Cover Image: Reluctantly Home

Reluctantly Home

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Member Reviews

I enjoyed this easy read. It wasn't too taxing and I read it quite quickly. The blurb read very well too. It was topical dealing effectively with incidents relating to the Me Too movement and how in the past certain behaviour was expected in film and production circles if career advancement was desired.  I liked Pip I have to say and felt sorry for her at times. Her anxiety and panic attacks are understandable when their cause is revealed. This is a quick read, a little repetitive at times maybe, but enjoyable none the less.
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This was a heart-warming story. A story about choices, mistakes and ways to keep on going.
I enjoyed it a lot and felt for both Pip and Evelyn.
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Difficult issues are brought to light in this story and it was well written.  Two characters find what they need by finding each other. It was an enjoyable read. 
Many thanks to Amazon Publishing UK and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I love Clark's book. She is one of my preferred authors and she doesn't disappoint in any of her stories!  Each book is unique and different. It is a great book to keep you engaged during a rainy day. 

The cast of characters that she wove together was very interesting and entertaining. It is based in a small town in New England and because she is so descriptive, I could picture exactly where they were. Pip is a great character and I wanted to be friends with her!  Very inspiring book that made me smile as I read the last page.
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This book was not what I expected but turned out to be something that I enjoyed.  Pip (Rose) and Evelyn were able to help each other through their tragedies in a way that others couldn't.  This was not just a light easy read, it explored some heavy subjects.  

I received an ARC from Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.
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A young barrister in a rush fails to see a boy rushing across the road, running out not giving her enough time to stop. The law says she is free from responsibility but her heart and mind say different. She goes home and takes a job in a charity shop. She finds the diary of a once famous actress, she reads the diary and returns it to its owner who herself is captive by horrible events hinted to in the diary. So begins the restoration of both these women as each reveals the moments that changed them forever. Happy reading
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I don’t know why but the cover and title of this book makes it feel like a self-help book to me. I guess, at it’s core, that’s exactly what it is; the tale of two women finding similar truths and healing through the sharing of their experiences.

The start of the book is a little clunky and you do have to keep going with it at first. It’s so beautiful written though and the characters well-rounded, that you end up not minding the initial issues. Well-rounded they may be, but Pip aka Rose and Evelyn are characters you’re not supposed to like. You are encouraged to feel sympathy for them, to try and understand them, but they aren’t likeable.

“Yes, Evelyn though to herself, this had the makings of quite an interesting relationship.”

As there are interesting parallels in the two women’s lives, they may also be parallels to your own. They’ve both encountered and suffered tragedy, they feel grief and they’re disconnected from life living in a state of limbo. This book will have you questioning what you would do in their situation, which route your life is taking now and how you should never judge a book by its cover (see my initial thoughts about this book!).

I must admit that I was sad when I turned the last page of this one, but Clark cleverly bought the story to it’s natural end. It would be nice to have a sequel and to find out more about how the two women moved on from their circumstances. Personally, though I feel there is a beauty to leaving the characters to live out their own lives once their story has been told.
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When Pip is involved in a tragic accident, she leaves London and returns to the family farm. Volunteering in a thrift shop, she comes across a diary belonging to Evelyn who had suffered tragedy herself. When she returns the diary, Pip and Evelyn end up becoming firm friends despite the age gap and help each other deal with their losses and face life again. After a slow start, this one really had my attention captured and I would love to read a sequel as I was left with many unanswered questions.
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Reluctantly Home is the fourth stand-alone novel by British author, Imogen Clark. In 1979, aspiring actress Evelyn Mountcastle lands a plum role in a new police TV drama series, and discovers she is pregnant. The architect of these mutually exclusive life-changing events is the same. Faced with a dilemma, Evie makes a choice that feels like a retrograde step, leaves her career in London and returns to Southwold and the house in which she grew up, the place she'd been so determined to escape ten years earlier.

In 2019, the aftermath of a fatal accident sees Pip Appleby, a leading human rights barrister at one of the best chambers in London, retreating to her childhood bedroom on her parents' Southwold farm, the place she'd worked so hard to escape ten years ago. Her resolved intention to return to her London life cannot be realised while she suffers nightmares and flashbacks and is ambushed by panic attacks.

“She had always defined herself by what she did rather than by who she was, by what she wore on the outside instead of what was happening on the inside. Status had shaped each part of her, moulding her into what she had become. So where did that leave her now it was all gone?”

While trying to heal, Pip volunteers at the Have A Heart charity shop. The diary she unpacks one day from a box of donations shouldn’t go in her bag, but she is instantly fascinated by the story told within, a tale of a sweet three-year-old daughter, a loving mother and a cruel aunt. By the time Pip has read all of Evie Mountcastle’s account of 1983, she can see some contrasts, but so many parallels, with her own life that she wants to meet this tragic figure. She has so many questions!

The woman she finds is reclusive and less-than-friendly. But Pip is determined, and Evie is intrigued. Can these two broken souls help to repair each other?

While some parts of Clark’s plot may be predictable, it is the characters and their interactions that are the strength of this novel: two women struck from their promising lives and laid low; a couple of real cads, one of whom contributes to the “me too” phenomenon via the casting couch; but also some examples on manhood at its best, true knights. The story touches on PTSD and hoarding, but also highlights the difference between accepting your lot and appreciating what you have. A thought-provoking and uplifting read.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing.
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This was a really heart warming read. The parallels between the two main characters lives were cleverly drawn and the author writes about sensitive topics such a loss, the death of a child, grief, isolation abs starting again with great skill. Highly recommended.
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I really enjoyed this book. It was different than my usual style, but was refreshingly deep in a good, sit in my soul way. 
We have two women whose lives have been upended and they need to return to their family. The odds are against them finding peace and happiness, and we follow their journeys as they go through the ups and downs. Loved the "parallel" timelines and plot and the characters became dear to me. Very solid read - not "light reading" but very good.
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A well written story about returning to life after tragedy.  Two ladies from two different generations, who have both faced heartache they feel they can’t get beyond, come together and help each other move on.
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I loved this kind-hearted and thoughtful novel. The characters were rich and well-observed, the writing was beautiful and the story moving.
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Reluctantly Home by Imogen Clark is about two women. Pip Appleby, a human rights lawyer, returns to her family’s farm in Southwold, UK after a tragic incident occurs. It becomes clear that the recurring panic attacks would drive her from her life in London. Evelyn Montcastle, a struggling actress, finds her professional life put on hold due to unavoidable circumstances and moves in with her sister in the family home in Southwold. A diary will bring the two women together, as they realize that they share parallel events in their lives and both have suffered tragedies that seem insurmontable. The characters in Reluctantly Home are flawed, yet sympathetic and interesting. Imogen Clark has written a novel about two troubled women whose paths cross, giving both a different perspective on their lives. This is a slow and moving drama that I found to be enthralling. Sometimes a quiet story well-told is all that is needed to capture a reader’s attention. This is one of those. Thank you to Amazon Publishing UK, NetGalley and the author for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I would like to extend my gratitude to the author, publisher and NetGalley for sending me this advanced reader’s copy in return for a fair, frank, and honest review.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a beautiful story between the 2 main characters. I have never read any of Imogen’s books before, so this was a lovely one to start with. It was such a captivating book that I wanted to finish but did not want to finish at the same time. Read in one day.
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Imogen Clark is one of my favorite authors. Her books are always thought provoking and enjoyable. This story goes back and forth between two people and years that affected them greatly. The two characters do end up meeting and forging a lovely relationship which was nice to read about.
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Thank you to Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What a lovely book I didn't want it to end. Heartwarming, wonderfully written, bittersweet in parts. A recommended read.
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Such a moving story. Relatable characters and realistic storylines. A unputdownable read filled with heart ache and feel good
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This was a tricky book to put down!

I thought that it was a beautiful read! 

The two characters were interesting, authentic and relatable.

A very cleverly written and constructed story, the way that the two main female characters loves are entwined.

I really enjoyed it!
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Pip Appleby has a great life. Living in London, working as a Barrister and living with her successful boyfriend. Until the day she has an accident and ends up killing a child. Having a hard time coping, she returns home to take a break and try to get herself back on track. She volunteers at a local thrift shop, where she comes across a diary that is left as a donation. She takes the diary home and realizes it was written by Evelyn Mountcastle, a local woman, once an actress, that is now shrouded in mystery. 

Pip reads the diary and soon becomes convinced that she has to meet Evelyn and find out all the answers to the questions that have arisen from the diary.

This book tells Evelyn's story in the past and Pip's in the future, and then seamlessly blends them together. This is a very sweet and touching story and i very well written. I highly recommend this book!

Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book
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