This is a story that will quite frankly, take you by utter surprise in two ways:
- There’s a rather wonderful plot reveal within the first few pages that sparks a journey of self discovery for a main character
- The depth of this plot and the array of emotions I felt whilst reading this book, means it is very easy to fall in love with it all
Violet Hardcastle is one of the oldest residents on Primrose Square and she’s notorious for being grumpy and writing strongly worded letters to her neighbours. With Jayne being the only person that will put up with her, Violet’s loneliness and bitterness intrigued me. Why is she like this and why does lovely Jayne put up with her?
Having lived in her house since she was a young girl, and not changing it, her home is looking rundown and in desperate need of some TLC, but she’s old now and her savings have all but dried up. The lovely Jayne has an idea though, Violet could take in lodgers.
And this is how Violet ends up sharing her home with Frank and Emily.
Now I’m not going to spoil it for you by revealing Frank’s story but let me tell you – it’s a good’un and will pull at your heartstrings! What moved me the most about Frank’s story was the selfish vs unselfish debate. I could see why certain characters felt he was being selfish but Carroll has very skilfully developed Frank’s personality and let’s us see the world through his eyes – he’s just so lovely!
Now, Emily, she’s a different kettle of fish. I struggled to like her at the start. Emily finds herself out of rehab for drinking and has already got herself thrown out her sister’s home for stealing from her nephew’s piggy bank. And then she meets Leon, like a knight in shining armour, (aka her AA sponsor), he guides her through the twelve-step programme, and little by little you start to warm to her.
Meanwhile we’re learning more about Violet’s past and it’s clear that everything began to change after her 18th birthday. What was it? Why won’t she go outside anymore? Violet’s story captured me the most, it was the mystery I couldn’t wait to uncover.
All three characters are on such different journeys but despite this, they give strength to one another without even realising it. Their contrasting personalities brought life to the pages and I enjoyed reading their thoughts on one another!
This is an author who knows how to write a good story: one that you’ll remember because of its quirks; one that you’ll recommend because of the main characters and one that will leave you craving another!
I was very kindly gifted a copy of this book so I could read it and, I have chosen to share my review on here to say thank you to the lovely Ellen at Zaffre!
The Women of Primrose Square is out now in hardback and eBook versions from Zaffre.
Until next time, Chloé x