Cover Image: Reluctantly Home

Reluctantly Home

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Member Reviews

Reluctantly Home is a wonderful story about rebuilding a life from the ashes and the surprisingly positive turns that life can take.

We learn the story of two women - Pip and Evelyn - both haunted by a tragedy and both merely existing. When Pip stumbles across an old diary, she feels inexorably compelled to trace the owner and together they find a way to forgive themselves and start living again.

Brilliantly written and so heart-warming, I adored every word.
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An interesting book which initially I struggled to get into but it was definitely worth persevering with and by the end I was wishing it to go on.
A story about two women both of whom had been through traumatic events and both struggling to come to terms by going and hiding away, but together they find a solution which is really encouraging.
It is well written and flows well.
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A little difficult to initially get into but well worth persevering with as as the story unfolds you learn more about pip and that in life things iate always worth fighting for as you never know when things may change.
Definitely a warm ending with lots of scope for a sequel
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Following a tragic accident Pip returns home to her parents to recover. When she finds a diary belonging to an actress she feels compelled to read it. Has fate played a hand in this as the diary owner is clearly suffering like Pip. She tracks down Evelyn and the most unlikely friendship materialises. Can they help each other recover? A thoroughly enjoyable read making you see that life can get better if you let it.
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What happens when tradegy strikes and you get trapped in your emotions and fears? Who can help you find you again? This book eloquently answers these questions. 

This story kept my attention and I genuinely cared for these characters.  I was so happy to see their growth and transformation throughout the book. 

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever had struggles to overcome.
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I found this a little difficult to get into at first. Rose is not the most endearing of characters and the guilt she feels after accidentally killing a young boy mixed with the disappointment of being back home in Suffolk, far from her glamorous London life doesn't help this. However, reading Evelyn Mountcastle's diary starts to change her and she becomes more Pip, the name she grew up with.  When the two women meet, the mutual interest develops into a friendship that helps them both to move on with their lives. By the time the book ended, I was so engrossed in their stories that o didn't want it to stop. I have so many questions about what happens next to Pip, Evelyn and Jez! A lovely, easy, heartwarming read.
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A compelling read Pip lived an idyllic life with her handsome boyfriend Damien in London - high flying job trendy lifestyle until one day a tragic accident changes things forever . Escaping back to her parents farm Pip struggles to come to terms with what has happened after a time of being a recluse had mum suggests helping out at the local charity shop and upon discovering a diary Pips life takes a turn . Addicted to the words of Evelyn who Pip finds also had tragic events on her life. Pip tracks the owner of the diary and an unlikely alliance is formed the two helping each other combat their demons . I really enjoyed this book touching on some very current topics it keeps you gripped until the end .
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A sweet story about two women who's lives take separate but tragic turns, how they cope and how they help each other to mend.

What would you do if everything you planned for your life blew up in a days time - totally outside your control?
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Pip Appleby has it all. High powered job as a barrister, smart lifestyle, hip boyfriend until an accident turns her life upside down and she flees London back to her parents at Southwold in Suffolk.
Passing time helping in a charity shop, she comes across a diary in a box of books and becomes fascinated by the writer, Evelyn's, story. So she sets out to find her and return the diary. An unlikely friendship is formed as the two women support each other.
I loved the dynamic between Evelyn and Pip and sympathised with their problems and how they helped each other. I rated it 4 stars because I felt that more could have been made of Southwold, one of my favourite places. I felt that it could have been any seaside town.
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The story of two women who have had their successful lives taken from them and have to return home to live with their families. Can they get over their past and start a new and happy future against the odds.
Thank you to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing for my e-copy in exchange for ah honest review.
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Pip had never felt completely at home, at her home with her parents. They never quite understood her, her work or her education. After a tragic accident Pip is now back to recuperate after a breakdown of sorts. She has left behind her high powered job and her high powered boyfriend. Her life now is as different as it could be. She volunteers at a thrift shop and just manages to get through one day at a time.

When a diary surfaces in a box of books, Pip is very intrigued by the contents as it seems to mark a particularly momentous year in the life of a Evelyn Mountcastle. Then her boyfriend Dominic breaks up with her and Pip buries herself in the life of one year of Evelyn. Tracking her down, befriending her and getting to know Evelyn marks a turning point in both Pips and Evelyn's life. Both are rejuvenated and are able to take an interest in life as it is now, as against what it was.

A good story of how one can overcome personal tragedy, and though here both stories were bleak and very sad, the joining of two kindred spirits helped them both.
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I enjoyed reading this book. There were two very interesting main characters, across different generations, both subject to tragedy. Pip, a young woman, returns home from London after a tragic accident and hides herself away. Evelyn, at 70, has hidden away after her own tragedy. 
When their paths cross, they manage to help each other.

The novel was well written and engaging and I wanted both main characters to be happy by the end of it!!
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3.5/5 stars for me.

To loosely quote Thomas Wolfe, you can’t go home again....but what happens when you actually do?

After a tragic event, Pip’s life in London falls apart and she returns home in 2019 to her family farm to recover. As the book opens, it has been six months since the accident and she’s settled, although not happily, back into life with her parents (and hunky farmhand, Jez), trying to keep busy by volunteering in a thrift shop.
The story changes one day when Pip is unpacking a box of donated books and finds a diary from 1983. Pip’s story then begins to alternate with the story of Evelyn Mountcastle, an actress who was left her small hometown in search of her big break. Like Pip, she was also living an independent life in London and reluctantly returned home in 1979.
There were some gaps for me: why didn’t Pip have a cell phone? The first reference to one was about half way through the book and it’s Evelyn who has one. Both Evelyn and Pip also seem determined to work through their mental health issues without professional help, relying on time and relationships. Other than Dominic, didn’t Pip have any personal relationships in London?
Evelyn’s story was interesting as was Pip’s, although I would have liked to learn more about her life in London before the accident. The relationship between the two women was heart warming and made for a nice story overall.
Thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read Reluctantly Home in exchange for an honest review.
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Pip Appleby seems to have it all, with her prestigious job as a human rights lawyer and her enviable London home. But then a tragic accident stops her life in its tracks, and in an instant everything changes. Retreating to her family’s rural farm and the humble origins she has been trying to hide, Pip is haunted by what she has done. When she discovers the diary of actress Evelyn Mountcastle in a box of old books, Pip revels in the opportunity to lose herself in someone else’s life rather than focus on the disaster that is her own. But soon she sees parallels—Evelyn’s life was also beset by tragedy, and, like Pip, she returned to Southwold under a dark cloud.

This was a delightful read and one I wholeheartedly recommend. This is a first for me by the author and one I enjoyed and would read more of their work. The book cover is eye-catching and appealing and would spark my interest if in a bookshop. Thank you very much to the author, publisher and Netgalley for this ARC.
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A well written story showing how hard things can be that happen unexpectedly. Things out of your control can derail your life and this book demonstrates that well whilst being a great read.
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I received a copy of this book as an ARC from NetGalley in return for a fair and honest review.


After a terrible accident and series of public panic attacks, Pip returns to her home town in hopes of healing. While volunteering at a thrift store, she finds a diary from 1983. Instead of returning it to it’s rightful owner right away, she reads it. Feeling a connection with the author, she becomes determined to get to know her.

Imogen Clark’s Reluctantly Home was an emotional roller coaster that pulls you in from the first moment and doesn’t let go.

I highly recommend this book and I'm looking forward to reading more from this author!
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I really wanted to love this book, based on the synopsis.  But I found the storyline almost non-existent and the main character (Pip Appleby) flat out annoying.
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I can't really make up my mind about this book mainly in the fact it seems 'out' in the eras it was set.  The book covers the story of Evelyn between 1979 and 1983 plus that of Pip and Evelyn in the present day but the depiction at each time point, in attitudes especially, seems to be at least two, decades earlier.  I am a contemporary of Evelyn which is why several aspects don't quite ring true, but that aside, it was a different read and certainly tackled several contemporary mental issues including the 'Me Too' campaign.  A little slow to start with and a rather over rushed ending but worth a read.  Probably a 3.5.
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A great story set in a small town that Pip has been trying to escape from. After her high-powered world comes crashing down, she flees London, back to her parents home. Working in a charity shop she comes across a diary and the story inside almost mirrors hers.
I loved the interaction between the two women and how each of their stories tie together and come to a resolution. The story is told in present time; flashbacks and diary entries, but they all work together to give you the complete story - at no point are you left wondering what is going on.
Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for allowing me the chance to read this book.
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This book started out good however; it fell through with the ending. The ending felt rushed and not complete.
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