I always enjoy settling down with a new Amanda Prowse novel and know I can rely on her to tell an emotional, heartfelt tale. I’m pleased to say that To Love and Be Loved didn’t disappoint. I’m delighted to be helping to kick off the blogtour with my review of this lovely book today.
About the book
In this life-affirming tale from bestselling author Amanda Prowse, one woman built a new life to escape her humiliation. Now, can she put the shame behind her and finally find happiness?
Young and desperately in love, Merrin had the whole world ahead of her. But just as her new life was about to start, the ground beneath her feet was cruelly swept away. Devastated by the humiliation, she ran far away from the beloved fishing village she had always called home to lick her wounds and escape her gossiping friends and neighbours.
It hasn’t been easy, but six years later Merrin has forged a new life for herself far from the sea, burying the impulsive girl she once was. But when tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to return to the village she swore she’d never set foot in again.
Reluctantly back in the arms of her community, Merrin begins to realise what she’s been missing out on all these years. As she begins to remember the person she used to be, she is forced to make choices about her future, and to question the past. What does she want from her life? Who is important to her? Who is to blame for everything that went wrong? And can she forgive them, let old wounds heal and finally be her true self again?
Many of Amanda Prowse’s novel focus on finding love or exploring relationships in depth and with the title of this one being To Love and Be Loved, you’d expect that romance would be at the heart of this book too. However, this is a book about someone who has been let down in love and is afraid to let herself love again. I don’t want to give any spoilers but you’ll know from the book description that something awful happens to Merrin, something so bad that she feels she has to leave the fishing village of Port Charles which she loves. My heart went out to her in her despair.
Although Merrin did build another life for herself away from home, her heart was always with her family and in Port Charles. Sometimes her choices came across as stubbornness, such as refusing to return for a family funeral and I could understand the hurt some of her family felt at this point. She just could not face what she felt would be a small community still gossiping about her. And yet I felt that the town of Port Charles would not be like that at all and would welcome her back with open arms. It is inevitable perhaps in a small village that your private business may not stay private for long but things move on and yesterday’s gossip becomes today’s chip papers. I so wanted Merrin to take the courageous step and go back where she was and always had been loved.
When she does eventually go back it is following another sad event to hit her family. This was very emotional to read about. Being back in Port Charles though helped Merrin to move on and rediscover that the important people in her life did love her. I really liked seeing her begin to realise this and to finally come to terms with the past, to allow herself to love again and to be loved.
To Love and Be Loved is another compelling read from Amanda Prowse. It’s an emotional, heart-warming and uplifting read – Amanda Prowse at her best.
Thanks to Kelly at Love Books Tours for the invitation to take part in the tour and for providing a review copy of the book. To Love and Be Loved is published by Lake Union and available now. You can order your copy here: To Love and Be Loved
About the Author
Amanda Prowse is an international bestselling author of twenty-eight novels published in dozens of languages. Her chart-topping titles What Have I Done?, Perfect Daughter, My Husband’s Wife, The Coordinates of Loss, The Girl in the Corner and The Things I Know have sold millions of copies around the world. Other novels by Amanda Prowse include A Mother’s Story, which won the coveted Sainsbury’s eBook of the Year Award. Perfect Daughter was selected as a World Book Night title in 2016. She has been described by the Daily Mail as ‘the queen of family drama’. Amanda is the most prolific writer of bestselling contemporary fiction in the UK today. Her titles consistently score the highest online review approval ratings across several genres. A popular TV and radio personality, Amanda is a regular panellist on Channel 5’s Jeremy Vine show, as well as featuring on numerous daytime ITV programmes. She also makes countless guest appearances on national and independent radio stations, including LBC and talkRADIO, where she is well known for her insightful observations and infectious humour. Amanda’s ambition is to create stories that keep people from turning off the bedside lamp at night, that ensure you walk every step with her great characters, and tales that fill your head so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades…