Having read and reviewed The Landlord of Hummingbird House , I was only too happy to read Buttercups In The Basement, another book in this series.
1967: the summer of love and the year Betty moves into her first home.
Independent. Open. Inexperienced. She is excited to be living with her new husband, William, and committed to returning Hummingbird House to its former glory.
But when she invites captivating new tenants into her home and settles into married life, her world begins to transform in ways she could never have imagined.
She thought she was on a journey toward domesticity and devotion – but her experiences that summer prove to be anything but traditional.
Alternating between the1960s and the present day, Buttercups in the Basement is a delightful exploration of personal awakening, friendships – and what it means to be happy.
The book alternates between the present day and the 1960’s when Betty, the protagonist and owner of Hummingbird House, first moves in with her husband William.
The young Betty is an innocent and introverted woman, trying hard to keep her husband and her mother, Dorothy, happy. Yet she is open to learning and is determined to buy and upgrade the house and even takes some tenants in.
Present day Betty is much more at peace with herself and her past. She’s like a grandmother to her tenants, hovering over them and trying to ensure they are all well taken care. They in turn are very fond of her and attempt to take care of her too. If you’ve read the first book, then much of the part is the same, but told from Betty’s perspective, that makes it very interesting too.
There are three relationships that stand out in the book – Betty’s relationships with her husband, her mother and her first tenant, Sandra.
The author style of writing makes this book a joy to read. The story flows smoothly despite the many characters. There is also such a great mix of emotions – sadness, loss, grief, joy, love and the warmth of belonging to a community. I love the element of surprise that she brings into the end of this book as she did with the previous book as well.
I’ll be looking out for the next book in this series.
Jane Harvey is a pen name (shhh). She crafts fun fiction for the thinking woman, where she enjoys exploring unexpected friendships and writing happy endings. This is lucky, because in real life her (prize-winning) fiction is a little bleaker. She was born and raised on the island of Jersey, and lives with two males and a dog. She owns an admirable collection of animal vases and unusual lighting.