Blog Tour: Book Review - Thursdays in the Park by Hilary Boyd

Today on Becca's Books, I'm delighted to be sharing with you my review of Hilary Boyd's Thursdays in the Park.

Available on Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US
Title - Thursdays in the Park
Author - Hilary Boyd
Publication Date - October 6th 2016
Publisher - Quercus Books
Format - Paperback (Special 5th Anniversary Edition - provided by publisher)
Pages - 353

Blurb
Jeanie has been married for thirty years, but her husband George has become so cold and distant she may as well be alone. Surely, at just sixty, a loveless marriage can't be the only thing left on the horizon? Then, one Thursday in Autumn, Jeanie meets Ray in the park, and a chance meeting blossoms into a friendship.

They talk, laugh, share hopes and secrets and heartbreaks.

They offer each other a second chance at life and love.

But will they have the courage to take it?

Review
Thursdays in the Park by Hilary Boyd is a novel written with exceptional warmth and heart, delving straight to the very soul of life and love. I relished each and every page of this novel, wanting to race through it to the end but, at the same time, wanting to drag and tease it out because it was simply so enjoyable to read. Boyd writes with such feeling, such tenderness, that it's impossible to not become completely wrapped up in the world and characters that she presents to you. Before I go any further with my review, I'd like to thank Quercus for providing me with a proof copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

In this heart-warming story, readers are introduced to Jeanie and husband George. Married for thirty years, their marriage is, you'd assume, capable of withstanding even the most ferocious of storms. But, one evening, Jeanie is left questioning everything, including herself, when George gets up and leaves their marital bed without so much as a backward glance or even an explanation. Clueless as to what has happened between them, Jeanie attempts to tease the answers from George but each time, she's left with nothing to help her deal with what has happened. Over the years that pass, Jeanie begins to accept the distance that continues to grow between them, although her curiosity as to what happened that evening never wanes.

One thing that struck me throughout my reading of Thursdays in the Park by Hilary Boyd was the delectable focus on relationships. Boyd manages to capture family life beautifully within this story. Jeanie is clearly a woman who holds her loved ones incredibly close to her heart, especially her granddaughter who she sees and takes to the park regularly to help out her daughter and son-in-law. The bonds between these characters were so finely created, so delicate and apparent, that it was hard not to feel involved in the day to day goings on that took place. I loved every interaction that took place, because each one peeled away a layer of Boyd's characters, allowing me to see a new side to them, and making them more prominent as the novel continued. They seemed so real to me and it didn't take long for me to grow to care for them considerably. The dialogue was superbly crafted and an utter joy to read, making the entire story a pleasure in itself. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that this could possibly be one of my new favourite novels.

From beginning to end, Boyd takes readers on a journey alongside Jeanie, the consequences of her decisions tugging at the very fine threads holding her life together. From family life to love and self-discovery, Boyd expertly explores these themes while continuing to hold readers tightly within her grasp as she tells Jeanie's story. It was beautifully rich and vivid, tender and joyful, yet remained real and raw in the most striking of ways. This isn't just a romance novel. It's a novel that gathers all of the most important aspects of life, like a rake gathering the autumn leaves, and displays them in the most moving of ways for the reader to enjoy.

I absolutely loved this novel. I looked forward to reading it at every chance I was given, and felt a tug of sadness when I turned the final page and left Jeanie to continue with her life. Becca's Books is awarding Thursdays in the Park by Hilary Boyd with five of my bookish cupcakes. The perfect novel to curl up with this autumn/winter beside the crackling fire. You'll feel completely at home with these characters and their lives, I promise you.


Be sure to keep up with the rest of the Thursdays in the Park blog tour!

About the author
I trained as a nurse at Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital - the best training for life you could wish for. I went on to have two girls, and a varied career – including marriage guidance, running a small cancer charity and an English degree from London University – before having a stroke of luck in my sixties with a publishing contract for my novel Thursdays In The Park, which, amazingly, turned out to be an international bestseller.
I’m an incurable romantic. I don’t think there’s an age limit for falling in love. But my older heroines often have to negotiate a complex family dynamic, because women of all ages are labeled ‘wife’, ‘mother’, ‘daughter’, and ‘grandmother’. But we are also just US!
My latest book, The Lavender House, follows our heroine, Nancy, through a similar maze of duty and responsibility, although her heart is with the ponytailed Jim, a country and western singer totally disapproved of by her dear family.


You can find Hilary Boyd on Facebook | Twitter | hilaryboyd.com

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