Happy hump day. I hope that you’re all having a good week. What started terribly for me (I suffered on Blue Monday), has looked up considerably. I got a new job today which is awesome. I say a new job; it’s a new contract with a new client as I actually work for myself. I’ve worked with the same client for the last 3.5 years, which is super long, so I’m very much looking forward to this new client and new challenge.
Thank you to @bookandtonic for this advanced copy of Because You Loved Me by @bethmoranauthor in return for an honest review. Thank you also to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for organising a fantastic book tour. Because You Loved Me was published on 11th January 2023 and you can get a copy here.
Marion Miller needs a fresh start.
Her childhood in Northern Ireland wasn’t easy, with a father who passed away when she was young and a mother who got lost in grief. Now grown-up and with family relations as tense as ever, Marion heads to England, to find out the truth about her father’s mysterious past – and hopefully an extended family who will love her as much as he did.
Scarlett Obermann runs a holiday park in Sherwood Forest with her daughter Grace, but what’s she’s best at is making people feel like they belong. With her merry band of waifs and strays, Scarlett welcomes Marion with open arms, and it isn’t long before Marion finally understands what it means to find a home.
As she tries to uncover her father’s story, Marion slowly blossoms, even daring to indulge in her crush on Reuben, the son of the Lord of the Manor, but she hasn’t quite out-run her past. And as Scarlett faces her own tragedy, it’s Marion’s turn to take care of everyone.
Because you can’t choose your family, but you can make your friends the family you choose.
General Thoughts 🤔
When I first started this book, I didn’t know how it was going to pan out, whether or not I would end up liking it and whether or not anything of significance was going to happen in the story. It didn’t take long for me to realise that I shouldn’t have had doubts because everything about this book was so heart warming and so beautiful. It was definitely character driven as opposed to plot driven but that didn’t mean that the story was dull. I became so invested in the stories of the characters that I raced through the end of this book; I had to know if everyone was going to get their happy endings.
Of course, Marion was the main character and I challenge anyone to read this book and not fall in love with her. Marion didn’t have an easy start in life and so it wasn’t surprising that she got to her breaking point in adulthood and made a dash away from her family. Even then, Marion was still sweet and was never really angry. If I had been in her position I think I would have been carrying a lot of anger and maybe hatred that I would have found it difficult to shed.
Grace was a dark horse character for me that I ended up really liking. To begin with I thought she was going to be the stereotypical teenager in a story who acted out, was ungrateful and unappreciative. However when faced with tragedy, she really did grow up and I think that she would have turned out to be a kind hearted and loyal adult friend.
Writing Style ✍️
I really enjoyed Beth Moran’s writing style. It’s the first book of hers that I read and I really think she has a little something about her writing that makes it a touch different from other contemporary fiction authors. I liked that the story sometimes jumped from one time period to the next with very little warning. It kept me on my toes as a reader and it was done cleverly to marry up Marion’s life back in Northern Ireland and her life in England.
I loved how Beth Moran wrote such loveable characters. Even the “bad guys” in this story were shown to have a side of them that was likeable which I think is much more alike to real life than having a hard line between good and bad. Everyone has their demons and some people deal with them better than others and I think this was portrayed fantastically.
Conclusion & Scoring 🎖
This was such a lovely story about family, friends and most importantly, the friends that we choose to make our family. Marion was such a beautiful character to read and it was heart warming and inspiring to follow her journey from her haunted and troubled past through to her confident and thriving future. If you’re a fan of characters that you can’t help but love and a feel good story, then this is definitely a book for you.