No matter how far you go, home is where the heart is…
Beth Williams hasn’t been home for ten years. After falling pregnant at sixteen, she ran away from the imposing Scottish estate where she grew up rather than risk her family’s disapproval, working hard to build a life for herself and daughter Isabelle – but now she’s finally returning to Glendale Hall.
As Beth tries to mend her broken family ties, and fights to bring the community of Glendale back together, she realises that the story she has told herself for a decade might well be a very different one from the truth. Even though she ran from Glendale it has never left her heart. And, she soon realises, neither has Drew – Beth’s first love.
Will Beth be able to forgive her mother and grandmother (and herself) for what happened ten years ago? What will Drew say when he discovers the secret she’s been keeping from him for so long? Can a festive trail bring the village back together?
Will Christmas work its magic on Glendale – or will Beth be forced to run away from it all over again?
A charming, uplifting novel that will warm your heart – the perfect read to curl up with this autumn. Fans of Trisha Ashley, Debbie Johnson and Cathy Bramley will love this gorgeously romantic read.
Coming Home to Glendale Hall was published on the 25th September 2019 by Hera Books. Many thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book via NetGalley and to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for having me on this fabulous blog tour.
I know it is only the 3rd day of October, but I am going to mention the C word…CHRISTMAS! Coming Home to Glendale Hall is the perfect festive read…it has all the key components of an ideal Christmas book to me; a wonderful wintery setting (Glendale Hall and its village fit the bill perfectly), a cause to fight for, community spirit and just the right amount of romance!
I absolutely adored Coming Home to Glendale Hall right from the outset, Victoria Walter’s narrative transports the reader to Glendale and feeling like we already know Beth and her daughter Izzy. The book opens with Beth’s return to Glendale Hall, 10 years after she fled to London and never returned. Whilst her parents and grandmother have visited Beth and Izzy in London on occasion, it is clear from the outset that their relationship is, at best, strained. Beth and Izzy are back in Glendale for Christmas as it is feared that this will be Beth’s grandmother’s final Christmas as she is terminally ill and her health is deteriorating. Izzy is thoroughly excited to visit her mother’s childhood home and spend time in Scotland, although for Beth it brings back difficult memories that she has tried to bury for years – which are exacerbated when she unexpectedly bumps into Drew, her first love.
In addition to the family issues, Beth finds that the village is no longer the community that she left, it is now largely abandoned with developers circling around like vultures to purchase the vacant shops and convert them into flats. Beth is devastated that Glendale has seemingly lost its heart, its community spirit so she is determined to do something about it.
Coming Home to Glendale Hall is a beautiful heart-warming read with brilliant characters who come alive from the pages. Beth is a strong, independent woman who has raised Izzy alone in London, working just to make ends meet. Her relationship with Izzy is lovely, because it’s always been just them two their bond is very strong. Beth’s strength wavers a little bit when she comes back to Glendale Hall but she soon gives herself a talking to, reminding herself that she’s no longer the frightened 16-year-old who ran away all those years ago. Izzy is also a wonderful character who really brings the excitement of Christmas to life with her enthusiasm for all things festive…including tacky inflatables and gaudy tree decorations – much to Beth’s mother’s disgust! I also liked Beth’s grandmother who is trying to make amends for her actions 10 years ago which, at the time she did in good faith but now sees that there were alternatives.
Coming Home to Glendale Hall is the perfect book for curling up in front of a fire with a steaming hot chocolate on a cold day when you have no other plans so you can lose yourself in the narrative. Whilst this is a Christmas book, it is much more that that – its an exploration into family dynamics and putting to bed the past, realising that you cannot change it, only focus on the here and now. Another fabulous book from Victoria Walters!
Victoria Walters writes up-lifting and inspiring stories. Her moving debut novel THE SECOND LOVE OF MY LIFE was chosen for WHSmith Fresh Talent and shortlisted for an RNA award. Victoria was also picked as an Amazon Rising Star. Her heart-warming new novel SUMMER AT THE KINDNESS CAFE is available to download now.
As well as being an author, Victoria also works as a Waterstones bookseller and buys far too many books there. She lives in Surrey with her cat Harry (named after Harry Potter). Victoria is not only obsessed with books but loves buying slogan tops, mugs and notebooks, and posting them all on Instagram.
You can discover more about Victoria – and find pictures of Harry the cat – by following her on Instagram at @vickyjwalters, on Twitter at @Vicky_Walters or by visiting her blog at:https://victoria-writes.com/.