Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Book Review: When I Fall In Love

Author: Miranda Dickinson
Publication Date: November 8, 2012
Publisher: Avon
Elsie Maynard never expected to be starting again...

...but eighteen months on from the biggest challenge of her life, she is doing just that –because she made a promise to the person who believed in her the most.

Determined to step into her uncertain future, Elsie meets handsome Oliver Hogarth, who seems intent on winning her heart; she inadvertently founds a choir, and overcomes obstacles – most of which involve arrogant Torin Stewart.

Then a heartfelt request brings her to Paris – and the final item on ‘The List’ that she never dared complete.

Can Elsie follow her heart and put her past to rest?

“‘Who do you think you are, Lancelot? And where do you get off interfering in other people’s business, anyway? I am entirely capable of looking after myself, you know. I am not a damsel in distress that needs rescuing by a big, strong bloke. I would have sorted the situation, without your help. I would have managed. So thank you very much for jumping in, but I really didn’t need you to.’” – Finished Copy pg. 6

“Sundae & Cher was filled with 1950s and 1960s memorabilia, from the gold-framed Elvis and Frankie Valli photographs on the wall behind the green glass counter, to the black and white harlequin tiles on the floor, replica Wurlitzer jukebox, black and white checked tablecloths and red leather and chrome chairs. It had the air of being simultaneously retro and chic, and modern and cool – and Elsie loved to see people’s expressions when they walked in for the first time. Of course, the killer detail was that all the ice cream sold in the café was made onsite, in the basement kitchen with its large ice cream mixing machine and large freezer cabinet. This meant that Sundae & Cher could offer flavors nobody else in Brighton could match, changing them regularly to keep the ever-enthusiastic customers come back for more. From Tossed Popcorn to Blue Cheese and Walnut, Maple Banana and even a Tomato, Basil and Olive combination, Sundae & Cher’s unique ice cream flavors had become a talking point in the famous seaside town.” – Finished Copy pg. 16 & 17

“‘Elsie, I am trusting you to see this through, because both you and I know the importance of real love…’” – Finished Copy pg. 270

Elsie Maynard has decided that it is time to start again and pick up the pieces of her rather broken heart and spirit. She has faced a tragedy that I would never wish on anyone, and I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to give key elements in the story away. When I started reading the book, Elsie seemed very solemn and somber and maybe even a little bitter. I later learned why. After a few pages in she makes an announcement to her sisters and family that she is ready to start dating again, and I immediately started asking questions. I became attached to Elsie rather quickly and was cheering her on the entire time. This story is Elsie’s journey through heartache and her rebirth!

Miranda Dickinson can write some really strong and moving characters, and believe me this book was full of them. I personally fell in love with the relationship that Elsie shared amongst her sisters, Daisy and Guin. I loved their connection and the laughter that they brought right from the start. We also have Elsie’s dad who I could tell was where a lot of her strength and support came from. Possibly one of my favorite characters was Cher, who owns the café in which Elsie works in called Sundae & Cher, quoted above. All of these secondary characters, and so many more, help Elsie on her trying and tremendous journey to start all over again. I was laughing my head off because of the wittiness and just pure sparkle that some of these characters brought the pages.

Elsie finds herself in some pretty amazing situations and presented with some awesome opportunities that I am sure she never thought she would experience. This book is about learning to live and love again, and Elsie is a truly inspiring and dynamic character. From her moments in the ice cream shop, Sundae & Cher, to the streets of Paris with her choir, she is experiencing a life-altering change and I felt like she invited me, graciously, along for the ride. This is truly a story about love, loss, and learning to start over from the ashes. I couldn’t have asked for a sweeter story that truly pulled on all of my heart strings. This book made me question things in my life and what I would do if I were ever in Elsie’s shoes. Truly a great reflection novel and I am new born fan of Miranda Dickinson!

***Lots of hugs and thanks to the publishers at Avon for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review***

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