Book review – The Forever House by Veronica Henry

Every now and then, by fate or serendipity, a book comes into your life at just the right time. It will have a message, a character, or a theme that so perfectly conveys how you are feeling. It may describe the greatest challenge of your time. It outlines the problem and solution so clearly, you wonder why you didn’t see it before. And this is all because it is a reflection of your own life but with enough distance to remove the emotion from the equation.

I am under no illusion that there are any books written about me. I have not achieved enough greatness, for people to find my story so interesting as to pay the $34.95 RRP. But, if we are honest with ourselves, I’m sure most people who read fiction can say that they find the characters most interesting when there is an element of themselves in the book. If we can relate or identify with those who exist between the pages, then we will continue to turn the page.

This is what happened to me as I finished my latest read.

The Forever House called to me in the bookshop as I have been going through my own struggle to save my forever home. It seemed an appropriate choice.

In the book, a house that has been in one family for over fifty years is going on the market. Should the owners go with the highest offer, or with a family who will grow within its walls and nurture the space that has been created? Is there any way to save their family home for the future generations? And why are the four walls we choose to reside in so important to us?

When I first stepped inside what would become my forever home, I felt a sense of calm and belonging. I knew it was where I was meant to live. There were a few minor renovations required, a few walls in need of a lick of paint, but it just felt right. There was a sunlight studio, a kitchen which opened onto the vast living area, and a garden nourished by magic soil (things grow in the garden that should have died or which should never have thrived in the interesting climate).

But sadly, I have not lived in my forever home for some months now.

I have couch surfed, slept on bunk beds and finally taken over a room at my parent’s house; the house of my childhood. No, it’s not the same room I used to sleep in, but a smaller room usually saved for guests.

My forever home could not save the family that was also supposed to be forever.

But how many loses can one person take in a short amount of time?

As The Forever House shows, people can come back from anything. With enough guts, we can rebuild from just about any situation, but it helps if you have a loving and at time quirky, family around you.

I chose to fight for my forever house. I wanted to keep the walls I had felt so at home in. Which is possibly why the last paragraph of The Forever House moved me to tears. The book finishes with a message from the house itself. It reads;

 

‘Today may be sad, and sadness has its place in our hearts, but it must not live on. It must move aside for joy and happiness and new beginnings. But I will be here throughout both your sadness and your joy, my walls wrapped tightly around you. I will be your comfort and your place of safety. I will be here for you forever.

Your forever house.’

 

To anyone who has ever felt a strong sense of connection to a place, or of belonging, then read The Forever House. The characters are authentic yet unpredictable. The relationships are genuine and the sentiment will melt your heart.

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