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The Forever House By Veronica Henry

The “Forever House‘The Forever House’ is the latest book by Veronica Henry.

Hunter’s Moon is the ultimate ‘forever’ house. Nestled by a river in the Peasebrook valley, it has been the Willoughbys’ home for over fifty years, and now estate agent Belinda Baxter is determined to find the perfect family to live there. But the sale of the house unlocks decades of family secrets – and brings Belinda face to face with her own troubled past.

I started this book the other night and fell in love with the bittersweet tale.

When Sally’s husband, Alexander is diagnosed with Motor Neurone disease, they decide to sell up the family home, for something a lot more easier to manage. The home called ‘Hunter’s Moon’ has been in Alexander’s family for generations and holds many memories for the family and both Sally and Alex, as it was the place that they fell in love in, when Sally was hired as the family housekeeper many years. Deciding to move out of my their happy home, they invest their trust into Belinda Baxter, the local estate agent who invests her time and dedication to helping people find their forever home, the kind and gentle woman who feels an empathy towards the elderly couple.

The story is told in the past and present tense, when Sally and Alexander first met back in 1967 and Sally was employed as housekeeper for Hunter’s Moon, when Alexander’s mother, Margot was a bestselling author and invested all her time in writing and let the house go to wrack and ruin, but then Alexander met Sally and thought she would be perfect, homely and organised, she settled into Hunter’s Moon and quickly became part of the family. The present tense, is the elderly couple having to deal with the double blow of leaving their home as well as deal with Alexander’s as they both notice his health deteriorating. Meanwhile, Belinda has her own problems as she tries to find the perfect buyer for Hunter’s Moon, her past reappears bringing with them unhappy memories and old ghosts.

This is truly, a lovely story. It’s a warm hearted and whimsical tale that is filled with charm as well as sadness, as Sally and Alexander prepare to leave their family home and deal with his illness. The scenes about Motor Neurone disease were sensitively written and researched well and I felt a strong empathy for Alexander as he challenged the changes in his body. The relationship between Sally and Alexander is a tender and interesting one, reading through the past chapters, it’s lovely how they went from friends to lovers and how seamlessly their relationship developed. Margot, Alexander’s mother was a vibrant character, self absorbed and dramatic, she loved being the centre of attention and struggled when this wasn’t the case. I particularly loved Belinda, her warm and soft nature and genuine care for clients made for sweet reading and I really empathised with her at times.

Beautifully written, ‘The Forever House’ is a poignant tale of love and loss, with tender characters and storyline, this book was an absolute feel good page turner.

You can buy The Forever House from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops

Veronica Henry Writers Tips

Veronica HenryAuthor of ‘The Forever House’, Veronica Henry shares her writing tips for aspiring authors.

All budding writers should remember that anyone can start a book, but not everyone can finish one. So keep going until you reach the end. Writing is an endurance test. It’s not enough to have a brilliant idea. It’s got to keep going for at least 300-odd pages.

Veronica Henry

Veronica HenryVeronica Henry has worked as a scriptwriter for ‘The Archers’, ‘Heartbeat’ and ‘Holby City’ amongst many others, before turning to fiction. She won the 2014 RNA Novel of the Year award for ‘A Night On The Orient Express’. Veronica lives with her family in a village in north Devon.

  1. To readers of the blog who may not be familiar with you or your writing, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into this?
    I started out typing scripts on ‘The Archers’ and it was there I realised that people need an escape from everyday life, whether from books or radio or TV. I learned a lot about storytelling from reading the scripts and hearing them recorded in the studio. I went on to become a script editor for ITV, then when I had my first child I jumped over the fence and wrote scripts for ten years. I wrote for ‘Doctors’ and ‘Heartbeat’ and ‘Holby City’. Then in 2000 I realised my real love was for books and by a miracle I got a book deal! I’m now on my 17th novel.
  2. What’s your favourite part of the writing process?
    It’s a bit of a love/hate relationship. When it’s going well it’s as if someone is dictating the story to you and it just flows through your fingers. When it goes badly you can’t imagine being able to write another word. I like naming my characters, and decorating their houses – that can hardly be called work! I also like the big emotional turning points: the confrontation or the revelation or the secret encounter And parties – I love writing a party. There are always so many things going on underneath the surface glitter.
  3. If you were to start your own book club, what authors would you ask to join?
    Oscar Wilde, Jilly Cooper, Elizabeth Jane Howard, Hemingway, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. There would probably be wine too!
  4. What do you think makes a good book?
    Character character character. As long as you care about the characters, you will be engaged – even if you don’t actually like them.
  5. Was there ever a book that you read, that didn’t live up to the hype that surrounded it and left you disappointed?
    I’m not a massive fan of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ – I know that’s controversial, but I find it a bit irritating. Though I suppose that hasn’t been hyped as such!
  6. From books to films, what’s been your favourite adaptation?
    I absolutely love ‘The Railway Children’. It’s a wonderful book but the film version wrings every drop of emotion from the pages.
  7. Who is your all time favourite character from a book?
    I’m a little bit smitten by Boris from ‘The Goldfinch’ by Donna Tartt – he is so naughty and dangerous and reckless and ingenious. He would never bore you. And I am fatally attracted to unsuitable men.
  8. If you were starting your writing journey again, would you do anything differently?
    I would learn to worry less and care more. If you enjoy your writing, it shines through in your work.
  9. The “Forever House

  10. If you were stranded on a desert island, which three books would you bring with you to pass the time?
    ‘Oliver Twist’, ‘Kitchen Confidential’ by Anthony Bourdain and ‘Madame Bovary’ in French to give me a challenge to occupy my mind.
  11. What area do you suggest a budding writer should concentrate on to further their abilities?
    All budding writers should remember that anyone can start a book, but not everyone can finish one. So keep going until you reach the end. Writing is an endurance test. It’s not enough to have a brilliant idea. It’s got to keep going for at least 300-odd pages.
  12. When sitting down to write, what is the one item you need beside you?
    My miniature Schnauzer, Zelda – who is named after Zelda Fitzgerald.
  13. And finally Veronica do you have any projects or releases on the horizon which you would like to share with the readers of the website?
    I’m writing my seventeenth novel – I can’t believe it. It’s still quite early stages – but I met someone last night and our conversation sparked something that gave me the missing ingredient. That’s why I love writing – a random encounter can develop into something really exciting.

    Oh – and my sixteenth novel ‘The Forever House’ is out now!

Follow on Twitter Veronica Henry for updates

You can buy The Forever House from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.