Reviewed by Emma Crowley
Fledgling journalist Ellie Newton is keen to prove herself when she lands a hard-won job at the Millrise Echo. So when reports come in of a man camped on the corner of a local street, refusing to move until the girl who has jilted him takes him back, Ellie is on a mission to get the scoop.
She arrives to meet Ben Kelly, a man she is instantly attracted to. But she has a job to do and an incredible story to write and has soon pledged to help him win back the girl of his dreams. With Ellie’s help, Ben’s plight captures the hearts and imaginations of the public. And when a TV film crew appears to make a feature on the most romantic gesture the town of Millrise has ever seen, Ellie’s mission gets its happy ending...
But while Ellie has been busy fixing the lives of her wayward parents, providing shoulders for heartbroken friends to cry on, and worrying about her terminally-ill aunt, she hasn’t noticed that she has also been falling quietly in love – with the very man she has now ensured is hopelessly out of her reach.
Ellie must choose between doing the right thing, and the thing that feels right. And whatever choice she makes, someone will get their heart broken.
2014 seems to have been the year of discovering new authors for me and although extremely late in the year I have just encountered the wonderful talent of Tilly Tennant. The Man Who Can’t be Moved is Tilly’s second book but the first I have read by this sharp, witting and engaging author. Both the title and cover of this book are so apt for the storyline and I absolutely love the colours used for the cover as they are so warm and inviting. The book is extremely well written and fast paced as I flew through this in a day, this was one of those books that I picked up needing something light after reading a heavy book and found myself halfway through before I knew it lost in the world of Ellie Newton - reporter for the Millrise Echo.
Ellie’s life is a balancing act working as a reporter for the local newspaper, yes this is her dream job but she wishes to rise further in her chosen profession as writing and reporting is her passion. Bored with the usual humdrum run of the mill stories Ellie jumps at the chance to interview a man who has embarked upon an unusual although undoubtedly romantic endeavour. Sent to Constance Street she meets Ben Kelly, who is camped on the street corner where he first met his girlfriend (cue first signs of heart melting for Ben from the reader) but unfortunately they have now split up but Ben is determined to win her back and will stay camped outside for as long as it takes to prove to Gemma that he loves her and wants her back.
Straight away the reader falls for Ben and his ultimate declaration of love, what woman could not help but fall head over heels for a man who does something so selfless, kind and romantic for a woman? Ellie and the female residents of the street see this too and are soon under his spell and want Ben to be reunited with his true love. All the antics of the women of Constance Street are funny to read about as they do their best to outdo each other in order to get their picture in the paper but also to get in there with Ben.
Ellie of course writes up Ben’s story but also goes to visit Gemma (the girlfriend) because as any good reporter knows there are two sides to every story and she soon learns why the couple have split up. Gemma tells Ellie a secret which she must not reveal no matter how tough things get. Ellie is admirable in how she deals with the situation as the more often she visits Ben on his street corner in all kinds of weather she finds herself falling for his charm and wishing she could just be that little bit closer to him. But she knows Gemma’s true intention and would do nothing to stand in the way of a couple finding their hearts desire. Ellie is so considerate as she puts other peoples feeling before her own, if it was anyone else I’m sure we would declare our undying love for Ben and forget all about Gemma but not Ellie she is genuine and courageous and that’s what makes her such a likeable character. Ellie spreads herself very thinly between her job and home life. She lives on her own but family matters put ever increasing pressure on her. Ellie’s Aunt Hazel is suffering from cancer which has just been diagnosed as terminal. Ellie feels the need to be there as much as she can to support her aunt but between work and the demands of her mother and father (who are separated but still as needy as ever) and also friends who live in London, Ellie just feels so stretched and torn that something will have to give sooner or later. Normally I don’t like reading storylines that feature cancer, I just seem to have a thing about it and it makes me upset but here Tilly Tennant dealt with Hazel’s storyline with such sensitivity and respect and the story fitted in extremely well with the overriding themes dealt with in the novel.
Ellie always seemed to be doing everything for everyone else, she is constantly at peoples beck and call putting their needs before her own. Yes this is an honourable thing but not when it starts to affect you and makes you unhappy and under pressure. People are always trying to do the right thing and sometimes we just have to admit to ourselves we need to look after our own personal happiness which will then help us to make other people happy. There are plenty of background characters which all really helped to enrich the story from Angie in the newspaper office to Patrick the photographer - who I really had a soft spot for and these people are all there for Ellie when she needs them.It just takes her time to realise this. Does Ellie give into her feelings for Ben (who was just the most wonderful male character, I think everyone needs a Ben in their life), do Ellie’s parents sort out their differences or does Ben achieve national fame with Gemma? Well if you want to discover the answers to these questions and lots more besides I urge to pick up this brilliant book as Tilly Tennant has done a fantastic job of engaging me in this smart, warm and moving book.
Many thanks to Tilly Tennant for sending me this to review and to Sharon for having the review on her blog.