An uplifting novel about three women joyously learning to move on after heartbreak by the bestselling author of The Patterson Girls and Flying The Nest.
Felicity Bell has struggled to move on after her marriage broke down. Her ex has found love again, her children have their own lives, and it’s beginning to feel like her only comfort comes from her dog and her job as a taxidermist. So when Flick gets an offer to work in New Orleans for a few months, she’s drawn to the chance to make a fresh start.
Zoe is ready to start a family with her husband, but when he betrays her, she’s left shattered and desperate for a change of scenery. Joining her mother on the other side of the world to drown her sorrows seems the perfect solution.
Although both mother and daughter are wary of risking their hearts to love again, Theo, a jazz bar owner, and Jack, a local ghost hunter, offer fun, friendship and distraction. But all is not as it seems in New Orleans…
A chance meeting with Aurelia, a reclusive artist who surprises them with lessons from her life, prompts Flick and Zoe to reassess what they want too. Can all three women learn from the past in order to embrace their future?
In 2016, Rachael Johns published The Art of Keeping Secrets, which is where we first met Felicity ‘Flick’ Bell. I’ll admit, I hadn’t previously read The Art of Keeping Secrets, but have now started it after reading this. However, How to Mend a Broken Heart can absolutely be read as a standalone.
Johns is one of Australia’s most popular authors, and for good reason – she tells great stories. She always takes complex themes and then delivers them in a page-turning combination of heart, wit and wisdom.
How to Mend a Broken Heart is filled with fabulous characters, including Felicity’s daughter Zoe, who married young, only to have the rug recently pulled out from under her, and Aurelia, with shades of Miss Havisham from Great Expectations.
But my favourite was Felicity. Right from page one, we know that Felicity’s ex-husband has transitioned to a woman. This is not the overarching theme in the book, but rather one of the many things Felicity is dealing with. I really felt for Felicity. I know her, my friends are her, I am her. She’s a woman of a certain age, divorced, with grown kids, searching for… something. I was totally swept up in her journey – both internal and geographical – when she takes the opportunity to go to New Orleans for a few months.
Summer in New Orleans means hot days, long nights, spooky stories and surprising new beginnings. Johns transports the reader to this fabulous city, with all its history, music and hauntings. I loved immersing myself in this fabulous setting – it was the closest thing I’ve had to travelling for a long time.
I absolutely adored this book. How to Mend a Broken Heart is yet another cracking read from Rachael Johns… in fact, it’s her best yet.