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Thursday, 29 October 2015

The Other Half of My Heart by Stephanie Butland

Delighted to be part of the blog tour for 'The Other Half of my Heart.'

The Blurb

“It smelled bittersweetly of sourdough, and there was the trace of hot, fresh bread in the air. She took a deep breath and unlocked the door”

Fifteen years ago Bettina May’s life’s veered off course in one disastrous night. Still reeling from the shock of losing everything she thought was hers, Bettina opens a bakery in a village and throws herself into the comfort of bread-making.

She spends her days kneading dough and measuring ingredients. She meets someone. She begins to heal.

Until someone who knows what happens that night walks into Bettina's bakery. In the pause of a heartbeat, fifteen years disappear and Bettina remembers a time she thought was lost for ever . . .

Can she ever go back?

Author: Stephanie Butland
Title: The Other Half of My Heart
Publishers: Transworld Digital
Publication Date: 22nd Oct 2015
Link: Uk: Amazon   Transworld Books

My Review

The first thing I noticed about this book was the beautiful cover and the title which I found intriguing, the second thing I noticed was how beautifully it was written, the tune of it played in my head like a gentle birdsong. After a slow though still enjoyable start I felt that round about page 100 this book opened it's arms to me and drew me into it's heart where it kept me until the very end when I shivered with loveliness and my eyes filled with tears. There is a lot of emotional pain and anguish through the book and I did find myself having to take a few minutes break every now and then to absorb the sheer raw grief that Bettina and the other characters were going through, it was hard to watch Bettina's heart break in so many ways but fascinating to travel on her journey with her. I loved this book so much and really want to know what happens next.

The main character in the book is Bettina Randolph who in 1993 lives with her twin brother Sam and her mother and father, Alice and Howard in a place called Missingham. They are a happy family and Bettina really misses Sam, who is the clever one, when he goes off to university. She is more than happy to work at the neighbours stables as she is able to indulge her love of horses.

The story then fast forwards to 2013 when Bettina - who finds the only thing that seems to bring her any peace is breadmaking - has opened up a bakery in a new town and is having a very casual relationship with her neighbour Rufus which seems more about occasional companionship rather than love or passion. She is very distant with him and he is very patient with her as he knows something has damaged her in her past but he doesn't know what. Her situation is made worse by her mother's illness which she finds exacerbates her heartbreak. Then a chance meeting with someone at a village fair brings up the past for Bettina and all of the memories she has tried to bury come flooding to the surface. This leads to an unexpected development which I was so happy about. It is very painful watching Bettina face up to the heartbreak in her life and try to discover if she can ever love again. But the ending is like being tucked up in bed all cosy, happy and very much at peace with the world.

Thank you to Stephanie Butland for the Advanced Review Copy in return for an honest review.

Book Angelx

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