Lorna has taken the plunge and bought an art gallery in her home town. This is scary for a number of reasons, for a start Lorna hasn’t had much success in this career area after a failed pop up gallery, and she hasn’t been in her home town for a very long time. But will this new adventure be the start of something very special?
I loved the irony in this book, the fact that all Lorna wanted was her own space and to be alone, and yet she finds herself sharing her new digs with others and never having much time to herself. But that’s life isn’t it? You think you know what you need, but actually life has a very, different plan for you.
It isn’t long into the book before you meet Lorna’s first house guest, her best friend – Tiffany, who is fleeing a disastrous job and needs a place to crash for *supposedly* a few days… she’s got the heart of gold but does seem to spend an extortionately long time in the bathroom!
A very special lady is then introduced into the plot – Joyce, a local artist who famously ignores everyone. Except both ladies are strangely drawn to one another.
And, I haven’t even mentioned the doggies yet!! There is something about adding dogs to a story that just makes it 100% better; albeit that’s probably a biased opinion since I love dogs. Rudy; a rather anxious dachshund, is introduced early on in the story, his human mother (Betty) had passed away at the hospice Lorna volunteered at and no one seemed keen to take him. Lorna agrees to take him on, when she realises Rudy’s alternative is a dog shelter. Whilst I’m more of a Labrador person, I do love the character that smaller dogs have; and Rudy definitely has personality! He makes it quite clear that he will only go on a walk, if there are no other dogs in the vicinity, and given that Lorna lives in Longhampton centre, it means getting up early…!
Then Rudy meets Bernard. Bernard is the bonkers border terrier owned by Joyce, and he seems to bring out the best in Rudy. Out on walks together, Rudy becomes more confident and playful; it really is lovely to watch this nervous dachshund come out of his shell. You see? Who needs a blossoming human friendship, when a doggy one is so much more rewarding!
In her past books and this current one, Dillon has always shown such a talent when adding canines to her plots, they never feel like cutely placed background animals, they always seem to have their own sweet side story and I love that!
From the very start of the book, death and grief is present and a real anchoring point to this plot. It becomes clear that Lorna has never really gotten over her mother passing, and continues to carry this as a weight on her shoulder. It’s not the death as such, it’s more the doubt that her mother never really understood her or accepted her for who she is. I thought the way Dillon explored Lorna’s feelings over the plot was perfectly executed, and would help many. Being able to ‘be at peace’ with a relationship after the person has passed is always difficult, but by understanding herself and gaining a different perspective from new and old friends, Lorna finally feels a connection to her mother.
All in all, another fantastic book from Dillon, with some fantastic characters.
Until next time, Chloé x