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30 review for This Changes Everything: An uplifting story of love and family from TV wine expert Helen McGinn

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alayne Emmett

    I throughly enjoyed this book, the descriptions of Rome made me want to just pack my bags and go there but, unfortunately not I this times!!! I loved the characters and was glad that it all ended well. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Undoubtedly, my favourite part of this book was when McGinn takes us for a tour of Rome. It felt like a walking holiday from the comfort of my sofa! With such vivid descriptions, I happily escaped to Europe and was saddened when McGinn transfers the narrative back to England. I wanted more Italy! At first I thought this book would all be about the sisters and their mother, focusing on their relationship dynamics. After meeting up in Rome (mostly deliberately), the sisters want to keep an eye on t Undoubtedly, my favourite part of this book was when McGinn takes us for a tour of Rome. It felt like a walking holiday from the comfort of my sofa! With such vivid descriptions, I happily escaped to Europe and was saddened when McGinn transfers the narrative back to England. I wanted more Italy! At first I thought this book would all be about the sisters and their mother, focusing on their relationship dynamics. After meeting up in Rome (mostly deliberately), the sisters want to keep an eye on their mother, who seems to have a reputation for getting married at the drop of a hat. Coming to Rome, it seems that all three women are trying to escape a situation back home, either in the past or present, and I liked how McGinn unifies them through these circumstances: it is more than a mother-daughter relationship. However, after one chapter leaving me gasping in disbelief, the book turns into an exploration of the past between Julia and Patrick. It is soon revealed that they are more than just old friends and I definitely did not predict how the plot would turn when the story moves back to England. As such, readers are presented with a time-line shift as we learn about Julia and Patrick’s past; what makes them such close friends and why they seem to have an instant spark when reuniting in Rome. Without giving too much away, returning to England is the most important element to the story. Again, I was surprised and disappointed by this turn of events because of how vividly McGinn portrays Rome: it felt like I was there experiencing the city with the women. Nonetheless, the importance of family continues to dominate the narrative as Annie and Jess build connections with their mother’s past. Scenes are rather emotional and touching and I think McGinn’s portrayal really emphasises the significance of love and communication. Whilst some parts of the story were a little predictable, this definitely did not lessen my enjoyment of the novel. I liked the happy atmosphere that runs throughout and the sense of belonging. Indeed, I did feel like I was on a journey with Annie and Jess: beyond Rome and how they learn more about their mother in the second part of the story. When I finished the book, I definitely felt satisfied and optimistic: McGinn portrays solidarity and hope that families can connect and reunite, despite unexpected news. With thanks to Boldwood Books, NetGalley and Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Shalini

    One of the most beautiful books read this year. The books started like a rom-com of sorts where the mother Julia was off to Rome to meet an old boyfriend whom she had not seen in the past 50 years. And the daughters, Jessie and Annie, followed her to keep an eye on her antics. I started this book, imagining it to be a light fluffy read, all that was needed on a Saturday afternoon, but it turned out to be was so much more. A secret hidden for more than 50 years changed the dynamics of the family, One of the most beautiful books read this year. The books started like a rom-com of sorts where the mother Julia was off to Rome to meet an old boyfriend whom she had not seen in the past 50 years. And the daughters, Jessie and Annie, followed her to keep an eye on her antics. I started this book, imagining it to be a light fluffy read, all that was needed on a Saturday afternoon, but it turned out to be was so much more. A secret hidden for more than 50 years changed the dynamics of the family, and the story became a well of emotions where the relationship between the different members of the family shone through. The two sisters were varied in their nature yet joined together by their bond of love. The mother, though initially whom I thought to be ditsy, turned out to be someone who was nuanced with hidden depths in her. I loved the writing which changed dramatically when the secret was revealed. The mother turned out to be someone whom I saw with different eyes by the time I reached the mid-book. This was a new author for me, but she made her way into my heart when every word written evoked my emotions too. I smiled, laughed, cried, lamented, went through a whole gamut of them right till the end. I felt I lived this book through the characters. Found my eyes filming over quite frequently. A beautiful read for me.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Short

    A warmhearted storyline full of emotional moments. I felt that the story was very slow in the beginning. I rather enjoyed the journey to Rome.....the author makes you feel like you are there with the characters. There is one big secret reveal that I never saw coming. How everyone deals with this secret made the story much more interesting to me. Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and author for the opportunity to read this book for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Carper

    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. This was an enjoyable read. One family is forever changed from one trip to Rome. You’ll want to add this one to your list. Rome was definitely the star setting of this story. I feel like a few places dragged and could have moved a bit faster, but other than that, it was a great read!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    Sisters Annie and Jess are worried when their three times married, spontaneity-loving mother informs them she’s taking a short holiday in Rome to meet up with a man she hasn’t been in touch with since they were teenagers, and they decide to fly to Rome, too, to keep an eye on her. I thought we were in for an Absolutely Fabulous type selfish mother/sensible daughter story, but I’m glad to say I was wrong. A story partly set in Rome while stuck at home during the pandemic was a lovely escape. I th Sisters Annie and Jess are worried when their three times married, spontaneity-loving mother informs them she’s taking a short holiday in Rome to meet up with a man she hasn’t been in touch with since they were teenagers, and they decide to fly to Rome, too, to keep an eye on her. I thought we were in for an Absolutely Fabulous type selfish mother/sensible daughter story, but I’m glad to say I was wrong. A story partly set in Rome while stuck at home during the pandemic was a lovely escape. I thoroughly enjoyed myself as I joined the characters for their various refreshment breaks. When the thing that “changes everything” is revealed, I literally gasped and grabbed my husband’s arm! I daren’t say any more for fear of spoilers. Good story with well-drawn characters.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tripfiction

    Novel part set in ROME Julia has two grown-up daughters, Annie and Jess, who struggle with their mother’s spontaneity – to wit her tendency to leap into marriage. Julia announces that she is going to Rome to meet with an old friend called Patrick, for a catch up after many years and the two of them generally want to just hang out together in the eternal city, not forgetting that they are due to scatter the ashes of a close mutual friend from long ago. Patrick was, as it turns out, Julia’s first l Novel part set in ROME Julia has two grown-up daughters, Annie and Jess, who struggle with their mother’s spontaneity – to wit her tendency to leap into marriage. Julia announces that she is going to Rome to meet with an old friend called Patrick, for a catch up after many years and the two of them generally want to just hang out together in the eternal city, not forgetting that they are due to scatter the ashes of a close mutual friend from long ago. Patrick was, as it turns out, Julia’s first love. Jess, for one, is up a height and proposes they follow their mother to the city and stalk her, to ensure her well-being. After all, a woman of her mature years can’t look after herself and woe betide she ends up getting hitched. Again. Game on and the two sisters are about to check into their hotel but a sinkhole has developed, causing a vertical crack in the hotel building (sinkholes are really common in Rome, by the way). All the guests have had to be moved, including their mother. They have no idea now where she is staying (she has in fact decamped to Trastevere), so it is quite some fluke that they find her in this city of 3 million souls. They are only there for about 56 hours. There is food with plenty of vino stops and visits to wonderful sites around the city, and art and ancients ruins aplenty. The sights and sounds are all there and vividly captured. Rome works its magic and it’s lovely to be there with them as a reader, particularly during Lockdown. There is however a considerable secret lurking, awaiting revelation and they return to their various homes around the UK, each a changed person. Secrets in the family are usually hugely divisive and the fallout would inevitably be significant – here it all pretty much got swept under the carpet as the book moves into the next part of the story and its conclusion. What the author does particularly well is dovetail all the strands, so that the story has real cohesion. She looks back to Julia’s early life, when she spent a lot of time with her Aunt Tessa because Julia and her mother so often didn’t see eye to eye. She then picks up on the progression of the story as it unfolds in the present. She also has a gentle and singular voice and you can hear how much she is invested in her story and characters. This is a nice family narrative that will transport you to Rome. And, I will say it…. this is a pretty awful cover and I wouldn’t be tempted to pick it up from the cover alone but hopefully it will work for others.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    Set in both Rome and England, this book is difficult to resist. The story is about finding love in unexpected places...the title is very apt. There are also mysteries and revealed pasts throughout. It is a very quick read. Annie, a painter, adores her husband and rambunctious young boys but is exhausted; her flamboyant sister Jess is unmarried, ambitious and makes questionable choices. Their lives could not be more different. However, when given the chance to escape to Rome for a few days they bo Set in both Rome and England, this book is difficult to resist. The story is about finding love in unexpected places...the title is very apt. There are also mysteries and revealed pasts throughout. It is a very quick read. Annie, a painter, adores her husband and rambunctious young boys but is exhausted; her flamboyant sister Jess is unmarried, ambitious and makes questionable choices. Their lives could not be more different. However, when given the chance to escape to Rome for a few days they both make the spontaneous decision to go for it. They both have their own reasons. Julia, their mother in her 70s, mentions she is meeting an old friend in Rome and her concerned daughters, knowing their mom's history making rash decisions, follow without her knowledge. At first. We follow the three women and Julia's old flame, Patrick, as they tour Rome and get to know each other. The rest of the story occurs in England. Twists and turns abound. The most enjoyable aspect of the book for me is the focus on my favourite big city on the planet, Rome. My favourite neighbourhood to stay in is Trastevere so it was very easy to envision their movements. The storyline is interesting though there are a few aspects I didn't particularly love and some parts were predictable, though others certainly not. For these reasons I give this book a 3.5 star rating, bumping it up to a 4 due to the plot and subplots and Rome connections and descriptions. Those who love Rome or are smitten with the thought of Rome will likely enjoy this book. My sincere thank you to Boldwood Books and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Much appreciated.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Gmr

    I love how we are introduced to the sisters, Annie and Jess, who while related, definitely have different personalities, different goals, and different dreams. Hello? They are FAMILY, not copies of one another, so that makes perfect sense, but it's how beautifully they fit together in that family that makes it something special. Then we have their mother, Julia, who while seen as eccentric to some degree, we come to understand that she merely had a love of life, a love of love, and while satisfi I love how we are introduced to the sisters, Annie and Jess, who while related, definitely have different personalities, different goals, and different dreams. Hello? They are FAMILY, not copies of one another, so that makes perfect sense, but it's how beautifully they fit together in that family that makes it something special. Then we have their mother, Julia, who while seen as eccentric to some degree, we come to understand that she merely had a love of life, a love of love, and while satisfied predominantly along the way, had lost her true heart to circumstances taken out of her hands. The way she pulled things together, built herself up stronger, and persevered was inspiring. The way her love came back to her tenfold, remarkable and so very deserved. This trio of wonderful women have had setbacks, hard times, and challenges in their lives, but they've never let themselves succumb to it all. They pushed forward, held their heads high, and found their way through it all...and I do believe it is that strongly made fountain that carries them through what could have been a very tumultuous revelation. I mean, the title was spot on...it DID change everything...and yet, nothing all at the same time. I don't want to go into too much detail because the revelations that come along the way are best experienced first hand, but take it from me, the beauty of this story is in the connections that the characters have to themselves and each other. It was wondrous to follow and a joy to conclude, even if you do want to spend more time with them all...but that is the beauty of the written word, and a well written story; you're welcome back any time. **ecopy received for review; opinions are my own

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jane Hunt

    This is a multigenerational story with strong female characters and a relatable dynamic between the sisters and their mother. Julia's three marriages are a source of despair for her daughters, and they don't want her to make another mistake. Julia has a secret she's never shared with her children and can't resist meeting her first love again. The sisters are different in personality, and despite loving each other, they don't understand the pressures of their individual lives. There are many poign This is a multigenerational story with strong female characters and a relatable dynamic between the sisters and their mother. Julia's three marriages are a source of despair for her daughters, and they don't want her to make another mistake. Julia has a secret she's never shared with her children and can't resist meeting her first love again. The sisters are different in personality, and despite loving each other, they don't understand the pressures of their individual lives. There are many poignant moments, particularly in Julia's story, who was a victim of the judgemental morals in the early 1960s. The real journey is the emotional one all the characters experience both in the past and present. This proves to be an engaging family drama. I received a copy of this book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    There were two things that particularly drew me to this book. The first was the promise of spending time in Rome – I haven’t visited in a very long time, and the chance to do so from the comfort of my armchair at a time when lounge-to-kitchen is the current limit was irresistible. The second was the focus on an older character in Julia, mother to Annie and Jess – something I always enjoy, although I did worry a little that her daughters felt she (in her 70s) needed to be kept an eye on. The time There were two things that particularly drew me to this book. The first was the promise of spending time in Rome – I haven’t visited in a very long time, and the chance to do so from the comfort of my armchair at a time when lounge-to-kitchen is the current limit was irresistible. The second was the focus on an older character in Julia, mother to Annie and Jess – something I always enjoy, although I did worry a little that her daughters felt she (in her 70s) needed to be kept an eye on. The time in Rome was everything I wanted it to be. The writing allows you to fully experience it along with the characters – the views, the food and drink, the sunshine, all the lesser known sights that I’ve made a note of so I can experience them for real on my next visit. I must admit though, it did take me a while to warm to my travelling companions. I did rather like Annie, although it frustrated me that she’d allowed her artistic ambitions to become buried under the weight of caring for her family: Jess was less easy to like, self-centred, spiky, with sharp edges that made her rather a challenge to sympathise or engage with. At first, I did find it a bit difficult to get a fix on Julia’s character, but I really enjoyed the exploration of her back story that rather explained the totally understandable reasons why her daughters felt it necessary to make sure she didn’t make any rash decisions (she did have a bit of a track record…) when meeting up with a man she hadn’t been in touch with for 50 years. The family dynamics are well explored – and that’s a theme developed further in the second half of the book, where the focus changes to the journey through the past triggered by the uncovering of some long-hidden secrets during their time in Rome. I’ve found this quite a difficult book to review – it’s very much a book of two halves, and from the midpoint travels in a direction I really hadn’t expected. It would be wrong of me to say more, but the content is emotional and a little different, an intriguing journey through the past with considerable impact on the present. I’ll admit it perhaps wasn’t 100% the book for me – but none of us can unreservedly love every book we read (sometimes it’s just wrong time/wrong book). I really do think it would be enjoyed more by a younger reader who could identify more closely with Annie and Jess and their lives. I’d hoped that I’d be able to engage more closely with Julia but, in the present day, she didn’t quite manage to capture my heart – although I was certainly emotionally caught up by her story, and particularly enjoyed her rekindled relationship with Patrick. The issues raised in that second half of the book were particularly well handled, there were quite a few unexpected twists and turns that kept the pages turning, and I really liked the exploration of those links between past and present. And again, the author shows a really deft touch in capturing location when a large part of the action moves to Cornwall, with the introduction of a few new characters that I really enjoyed. Helen McGinn can certainly tell a good story, and I’d be very happy to try her writing again.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Heidi Lynn’s BookReviews

    First, I want to thank Helen McGinn, Boldwood Books and Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with this book so I could provide you with this review. Readers are in for a treat as they sit back in their comfy chair and are magically transported to Rome in Helen McGinn’s latest novel This Changes Everything. After reading about all the beautiful sites, the scrumptious food, and picturesque scenery that Helen describes in such a beautiful way you will want to book a trip there. The book cover First, I want to thank Helen McGinn, Boldwood Books and Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with this book so I could provide you with this review. Readers are in for a treat as they sit back in their comfy chair and are magically transported to Rome in Helen McGinn’s latest novel This Changes Everything. After reading about all the beautiful sites, the scrumptious food, and picturesque scenery that Helen describes in such a beautiful way you will want to book a trip there. The book cover originally drew my attention to wanting to know what it was about. It was so pretty and so different from anything I had ever seen. The graphic artists definitely captured the essence of the book. This Changes Everything was a very interesting read and for most of the beginning I was laughing out loud. You see the Mother in this book was married 4 times. Helen lists all 4 men and their traits and a little bit about them in detail. Now come on that is funny! Then mentions Patrick, her first love out of the blue writing to her after 50 years to go on a Roman Vacation with her! Now on one hand it was sweet and romantic but on the other it could be considered as creepy. The letter he did write her though was very beautifully written. Patrick’s story where he was for the past 50 years was a very fascinating story. With all the descriptions and talk of all the delicious food in Rome I was getting hungry. I wanted to try it all. The daughters were being a little overprotective of their Mom by booking a flight to go make sure she was ok. It was kind of cute but also creepy at the same time. I know I wouldn’t want my parents doing that to me in return. Jess only dating married guys rubbed me the wrong way. I understood that she got hurt in the past but still it is wrong. Out of the blue the story flips back to 50 years ago and we get to learn how they first met.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources, Helen McGinn, and Boldwood Books for providing me with a digital copy of This Changes Everything with a request for an honest review. This Changes Everything is the book I needed yet had no idea I wanted. I went in expecting a romance, but what I got was not a romance in the traditional sense. However, there is plenty of love to go around. This family is something special, and I am happy to have been a part of it. This novel starts like so many others. Two Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources, Helen McGinn, and Boldwood Books for providing me with a digital copy of This Changes Everything with a request for an honest review. This Changes Everything is the book I needed yet had no idea I wanted. I went in expecting a romance, but what I got was not a romance in the traditional sense. However, there is plenty of love to go around. This family is something special, and I am happy to have been a part of it. This novel starts like so many others. Two sisters who are complete opposites and a flighty mother. I was ready for this to be Jess’s story. She is without a mate, which usually means she is going to end up as the protagonist. I wasn’t expecting it when the story turned out to be Julia’s (the mother). Though, that is a bit of a mistake on my part. The story belongs to Julia and Patrick. Though it encompasses both their families and another family no one expects. The perspective changes often, which can be jarring. Yet I felt like I got a bonus by hearing how life affected everyone involved. This book is the epitome of a happy ending. It comes full circle, yet all the in-between is passionate, emotional, and heartbreaking. I wish we could have more of these characters. They are so real that I feel like I might walk into them on the street while hunting for my morning cuppa. The only thing that bothered me was that every glass of wine needed a lengthy description. I am not a wine drinker, so I have no desire to know the exact wine being drunk. For me, trying to decipher the pronunciation and such was distracting. But, this is such a small thing that it didn’t damper my enjoyment of the novel. I am happy to award This Changes Everything a full 5 out of 5 stars. For anyone looking for a great family drama, you will love this book. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a heartfelt story.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Rimmelzwaan

    This Changes Everything by Helen McGinn is her debut fiction book as she has previously published non-fiction. After reading this story I shall be waiting for her next foray into fiction for sure. Julia, a woman with a few marriages behind her makes a decision to go to Rome and meet up with her first love. When her daughters Annie and Jess learn of this they are immediately worried. They know their mother hasn't seen Patrick for thirty years and every bad scenario runs through their heads. They d This Changes Everything by Helen McGinn is her debut fiction book as she has previously published non-fiction. After reading this story I shall be waiting for her next foray into fiction for sure. Julia, a woman with a few marriages behind her makes a decision to go to Rome and meet up with her first love. When her daughters Annie and Jess learn of this they are immediately worried. They know their mother hasn't seen Patrick for thirty years and every bad scenario runs through their heads. They decide to follow her to Rome, just in case! As the story unfolds so does the heartbreaking tale of Julia's and Patricks young love, one that was broken due to Julia's mother and left them picking up the pieces of their broken hearts. While in Rome a secret is discovered that Julia has kept for the last thirty years. What impact will this have on Julia and Patricks future and both her daughters too? A beautiful book with such gorgeous settings! I mean, who really can resist Cornwall and Rome? Especially in these gloomy lockdown days we find ourselves living in. Helen McGinn's writing had me transported back to Cornwall, a place I adore, in the blink of an eye. Rome, somewhere I have never had the pleasure to visit, made me feel like I was in that beautiful country. The characters are all very real, I mean, two daughters worrying about a mum like that! That is exactly what any daughter would be like if their mum was doing that sort of thing! The very idea of it brought a smile to my face. Protective much? A story of family first and foremost, then love and second chances told in beautiful settings what more can we want? Thank you to Rachel's Random Resources and Boldwood Books for the copy of the book and my place on the book tour.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jaffareadstoo

    When Julia decides that she is travelling to Rome to meet up with a special man from her past her daughters, Annie and Jessie, are concerned as Julia, now in her seventies, has a tendency to be overly spontaneous. The sisters are naturally cautious about what might happen when their three times married mother meets again with Patrick, the man who was her first love many years ago, and Annie and Jess are determined to keep a clandestine eye on Julia whilst she is in Rome. Rome is described in such When Julia decides that she is travelling to Rome to meet up with a special man from her past her daughters, Annie and Jessie, are concerned as Julia, now in her seventies, has a tendency to be overly spontaneous. The sisters are naturally cautious about what might happen when their three times married mother meets again with Patrick, the man who was her first love many years ago, and Annie and Jess are determined to keep a clandestine eye on Julia whilst she is in Rome. Rome is described in such a lovely way that both the place, and its people, come alive in the imagination. I especially enjoyed getting to know Julia, Annie and Jess, and as the emotional reasons for travelling to meet in Patrick in Rome are revealed so the story starts to gain momentum. That there are secrets to be uncovered becomes obvious as the story progresses and in part two of the story, which I think was my favourite, all the loose threads of this complex family drama start to be brought together. In This Changes Everything the author has handled a difficult subject with sensitivity, warmth and understanding and has written an interesting multi-generational family saga which is filled with secrets and emotional surprises

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cara Ross

    This Changes Everything is a bloody marvelous book! I absolutely loved the book from the very start, its full of sassy women, sarcasm, and love and written by an extremely talented author, there was ugly tears, a sleepless night, and a heart filled with love from this book. The book starts off with Annie, Jess, and their mother Julia; Julia who has been married 3 times, can’t seem to find the love that she needs. Annie, who has been married for 10 years and doesn’t seem to be quite that happy, a This Changes Everything is a bloody marvelous book! I absolutely loved the book from the very start, its full of sassy women, sarcasm, and love and written by an extremely talented author, there was ugly tears, a sleepless night, and a heart filled with love from this book. The book starts off with Annie, Jess, and their mother Julia; Julia who has been married 3 times, can’t seem to find the love that she needs. Annie, who has been married for 10 years and doesn’t seem to be quite that happy, and then there is Jess, who seems to always choose the wrong man. But when Julia reconnects to someone in her past and plans to meet in Rome, Jess and Annie spring into action to protect their mother from making yet another mistake, but things don't go the way they expected and as a result, they found out a whole lot more about themself, but that was before a bombshell was laid upon them. Such a remarkable book from Helen McGinn, she is a beautiful storyteller and I feel that we will be hearing a lot more about her in the future.

  17. 4 out of 5

    T.L. Clark

    This author is better known to me as the cheerful wine expert who appears on TV's Saturday Kitchen. I was sort of hoping the wine choices would illustrate the story's progress more than it does tbh - but that was just me being geeky and unfair. This is a really lovely story. The main focus is on a couple in their sixties, which is refreshing. Julia's two grown-up daughters follow her to Rome, fearful she's going to leap into another impromptu marriage. We are treated to a beautiful tour of the ci This author is better known to me as the cheerful wine expert who appears on TV's Saturday Kitchen. I was sort of hoping the wine choices would illustrate the story's progress more than it does tbh - but that was just me being geeky and unfair. This is a really lovely story. The main focus is on a couple in their sixties, which is refreshing. Julia's two grown-up daughters follow her to Rome, fearful she's going to leap into another impromptu marriage. We are treated to a beautiful tour of the city as a result - sights, sounds and flavours. However, not everything is quite as palatable as the girls find out more than they had bargained for. No spoilers, but as the story unfolds from there, it gets more and more emotional. I'm not afraid to admit I cried. Not only do we get to 'see' Rome, but Cornwall gets a good viewing too, complete with crashing waves. It's a gentle saunter through a difficult topic. Very well written - hard to believe this is a debut novel. Just delightful!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    A wonderful timely read about young love, children and families and how everything can really turn out okay in the end. I found the audio edition (which doesn't come up as an alternate edition on GR) on Hoopla and the narration was perfect. Julia's children Jessica & Annie follow their mother (unbeknownst to her) to Rome after Julia announces she's going there to meet a friend she hasn't seen since her teen years to spread the ashes of a friend. The girls are worried because it seems that Julia A wonderful timely read about young love, children and families and how everything can really turn out okay in the end. I found the audio edition (which doesn't come up as an alternate edition on GR) on Hoopla and the narration was perfect. Julia's children Jessica & Annie follow their mother (unbeknownst to her) to Rome after Julia announces she's going there to meet a friend she hasn't seen since her teen years to spread the ashes of a friend. The girls are worried because it seems that Julia gets married at the drop of a hat (3 times already) and they aim to stop it from happening again. The scenes between all involved are well done and the secrets that are laid bare in Rome tell a nice but sad tale of young love. There are a few dual timeline chapters to explain the backstory and I love dual timelines. A good book overall, not too heavy but still tells an important story about families.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lucy Mitchell

    Great read! Great premise and engaging story line. The idea of the two daughters going to spy on their mother initially and chaperone her was fun. It felt like a good role reversal because all I want to do now is spy on my teenage daughters but in later years they will definitely be spying on me. Julia and Patrick were my favourite characters. Oh my goodness they tugged at my heartstrings. They’d spent such a long time apart but their connection was still so strong. The author did a great job at Great read! Great premise and engaging story line. The idea of the two daughters going to spy on their mother initially and chaperone her was fun. It felt like a good role reversal because all I want to do now is spy on my teenage daughters but in later years they will definitely be spying on me. Julia and Patrick were my favourite characters. Oh my goodness they tugged at my heartstrings. They’d spent such a long time apart but their connection was still so strong. The author did a great job at bringing their connection to life and giving me all the tingles. I totally got why they had been separated for so long but also why they hadn’t stopped loving each other. Great read - difficult to put down.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Felicity Butler

    Loved this book!! Really well written with such a familiar style that I could dive in and get lost very quickly. Primarily the story of two sisters Annie and Jess, along with their mother who they followed to Rome to keep an eye on. The book takes you to Cornish beaches, Rome and a bit of London and Surrey thrown in too! Great book to read through lockdown!! Fabulous escapism, brilliant characters, and loved reading all the drink references of different wines and cocktails......which I have to say Loved this book!! Really well written with such a familiar style that I could dive in and get lost very quickly. Primarily the story of two sisters Annie and Jess, along with their mother who they followed to Rome to keep an eye on. The book takes you to Cornish beaches, Rome and a bit of London and Surrey thrown in too! Great book to read through lockdown!! Fabulous escapism, brilliant characters, and loved reading all the drink references of different wines and cocktails......which I have to say were totally appropriate!! Nice to see a Negroni and Chenin Blanc reference! I'll be looking out for Helen's next book!! Thank you NetGalley for the early read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mrs Alana M Jones

    A brilliant read I felt I couldn't possibly give this less than five stars. The author gives just enough insight into the characters lives to have you gripped and wanting to know more. Jess and Annie feel very protective towards their mother, Julia but like most daughters fail to accept that their mother had a life before they came along. The trip to Rome was so good for the sisters and their mother for different reasons and made them think about where they are in their own lives. A surprising tur A brilliant read I felt I couldn't possibly give this less than five stars. The author gives just enough insight into the characters lives to have you gripped and wanting to know more. Jess and Annie feel very protective towards their mother, Julia but like most daughters fail to accept that their mother had a life before they came along. The trip to Rome was so good for the sisters and their mother for different reasons and made them think about where they are in their own lives. A surprising turn of events discovering they had a brother that they knew nothing about. The journey getting to know their brother was written with sensitivity. A lovely heart warming read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Chantelle Mc

    Like most novels of this nature, a “beach read”, the story was sweet and light, filled with happy endings for all parties involved. Julia and Patrick are given their second chance at their happily ever after after many years apart. They reconnect with lost family members, Julia’s daughters are both happy, as are both of Patrick’s children, and all’s well that ends well. These types of books are never going to be life changing, but they’re light and easy to read, and sometimes it is enjoyable to Like most novels of this nature, a “beach read”, the story was sweet and light, filled with happy endings for all parties involved. Julia and Patrick are given their second chance at their happily ever after after many years apart. They reconnect with lost family members, Julia’s daughters are both happy, as are both of Patrick’s children, and all’s well that ends well. These types of books are never going to be life changing, but they’re light and easy to read, and sometimes it is enjoyable to read a novel that just speaks of true love and happily ever afters. This happened to be a great one of those.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Carole Hazlehurst

    This is a wonderful book, couldn't put it down. The story of two sisters who follow their mother to Rome, just to check she's not getting married again, but discover something quite unexpected. No corny 'misunderstandings' or stroppy reactions, and a fantastic trip through Rome - I suspect Ms McGinn likes the city more than a jot. Great characters, definitely a nod to Knackered Mothers in Annie, but she is a real mum and sister Jess learns as much about herself as she does her family. Just what This is a wonderful book, couldn't put it down. The story of two sisters who follow their mother to Rome, just to check she's not getting married again, but discover something quite unexpected. No corny 'misunderstandings' or stroppy reactions, and a fantastic trip through Rome - I suspect Ms McGinn likes the city more than a jot. Great characters, definitely a nod to Knackered Mothers in Annie, but she is a real mum and sister Jess learns as much about herself as she does her family. Just what I needed in this latest lockdown, looking forward to the next book Helen!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Robey

    I loved the relationships in this warm and uplifting family drama, and now definitely have the need to go back and explore Rome again. Julia, Jess and Annie are wonderful together, and the writing explores their time together before introducing old friends. Their clashes, the friction between them and love for eachother felt extremely wonderful and real.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Karen McGarry

    This Changes Everything is a wonderful story of love, family, and friendship. The lead characters are strong women, a mother and her two daughters who go on a journey, finding out more about each other and themselves. It is heartbreaking yet heart warming and beautifully told.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte Butterworth

    A really lovely escapist read, just what is needed right now. Loved the characters and it was a great narrative too. Helen writes brilliantly about Rome, perfect for us to conjure up the sights, sounds and smells of the city.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Anya

    A heartwarming story about life, love and family. This book gently inspires you to think about what love is to you and how it's affects your life. It also argues that there is no right way to live your life, and despite the circumstances and obstacles everything has a happy ending. A heartwarming story about life, love and family. This book gently inspires you to think about what love is to you and how it's affects your life. It also argues that there is no right way to live your life, and despite the circumstances and obstacles everything has a happy ending.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sian

    My review of This Changes Everything is on my blog https://quirkybookreads.wordpress.com... My review of This Changes Everything is on my blog https://quirkybookreads.wordpress.com...

  29. 4 out of 5

    Blanche Daulton

    A Covid Escape A perfect book for how life is at the moment! A lovely escape, beautiful descriptions of Cornwall and Rome and interesting characters. A very enjoyable read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amy Plant

    Light hearted and an easy read. No plot twists but nice to re live being in my favourite city in the world.

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