Happy first 2022 weekend. I hope that you’ve all had a good one. After my first week back at work, I needed this weekend to chill and reset, ready to fully hit the ground running from tomorrow. We all know that the first week back isn’t really the first week back. Thankfully, this audiobook was the perfect companion for my relaxing weekend.
Thank you to @Jessryn1 and @HQstories for this advanced audio copy of The Imperfect Art of Caring in return for an honest review. The Imperfect Art of Caring was published on 25th November 2021 and you can get a copy here.
Violet Strong (or Violet Wrong as the kids at school used to call her) moved away from home in her late teens and hasn’t stepped foot back into the village she grew up in since. She’s learnt to be bright and friendly whilst maintaining a safe emotional distance from anyone in her life.
Until life throws her a curveball. She’s forced to move back home temporarily to care for her estranged mother, Gladys. She quickly learns that being a carer is hard work and she turns to other carers in the community to lend a helping hand and provide guidance. One carer in particular starts to make Violet think that moving back home may not be such a bad thing after all. Violet is given the chance to address some of the mistakes made in her past and she finds that there is hope that she could love herself as much as she is able to love others.
General Thoughts 🤔
I had a suspicion that this book was going to be one to give me all the feels and fill me with warmth and snuggly thoughts and it did not disappoint. This was such a heart warming, fulfilling and in many ways, reassuring book. There is so much negativity in the world, it is sometimes easy to forget that for the majority, communities are full of caring, loving everyday people. The kind of people that were in this book.
The characters were truly what made this book so lovely in my opinion. It’s hard to pick a favourite out of them all, but if forced, it would have to be Tammy. This lovely woman made me smile and laugh and also brought me so close to tears. The system didn’t have the capacity to support Tammy with her learning disability but her neighbours and what would become friends did. Tammy was deeply appreciative of this and her own kindness and good hearted nature was enough to make any reader fall in love with her.
Another character I really loved was Chrissie; Violets old English teacher. She wasn’t a carer herself and didn’t need a carer, but she did strike me as being lonely and in need of a friend. Instead of shrinking into herself, Chrissie gave up her time to help others in the village. I thought that she was one of the most selfless and kind characters in the book and anyone would be lucky to have a neighbour like Chrissie.
Writing Style ✍️
I haven’t read Jessica Ryn’s debut novel (yet!) so this was my first experience of her writing and I’m so happy that I got the chance to read her work. The pacing of the story was perfection and drew me in without overwhelming me with detail. I was able to just fall into step with the different characters, get to know them and get to learn their individual stories. She was able to brilliantly combine humour with some heart wrenching moments which pulled out all kinds of emotions in me.
I listened to the audio book of The Imperfect Art of Caring and have to give a mention to the narrator @BexthurstCooper. Her voice was so soothing and fit perfectly with the tone of the book. I could have listened to her read to me for many many more hours.
Conclusion & Scoring 🎖️
I challenge anyone to read this book and not immediately feel like they want to do something good for someone else. It definitely did that for me and I have vowed to pay more attention to the people in my own village, even if it’s just asking “how are you?” rather than a hi and bye in the street. I have to apologise for being so late in reading and posting my review for this ARC but I’m also kind of glad. This was a fantastic book to kick off a new year with.