Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Book review: A Hundred Pieces of Me by Lucy Dillon


My edition: paperback, to be published on 27th February 2014 by Hodder & Stoughton, 512 pages.

Description: Letters from the only man she's ever loved.
A keepsake of the father she never knew.
Or just a beautiful glass vase that catches the light, even on a grey day.

If you had the chance to make a fresh start, what would you keep from your old life? What would you give away?

Gina Bellamy is starting again, after a difficult few years she'd rather forget. But the belongings she's treasured for so long just don't seem to fit who she is now.

So Gina makes a resolution. She'll keep just a hundred special items - the rest can go.

But that means coming to terms with her past and learning to embrace the future, whatever it might bring...


Rating:


 
Gina Bellamy has been through a lot in her young life and just when things seem to be on the mend her marriage succumbs under the pressure of finding happiness. Ironically, without the struggles and the need for her husband and herself to lean on one another there's little left between the two of them to sustain their relationship. So after years of sharing home and life with another person, Gina suddenly finds herself on her own. Starting from scratch in a tiny apartment she decides to truly start afresh and only keep hold of a hundred important things - a hundred pieces of herself.

While the initial reason behind Gina purging her belongings is a sad moment in her life, it forces her to reflect on all the things she's accumulated over the years and discover what's truly important. Not only that, but by doing so she comes to cherish some items more so than before and she manages to surround herself with what really brings her joy and happiness (that and necessities such as underwear of course - there are some things we are too spoiled to live without!).

Gina is a strong and inspirational woman, who has overcome so much to get where she is now. It was a joy to read about her growing as an individual within the novel, and her unexpected and unlikely friendship with Buzz was a welcome heart-warming addition to what could've otherwise been a desolate and depressing story of a woman struggling to find happiness. The only thing I disliked with a passion is how the novel ended. I can understand from a storytelling point of view that this was where Gina's path would lead her to, but she had already been through so much and she is such a wonderful person that I wanted nothing more for her than find love, health and happiness.

I did however really like the idea behind A Hundred Pieces of Me. Gina's journey, as she was sorting through her belongings one box at a time, was a fascinating one and I learned a lot along the way about myself as well. In my head I started to make a list of the things I would keep were I forced to downsize and whilst doing so I quickly came to realise that even though I am a big hoarder and find it difficult to let go of things, in the end there are few that truly matter. While tough to take the first step to such a big clear-out, I imagine it to be very satisfying and liberating too. After all, if you surround yourself with things that make you happy then logically thinking you would be happy too.

This is a story of starting over and coming closer to yourself. In our life we take a lot of things and luxuries for granted, but not until our eyes are forcibly opened do we usually see what's truly important and where our focus should lie. So imagine yourself in Gina's shoes, what hundred things in your life would you keep?

You can purchase a copy of the novel from Waterstones, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com or your own preferred retailer.



Would you like to know more about the author? You can connect with her online at:

Facebook: facebook.com/LucyDillonBooks

Twitter: @lucy_dillon


Many thanks to the publisher for an advance copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

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