Young widow Ellen Wood feels as though she’s treading water in the first few months after her husband’s death. Her eleven-year-old son Charlie is her primary focus, as well as the books she edits for romance author Allegra Howard. Her Victorian home is her sanctuary, and between maintaining that home for herself and her son, and working from home, she scarcely even needs to leave it—which suits her fine, because she loves this home that seems to embody everything precious in her life.
So when she learns from the accountant that there is no more money, and that the life insurance will not pay off on her husband Nick’s death because he died from his own “reckless behavior,” she must do something. Quickly, if she doesn’t want to lose the one important thing in her life.
Ellen’s sister Hannah suggests she take in boarders. The home is huge and can accommodate several, so the procession of candidates begins. When the three boarders join Ellen in her home, and when one of them turns out to be Allegra Howard, who needs a home and an assistant, a whole new world opens up for Ellen.
While the plot may be slightly predictable—I’ve read a few stories in which the financially-strapped have taken in boarders—this one has a few unique plot twists that set it apart. I loved the setting—I’m a fan of British surroundings—and it didn’t hurt that one of the boarders is someone who can actually help Ellen become more independent.
All of the characters in The Home for Broken Hearts felt like real people, and the sibling rivalries between Ellen and Hannah had many layers. A few secrets came to light along the way, too.
What did Ellen discover in her journey, and what did each boarder contribute to the lessons she learned? And what unexpected obstacles did she have to overcome?
I kept turning pages, enjoying and savoring each of the moments until the end…which came much too quickly. Since I have loved every book by this author, I’m not surprised that I’m granting this one five stars.