a narrative focus for a significant part of the book.  A couple of times Reynolds shifts the limited omniscient point of view to a couple of other characters for a chapter, and I don’t think I enjoyed this.  Shifting between Henry and Ariel created a pattern, and the other chapters felt like a break in that pattern, though the break may have been needed for the purposes of the plot.

Overall, this is a charming story populated by nice characters.  It’s a sweet sentimental story even if I had some trouble getting into it.

Thank you to @netgalley and One More Chapter for this ARC in exchange for an honest review. 
Finding Henry Applebee is scheduled for release on October 4.
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A good story about an old man trying to right a wrong from his past. Henry is a very lovable character and I immediately wanted things to go well for him. Most of the book takes place on a train in England as Henry meets and chats with two young people, with frequent flashbacks into all their lives.

As I said, the story is good, but you need to be able to accept several really huge coincidences. Really huge. I had some difficulty with that but let it go and just enjoyed the read. The characters were all likeable and interesting and everything ties up neatly at the end.
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I don't believe I have ever had such a difficult time trying to get through a single reading of a book. The tale is a moving portrait of the power of human kindness (Ariel), generosity (Travis), and love (Henry & Francine)—each connecting during a journey of a lifetime. The MC's characterizations were so beautifully drawn that it was impossible not to fall in love with all of them. It took a long time, but after multiple postponements, I was finally ready for a good cry—and was not disappointed. Poignant, sweet, and healing. I have not read a book this good in a long time. 5+ stars.

Thank you to NetGalley, Harper Impulse and Killer Reads, and Celia Reynolds for an ARC of 'Finding Henry Applebee' in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.
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A well written, charmingly quirky read, very much in the vein of The Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. The characters are instantly likeable and beautifully developed, creating a storyline that was an absolute delight, start to finish.
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A beautifully told story of love, loss and friendship. The unfolding story takes the reader around Europe and back in time. A story that will stay with me indefinitely. Loved Henry and Alice. A wonderful debut
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85 yr old Henry Applebee meets Ariel Bliss a teenager by accident at a London station. There starts this wonderful story.The meet Travis on this journey.The story unfolds as a POV.
It’s funny,it’s sad,it’s nostalgic it brings together three unlikely strangers with very different stories.
Thankyou Netgalley for this ARC
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Complete charming. A first purchase for general fiction collections. Recommend to fans of Harold Fry and Arthur Pepper.
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A sweet story, full emotions and well written.
It moved me and made me smile. 
I loved the character development and I found all the characters likeable. The plot is engrossing and entertaining.
It's the first book I read by this author and won't surely be the last.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to One More Chapter and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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All roads lead to Edinburgh in Celia Reynolds' poignant novel Finding Henry Applebee. Three strangers converge on a train in a first-class carriage, and become fast friends. Each one has their emotional baggage with them. The story is merry with coincidences. The reader needs to sit back, and enjoy this light tale of life coming together after a series of disappointments and losses. You go on a journey with Henry, Ariel and Travis, just as surely as you are in the carriage with them. Above all, this is a story of kindness and love. Four stars.
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This is a beautiful story which unfolds slowly to start with but opens up to be just wonderful. You begin to fully believe you are sitting on the train with the characters listening to their story unfold and you gasp at what occurs throughout the book, right to the end.
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I always like mixing up genres and read a good contemporary every once in a while... As soon as I read the blurb of Finding Henry Applebee, I knew I was most likely going to enjoy this story. My instincts turned out to be right, because I had a great time getting to know the main characters and learning about their journey. It is without doubt a heartwarming and poignant read!

The power of Finding Henry Applebee is above all in its main characters. The story is told with the help of three different POVs: Henry, Ariel and Travis. What would one eighty-five-year-old man and two young characters have in common, would you say? That's for you to discover as the plot and its twists are revealed in due course (I don't want to spoil the surprises), but it all starts with a train ride from London to Edinburgh. Each character is thoroughly and realistically developed, and are very easy to connect to. First up we have the eighty-five-year-old Henry, the star of this story and one with a heartbreaking past and quest. We get a glimpse of his past through flashbacks set mostly in 1948 Blackpool, and the present chapters are wonderfully developed as well. Next is Ariel, a troubled teenager weighted down by grief and currently on a very important mission. I liked how her character was developed as well, and how we slowly learn a little more about her past as well as why she is currently on the train to Edinburgh. The last POV belongs to Travis, an American musician on his way to see his uncle. His character is very easy to like and brings a little light to balance the more heavy themes.

I really liked the idea of the train journey and the three characters meeting this way. I love travel themed stories and this was without doubt a nice touch! The train advancing can also been seen in the corresponding progress in the development of both the characters and the plot itself... The three different POVs and flashbacks are woven together into a coherent and moving story and the connection between the different storylines makes it really easy to just keep turning those pages. The main mystery is of course around Henry's past and what happened to Francine, but we also have the question of the package Ariel was sent to deliver by her deceased mother. More heavy themes as the post-war era, regret, cancer and grief are contrasted with moments of lightness and even humor, turning Finding Henry Applebee into a well balanced read. There is some romance involved as well, but not distractingly so and I personally didn't like a little dose of happiness added to the plot. This story will both make you laugh and make you cry before you reach the final page and is without doubt a beautifully written and poignant read.
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