Chick lit

New Beginnings At Glendale Hall by Victoria Walters

This is second in a series but has enough story to stand alone. Since I was on the lookout for a light read, I decided to give this a shot. It had a few excellent points and few that did not work for me. I will elaborate.

We meet our leading lady, Emily, who is a people pleaser of the best type. She does her best to ensure that she is regularly doing her best to help the people around her, as well as her friends and family. Emily visits her hometown for a wedding, and then another and then maybe for a more permanent situation. This is the story of all those trips, and what she does in each.

I felt in tune with Emily and her thought process for the most part, especially when she was interacting with people from her past. The extended feel of the relationships felt thoroughly examined. Unfortunately, try as I might, I did not ‘get’ the faltering relationship she has with her boyfriend. That instalment seemed too abrupt. The switching of behaviour, the revelations and especially a phone message that does not match up with the explanation given later about the sender being sorry immediately after the fact (more details in the first few chapters itself). I was also pleasantly surprised at how naturally they brought up the topic of faith in the story. Granted the entire village follow a single religion, but sometimes when it is included in romantic stories like this, even that feels preachy. That was not the case here, and I actually liked the discussions that Emily has when she is trying to figure out her life.

I would have liked this book even more and rated it higher if only I could invest some emotion in Emily’s first relationship. It formed the bulk of the narrative, with regards to how and why Emily’s life is changing. Overall a good tale and someone less picky than me would love this series.

I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the review (as is obvious), is entirely based on my own reading experience.

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