Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Guest Book Review: Ali Chrisp - Home Comforts

Reviewed by Tanya Phillips

Jo Longford's life takes an unexpected turn when her bosses wrongly accuse her of stealing from a client. Suddenly, she needs to find a new job and a new home for herself and ten-year-old son, Tom. Not to mention their small menagerie of badly behaved pets.

Her selfish mum isn't much help; obsessed with keeping up appearances, nothing her daughter does is ever good enough for her. But at least Jo can rely on best friend Val for support. They've been getting themselves into mischief since they were teenagers, and that includes joining a cringeworthy dating agency and an eventful school reunion. Some things never change!

Life certainly doesn’t get any easier for Jo. Will she be able to fend off her sex-mad landlord – a retired businessman who struts around in Lycra and thinks he’s God’s gift to women? Are her new employer and quirky clients at the Handy Jobs Domiciliary Care Agency all they seem?

And will Jo ever be able to sort out her chaotic love life when two equally unsuitable men gatecrash her world?

Amazon link: Kindle

This is a great easy read book that has a feel-good factor to it, although there are some very unpleasant situations within the story.  The main characters in the book are fun and easy to understand hence it’s a book you will finish quite quickly as it is enjoyable. 

Jo and Val are best friends and have been since Primary school and they are constantly laughing and joking around.  I loved their relationship and how they stood by each other and were there with a guiding hand when need be, although they were always happy in their heydays to compete over a man’s attention.  The facts that when a silly mistake is made in a drunken state they often end up laughing at each other makes me think of my best friends.  I think they would laugh if I fell over and hurt myself at the same time as helping me up off the floor; in fact we have been there.  We are introduced to these two friends when Jo loses her job at Jenkins and Wright Estate Agent under false accusations after a confrontation where she refused the advances of a colleague.  Val is there to listen to her problems and try to offer solutions to the money worries.  

The main part of the story is about Jo who is a single mum with a 10 year old son called Tom.  After losing her job she is worried that she will not be able to buy him much for Christmas let alone pay the rent on their little freezing cottage.  The scary alternative is going to live with Jo’s mum, Doreen, in a nearby village.  The relationship between Jo and Doreen is very strained, with Doreen always voicing and showing her disapproval of Jo.  When Jo became pregnant with Tom she initially refused to have any contact with her and it was only the fact that her late husband Harry insisted on seeing his Grandson that she relented.   However circumstances lead Jo and Tom to try living with her and taking their animals with them under strict instructions to keep them from damaging anything. 

A lot happens in the following months after her dismissal from her job and Jo finds her life leading a very different direction and after a school reunion she changes her job and returns to something she previously did.  Through this and a change in living arrangements she finds many new friends that become very important to her.  She also has an encounter with Tom’s father who does not even know about the fact that he has a child.  There are a few misunderstandings along the way and you really want to see what conclusion to them there is going to be.  It’s interesting to see how much a life can change in such a short time and also how some people can change in their behaviour.

I know that if you read this book you will find yourself chuckling along at the situations that arise and also wanting to know Jo and Val better as I think they would be great friends to have. Happy reading.

I'd like to thank Ian at Corazon Books for sending us this eBook and Tanya for this fabulous review.  

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