Monday, 6 June 2016

Review for My Map of You by Isabelle Broom

My Map of You by Isabelle Broom 
Publisher: Penguin
Release: 21st April 2016
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: Copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"Holly Wright has had a difficult few years. After her mother's death, she's become expert at keeping people at a distance - including her boyfriend, Rupert.

But when Holly receives an unexpected letter explaining that an aunt she never met has left her a house on the Greek island of Zakynthos, the walls she has built begin to crumble. Arriving on the island, Holly meets the handsome Aidan and slowly begins to uncover the truth about the secret which tore her family apart.

But is the island where Holly really belongs? Or will her real life catch up with her first?"

I wanted to read My Map of You as soon as I set eyes on that gorgeous cover! What is inside this book is just as beautiful as a story of family, heartbreak, grief and secrets unfolds on the Greek island of Zakynthos.

After a difficult upbringing full of heartache life has finally settled down for Holly Wright. Now she works and lives in London and has a devoted boyfriend. Holly’s done a good job of putting her past behind her but that all changes when she receives a letter from a late aunt she never even knew existed who has left her her house in Zakynthos. Holly flies out to Greece to get her aunt’s affairs in order and the house ready to sell but her family has deep roots on the island and there is a secret family history that Holly knows nothing about. As Holly falls in love with Zakynthos and learns more about her family old wounds begin to reopen. Can Holly find the strength to forgive and forget in the place where it all began?

I’ve never been to Greece but it feels like I have after reading My Map of You. Isabelle Broom’s descriptions of the island are so evocative that I closed the book feeling like I’d been on holiday. I fell in love with everything about Zakynthos from the white sand beaches, to the sea turtles, to the fresh food and the friendly locals. It sounds like a lovely relaxed way of life and a trip to the island has now made it on to my bucket list! This book should come with a warning that it’ll give you a major case of wanderlust.

In the book, Holly follows a map of all the places that were special to her mother and aunt on the island. I thought the idea behind this was lovely and made Zakynthos seem even more special and more of a home for Holly’s family than a holiday destination. I loved how this book shows that a place can change you and leave a permanent mark on your heart like a passport stamp on your identity.

I really enjoyed the characters in this book, they weren’t always the most likeable – especially Holly and her mother – but their flaws only made them feel more real and tied into the themes of mistakes, regret and forgiveness. Holly especially goes on a real journey of self-discovery which makes her grow as a character throughout the book.

Overall I thought that My Map of You was a stunning and accomplished debut with a slow burning mystery at its heart. Isabelle Broom is a new talent to watch and I’m already looking forward to seeing where her next book will sweep me away to.

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