Hodder and Stoughton
Publication date – 27 February 2014
“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 . . .”
3 of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book from the publishers via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
Gina Bellamy is at a crossroads in her life. She has just split from her husband Stu, in addition to recovering from breast cancer. On moving into her new rented flat she becomes overwhelmed by the amount of ‘stuff’ she has in her life – material possessions that, she realises with a jolt, she doesn’t really need. So Gina decides to rid herself off all of her possession apart from a hundred things that actually mean something to her. However as she goes on with her sorting she gains things she wasn’t expecting: a new pet; new friends; and a new outlook on life.
I loved the idea of this book. It made me think that although I am aware of what is important in my life, perhaps I don’t need all the possessions I have accumulated over the years. There were some aspects of Gina that I liked, her determination to shed herself of unnecessary things and to move on. Yet other things annoyed me slightly, the need to move on being tempered by Gina holding on to an incident in the past, and the burden of blame she carried with it, for example.
This is a story of recovery and self discovery. It is a tale that is sad, happy, melancolic and uplifting. It is not a ‘love story’ in the usual sense but in truth it is for Gina learns to love her self and the important things around her. Gina, whilst organising the physical aspects of her life also ‘declutters’ her psychological outlook. By letting go of the past she learns to live in the present; a lesson we can all perhaps learn from.