Kingfisher Road – a leafy, peaceful street in the town of Vayhill. But there are whispers behind closed doors. Who is moving into Number 10?
Engaged to handsome, wealthy Justin Johnston, Danielle appears to her new neighbours to have the perfect, glossy life. But not everything is as it seems…
In fact, each of the other four women who live close by has a secret, and each is nursing their own private heartache.
But could a gift be waiting on their doorsteps? And, by opening their front doors, and their hearts, to each other, could the women of Kingfisher Road discover all the help they need?
This thirteenth and final novel from the beloved and inspiring Emma Hannigan is a life-affirming, uplifting story that celebrates the strength and joys of female friendship.
The Gift of Friends is published in paperback by Headline Review on the 30th May 2019. Many thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book for this review.
I feel absolutely honoured to be opening the blog tour for this wonderful book. Sadly Emma Hannigan passed away in February 2018 following a bravely fought battle against cancer – as such this is Emma’s last book so reading this was always going to be bittersweet.
Kingfisher Road is an expensive and exclusive street set beyond a granite archway. It is a street where everyone knows every one and every thing that is happening but residents are surprised when one of the properties goes up for sale. Whilst there are 10 properties, some residents are more community minded than others – as such, 4 ladies have struck up a particularly close friendship; Betsy, Pearl, Maia and Nancy. The ladies are keen to find out who the new owners of number 10 will be, and hope to take the lady of the house into their fold.
When Danielle moves in, she seemingly has it all. A handsome fiancé with an extremely well-to-do background and the perfectly designed home. It soon comes to light that all 5 women are hiding something from one another – keen not to shatter the illusion of their perfect lives. However, these women are strong and extremely supportive of one another despite what they are going through themselves.
What I loved most about The Gift of Friends was that this was a heartwarming story with a strong message at it’s heart and that is ‘friendship’. These women have all come together due to where they live but they all have different backgrounds bringing them to Kingfisher Road which bonds them in ways that shouldn’t seem possible.
I loved all of the main characters (as well as Zara, Zach and Drew – children of Maia and Pearl) for different reasons. I adored Nancy is a tough woman who has had a hard life but is finally happy, Maia is the life and soul of the group, Betsy is the devoted mother despite her son’s poor decision making, Pearl is an amazingly strong woman with an extremely challenging home life, and Danielle, the young woman who has fallen head over heels in love but feels like a fish out of water!
The author’s writing is absolutely beautiful, these characters come alive from the pages – whilst reading this book I could imagine their homes, how they dressed, carried themselves, their other halves/children etc. In fact, Emma makes her reader the sixth member of the group – you feel like you bond with them and are going through their highs and lows alongside them. The five different stories of the characters lives are expertly interwoven into each other with chapters being, in the main, dedicated to a character and their interaction with the other women. This works brilliantly as the reader sees both sides of their characters; their inner most thoughts compared to what they allow to be shown to others.
The Gift of Friends is a delight to read with good times and some tough times experienced by the characters – a heartwarming story showing the core of friendship; supporting and encouraging each other through not only the bad times but also the good.
A stunning final book from Emma Hannigan.
Emma Hannigan was the No. 1 bestselling author of eleven novels including Letters to Daughters, The Wedding Promise, The Perfect Gift, and The Summer Guest, as well as a memoir, All to Live For, which was about surviving an eleven year battle with cancer – facing cancer 10 separate times over the course of those years – and remaining strong, positive and warm. Very sadly, we have now lost Emma in the fight against cancer – she passed away at the end of February 2018.
The Gift of Friends went straight to number one on the bestseller lists in Ireland and has remained there ever since.