Wednesday 27 September 2023

BLOG TOUR: The Beginning of Everything - Jackie Fraser

This is the story of Jess and Gethin, whose paths cross in the most unexpected way. 

Jess is running away, leaving all she knows and everyone she loves behind her, with just a few treasured belongings in her rucksack. She’s escaping from the pain and trauma of a bad relationship with a bad man, gone very badly wrong. 

Gethin’s kindness and care take her breath away. They become friends. But with so much hurt in her past, can Jess learn to love and live again?

What did I think?

I loved Jackie Fraser's debut, The Bookshop of Second Chances, but her new book, The Beginning of Everything is very special indeed.  It's a lovely lovely story (so lovely I had to say 'lovely' twice) and I experienced so many different emotions whilst reading it but I turned the final page with a smile on my face and a tear in my eye as I said goodbye to two wonderful characters.

Jess and Gethin meet in the strangest circumstances when Gethin opens the door to his new home and finds Jess living there.  Jess is 46 years old and homeless so when she finds an empty property it's just too much of a temptation not to spend the night there.  At least with an address she can get a job and start saving for a place of her own.  Until Gethin, the owner of the house, appears...

Gethin's family has been touched with homelessness and tragedy so he wants to help Jess, but she is naturally suspicious.  Surely, he can't be THAT nice?  Just the simple things that Gethin does for Jess were enough to bring a lump to my throat.  It was so lovely to see someone doing something kind without expecting recognition or reward.

Jess has built a solid brick wall around her heart to protect herself from further pain and the wall starts to crumble a little when a firm friendship forms between the pair.  When their feelings start to grow into something more, I don't think Jess can believe something good can be happening to her so she builds that wall back up.  It's very much a will they/won't they and I don't think I have ever rooted for a fictional pair as much as I did for Jess and Gethin.  

Beautifully written and incredibly uplifting, The Beginning of Everything is a book that oozes with kindness; it made me think about my own actions or inactions and how just a little thing can make all the difference.  A highly recommended read.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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