After the tragic loss of his wife, Helen, Luke Hansard is desperate to keep her memory alive. In an effort to stay close to her, he reaches out to an online friend Helen often mentioned: a reclusive photographer with a curious interest in beautiful but broken objects. But first he must find her—and she doesn’t want to be found.
Orla Kendrick lives alone in the ruins of a remote Suffolk castle, hiding from the haunting past that has left her physically and emotionally scarred. In her fortress, she can keep a safe distance from prying eyes, surrounded by her broken treasures and insulated from the world outside.
When Luke tracks Orla down, he is determined to help her in the way Helen wanted to: by encouraging her out of her isolation and back into the world. But Orla has never seen her refuge as a prison and, when painful secrets and dangerous threats begin to resurface, Luke’s good deed is turned on its head.
As they work through their grief for Helen in very different ways, will these two broken souls be able to heal?
From the moment I started reading The Beauty of Broken Things, I knew it was going to be a rollercoaster of a novel.
These characters find themselves in a rather unique situation and I immediately warmed to them. I felt so sorry for Luke and wanted to give him a big hug. His grief for the loss of his wife is palpable.
Orla is hiding from a past that she is reminded of every day. She is also grieving a loss and I am pleased that these characters find each other. Orla felt like a heavy character in that it seemed like she had the weight of the world on her shoulders and she seemed so much older than her years because of what she had gone through. I found her transformation through the novel quite a journey and a relatable one.
The plot of this novel is intense and emotional. It is so beautifully written and I got incredibly engrossed in it. One more page turned into one more chapter and on and on it went.
This is a novel about finding the right person at the right time, about second chances, giving yourself permission to be happy, love, recovery and rediscovering the beauty of the world through tragedy.
The Beauty of Broken Things is another great novel from Victoria. I really loved this book and I hope you do too.
Thank you to Victoria and Lake Union Publishing for an ARC of this novel.
Victoria Connelly studied English Literature at Worcester University, got married in a medieval castle in the Yorkshire Dales and now lives in rural Suffolk with her artist husband, a young springer spaniel and a flock of ex-battery hens. She is the million-selling author of two bestselling series, Austen Addicts and The Book Lovers, as well as many other novels and novellas. Her first published novel, Flights of Angels, was made into a film in 2008 by Ziegler Films in Germany. The Runaway Actress was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Comedy Novel award.
Victoria loves books, films, walking, historic buildings and animals. If she isn’t at her keyboard writing, she can usually be found in her garden either with a trowel in her hand or a hen on her lap.
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.