everything is beautiful
Books & Book Reviews, Fiction

Everything Is Beautiful

I really didn’t know what to expect from this book as this is the author’s first book. What I didn’t expect is for Everything Is Beautiful to blow me away.

Everything Is Beautiful

Sometimes it’s impossible to part with the things we love the most…
When Amy Ashton’s world came crashing down eleven years ago, she started a collection.

Just a little collection, just a few keepsakes of happier times: some honeysuckle to remind herself of the boy she loved, a chipped china bird, an old terracotta pot . . . Things that others might throw away, but to Amy, represent alife that could have been.

Now her house is overflowing with the objects she loves – soon there’ll be no room for Amy at all. But when a family move in next door, a chance discovery unearths a mystery long buried, and Amy’s carefully curated life begins to
unravel. If she can find the courage to face her past, might the future she thought she’d lost still be hers for the taking?

Perfect for fans of Eleanor Oliphant and The Keeper of Lost Things, this exquisitely told, uplifting novel shows us that however hopeless things might feel, beauty can be found in the most unexpected of places.

‘This book quietly took hold of me and wouldn’t let me go until I turned the final page. I loved stepping into Amy’s world, with all its treasures, and it was a joy to see her beginning to make space for herself’

BETH O’LEARY, bestselling author of The Flatshare

My Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

If you’ve ever watched the television show Hoarders, you, like me, may have wondered why people hold on to things and accumulate more stuff than they know what to do with. Watching the show and reading about hoarders has never really got me feeling so empathetic towards them as I did reading this heartbreaking story.

When people can’t deal with heartbreak and when they lose control of their life, they often try to control other things. Hoarding too, is a form of coping with pain that a person cannot control.

When Amy loses both her boyfriend and best friend at the same time, her life is out of control. She begins to hoard. She tries to fix broken things, as if in doing so she can fix her broken heart.

The author has done such a brilliant job of creating the quirky, sad, lonely and yet loveable character of Amy. As she goes about her life, collecting, trying to fix broken objects and all the while having things pile up around her, Amy feels that’s she’s okay.

Her world is suddenly turned upside down by the arrival of new neighbours – two young, rambunctious boys and their father. When the boys break some pots in her garden, Amy finds something that might help her travel down the past and see it in a new way.

Will she find it in her to look back at the past and see it for what it is? Will she be able to move out of her comfort zone?

This is above all a story of hope – an affirmation that we can heal. Amy’s story is a confirmation that unquestioning affection from children and the non-judgemental presence and kindness of adults can give us the strength to move forward from heartbreak and truly discover the beauty in brokenness.

This is certainly my best read of 2021 and the story will stay with me for a long time.

Buy Everything Is Beautiful

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Meet The Author

Eleanor Ray has an MA in English Literature from Edinburgh University and works in marketing. She lives in London with her husband and two young children. Eleanor was inspired to write Everything is Beautiful by the objects her toddler collects and treasures – twigs, empty water bottles and wilting daisies. She is currently working on her next novel.

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