Publication Date: 27th April
Formats: Hardback & Ebook
Price: Hb £14.99/ Ebook £7.99
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
I would like to say a huge thank you to Random Things Tours (Anne Cater) for organising another splendid blog tour for this loving and heartwarming tale of all things Preloved be it objects, clothes or even us flawed and yet lonely humans. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Simon & Schuster for allowing me to read and review a physical copy of this book. I would also like to say thank you to the creative talent, Lauren Bravo for creating such a thoughtful and genuine tale of, heart break, loneliness, grief, guilt, and then finding love, life and happiness in the smallest things such as a charity shop where things old, new, loved once or not at all find a new home and new life. If this hasn’t sparked your interest yet, fear not you can read the blurb and am sure you will be intrigued as much as I was.
Gwen is coasting through life. She’s in her mid-thirties, perpetually single, her friends are busy procreating in the countryside and conversations with her parents seem to revolve entirely around the council’s wheelie-bin timetable.
And she’s lonely. But then, isn’t everyone?
When she’s made redundant from a job she hardly cares about, she takes herself out for a fancy dinner. There she has the best sticky toffee pudding of her life and realises she has no-one to tell. She vows to begin living her life fully, reconnect with her friends and family, and finally book that dentist appointment.
Gwen decides to start where all things get a second chance: her local charity shop. There with the help of the weird and wonderful people and donated items bursting with untold stories, Gwen will find a way to move forward with bravery, tenacity, and more regular dental care.
As soon as I read the first page I was swept away and could not put the book down, at times I did not want it to end either. Gwen is a character who feels and emotes just like anyone of us has done or will do. I felt intrigued as to why she felt or approached life in the way that she did. As the story unfolds and we read further into her tale we see her warm up and unfurl like a shy flower from the cold, harsh winter to bask in the sun. All the while we receive snippets of tales about the objects and clothes that are left or donated to the charity and how each piece has a story both tragic, hilarious or heartfelt behind it and how each one is linked as well into the main tale.
You feel both succoured and embraced by this book, and there are moments where I had tears in my eyes due to how each story or a particular scene feels as close some moments on my life. This is a story that has many stories which all connect to each other in strange and unique ways, and how one life changing decision can give back ten fold into healing and finding your way back to living. It’s not a love story in the traditional sense but a love story in finding yourself and allowing yourself to love, to grieve and to feel in the moment as well as to live. Gwen is an absolute gem of a character and all the other characters are just as vivid and unique yet all so lovable in their ways.
I cannot highly recommend this brilliant, heartwarming book enough. All I will say is you need to read this and have tissues at the ready. It’s just simply lovely.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰 and some 🍪 or two… because one isn’t enough.
Lauren Bravo is a freelance journalist who writes about fashion, popular culture, food, travel and feminism, for publications including Grazia, Refinery29 UK, Cosmopolitan, Stylist, easyJet Traveller, Time Out, Delicious, the Telegraph and the Guardian. She is the author of two non-fiction books, What Would the Spice Girls Do? (2018) and How To Break Up With Fast Fashion (2020). Lauren lives in East London, and Preloved is her debut novel.
I hope you have enjoyed this genuine, thoughtful, heartwarming tale of love, self love and living for the moment has intrigued you enough to want to grab a copy. If you are interested you can pre-order a copy from Waterstones, any independent and of course from Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!