Friday, 15 May 2020

Where We Belong by Anstey Harris

Cate Morris and her son, Leo, are homeless, adrift. They’ve packed up the boxes from their London home, said goodbye to friends and colleagues, and now they are on their way to ‘Hatters Museum of the Wide Wide World – to stay just for the summer. Cate doesn’t want to be there, in Richard’s family home without Richard to guide her any more. And she knows for sure that Araminta, the retainer of the collection of dusty objects and stuffed animals, has taken against them. But they have nowhere else to go. They have to make the best of it.

But Richard hasn’t told Cate the truth about his family’s history. And something about the house starts to work its way under her skin.
Can she really walk away, once she knows the truth?

Anstey Harris’s debut novel The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton was so well received last year so the pressure is on for her next novel Where We Belong.

Cate having lost her husband her home and her job is in desperate need to provide some security and a roof over son Leo’s head and her only option is to move into her late husbands childhood home combined into their eccentric Hatters museum, but their arrival isn’t one initially welcomed with open arms. With the museum failing how long can Leo and Cate rely on this being their home and will they love it enough to be able to make a difference.

This novel was so beautifully written and the descriptive writing made everything come to life and so easy to visualise. Although I live in Kent I had never actually heard of the Powell-Cotton Museum that this novel is loosely based on but having read this novel I feel like Anstey Harris has given me a tour through her words.

Anstey Harris has once again taken a delicate subject and weaved this with care into the storyline and she does this so gracefully. I did find this a little hard to read as it is a subject extremely close to me but I found that it allowed me to understand how Cate was feeling resulting in me relating and connecting with Cate and just wanting to reach out and hug her and tell her how strong she is and how well she is doing. Cate copes incredibly well considering what she has been through and more challenges are thrown at her but she lives for her son and will keep pushing through and find her way.

One thing this author has managed to do in both her debut and this novel is to make such an impression with a secondary character. I remember reading her debut and adoring Mr Williams ( I am still missing him greatly!) and in Where We Belong Leo is such a loveable character who made such a strong impression on me, his character traits shone through and his love, care and determination is so touching.

This is a descriptive delicate storyline that holds heartache, secrets and determination at the centre. I would actually say Where We Belong has a slight edge over her debut for me and I am certainly excited to seeing what Anstey Harris has up her sleeve for us next.

Kindle                          Hardback

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