Lovers and Newcomers by Rosie Thomas

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Lovers and Newcomers by Rosie Thomas

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Category: Women's Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Katie Blow
Reviewed by Katie Blow
Summary: A beautifully written story about the value of friendship and what it means to grow old. I really enjoyed it and found it an easy yet thought-provoking read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 528 Date: September 2010
Publisher: Harper
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0007285945

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Friendship is precious and in this book six middle-aged friends put it to the test as they go to live with each other in an old country house. Each of them is eager to escape the outside world and cover up the cracks of strained relationships and unsuccessful lives. Afraid of growing old and leaving dreams unfulfilled, they do their best to feel young and free once more. However, far from being the wonderful and perfect solution they desired, living together means only more difficulties and new tensions emerge. They must battle with forbidden desires, heartbreak, broken relationships and the fear of old age. To make matters worse their isolated retreat is soon interrupted by an unexpected discovery from the past and with it the unwelcome attention of the outside world. Friendships are challenged, new ones are made and some are lost forever.

According to the Daily Express Thomas is one of the best storytellers around. I would have to agree. She is undoubtedly an expert in the field of storytelling, breathing life into every sentence and captivating her audience. Thomas writes so descriptively, paying attention to the smallest detail that one can not only see the scene in their mind but also feel, taste, hear and smell the scene too. Now that is storytelling at its best.

What I love most about this book are the characters. They are each unique, complex and full of emotions, thoughts, memories and dreams. I like their honesty and their genuineness and the way they each contribute something different but equally valuable to the story. I found I could easily mingle with them without feeling like an intrusive outsider or becoming too deeply attached to them. This was a refreshing experience because it meant I could delve at ease in and out of the pages. None of the characters are the same by the end of the book and I enjoyed watching them change and learn more about themselves as individuals and each other. My only criticism would be that some of the main characters got more attention from the author than others, which was rather frustrating because the ones who were slightly neglected were just as intriguing as the rest.

My first impressions of the storyline from reading the synopsis weren't very good. It seemed like a rather strange and bizarre plot but I was mistaken. The story is original, exciting and unpredictable without being too far-fetched. I love the way Thomas has taken a strand each from six very different lives and woven it into one captivating tale of love, loss and friendship. She seems to possess a talent for transforming the ordinaries of life - friendship, relationships, marriage into the extraordinary. The book gives an accurate and beautifully written reflection of life that will captivate you and keep you stuck to your seat.

By the end of the story I felt like I'd been on a lengthy journey along with the characters; a journey of happiness, sadness, pain, joy, grief and hope. Rather than leaving me feeling emotionally drained I felt exhilarated and content. This is a truly heart-warming story of the value of friendship and the beauty of life. I can guarantee you will not be disappointed.

If you enjoyed Lovers and Newcomers, you'll also like Last Christmas by Julia Williams and Beachcombing by Maggie Dana.

Buy Lovers and Newcomers by Rosie Thomas at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Lovers and Newcomers by Rosie Thomas at

Buy Lovers and Newcomers by Rosie Thomas at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Lovers and Newcomers by Rosie Thomas at


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