Thursday, 27 February 2020

Review: Family for Beginners by Sarah Morgan

I discovered Sarah Morgan after reading her recent Christmas book, A Wedding in December, which I absolutely loved, so I was thrilled to receive an early copy of her latest, Family for Beginners.

Family for Beginners is a clever romcom spin on Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. Flora was raised by an aunt who never really wanted her. As a result, she has always longed for a traditional family of her own. When Flora falls in love with widowed Jack, who has two daughters, it seems as if all her dreams are about to come true. But Jack's eldest, the teenage Izzy, makes it clear their family is doing just fine without Flora - and she'd quite like to keep it that way! And the more Flora learns about Jack's late wife, the saintly Becca, she begins to realise it will be impossible to compete...

Despite the themes of grief, loss and abandonment, Family for Beginners is a lovely, uplifting, heart-warming story about relationships between family and friends. The main viewpoints are Flora and Izzy, and we get a terrific insight into two women who, ordinarily, could have been good friends. There is humour, when Izzy's various schemes to trip up Flora backfire spectacularly, as well as sweet and sexy romance. The gorgeous holiday home, overlooking the water in the Lake District, is virtually a character in itself. 

Sarah Morgan is a genius at creating flawed, realistic characters we can all relate to. As much as I loved Flora, I think poor Isabel was my favourite as she struggled to deal with the guilt she felt after her mother's death. The characters are so real, so perfect, so cleverly drawn, I think Family for Beginners is Sarah Morgan's best book yet. One of my favourite reads this year!

Thank you to Sarah Morgan and HQ for my copy of this book, which I requested from NetGalley and reviewed voluntarily.

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