Friday, November 16, 2012

Unwrapping: Review of HOUSE ON PLUNKETT STREET by Lorena Bathey

Every once in a while I come across a book that isn't called a romance but is rather designated as a chick lit. However, it still has such a sweet romantic happy ending that I can't resist reading it and then telling everyone about it. HOUSE ON PLUNKETT STREET by Lorena Bathey is one of those books.

A while back, Lorena approached me with the offer to send me a copy of this unique novel which first released in December 2011. At first I was hesitant because it wasn't a traditional romance but then I read the blurb and said, 'this, I want to read'. As soon as I got the book, I sneaked a peak and knew I had to share it with you.

***Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.


Phoebe Bertramis boring, bland, and unexciting. She works a job that is inadequate of her abilities. She has a boyfriend that is tolerable, but mostly a dud. She is on the treadmill of her life and doesn't know how to get off.

With changes in her job and her apartment going condo, she must find a new place to live. Her friend Meghan brings her to the perfect apartment and the moment Phoebe steps in the door, she knows there is something special and atypical about this perspective residence.

What she never expects are the three ghosts that arrive on her couch to teach her how life is really meant to be lived.

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This story centers around a major character, Phoebe Bertramis who is miserable in her life. She feels everything about her life is bland and beige. When she decides to make a change with a new job and since her boring beige apartment is going condo, she goes in search of a new place to live. Her friend, Meghan finds her the most perfect place. The minute Phoebe walks through the door of this unique apartment, she feels she's come home.

HOUSE ON PLUNKETT STREET by Lorena Bathey is a heartwarming story with bits of sadness that touch the heart. It's about recognizing the worth of your life, the worth of those who exist in your life, and those yet to become part of it. With a Christmas Carol feel to the story, Phoebe discovers the worth in her life with the help of three ghosts who live at the HOUSE ON PLUNKETT STREET.

Three unique characters brought incredibly to life by Lorena Bathey become the stars of this story about life affirmation. My favorite is Polly who has a bubbly, infectious personality that makes you smile without thinking. A former twenties club gal whose flamboyance from her experience as a singer and dancer teaches Phoebe about dressing with flair so that she won't feel so invisible. I think Polly had the most influence on Phoebe's reemergence from her shell. Then there is Isolda, a brash character compared to Polly who as one of the first suffragettes made the house available as a refuge for women who needed to start over. Very progressive. She helps Phoebe realize that her boring boyfriend is a great part of why she is so unhappy. She convinces Phoebe to look deep inside herself to find where she belongs. Finally, there's Hazel. I wanted to hug Hazel. She is a down-to-earth black woman who becomes a mother figure to Phoebe. She's gentle yet firm with Phoebe and teaches her the most about relationships and getting what she needs from life and love.

With the help of these three incredible spirits, Phoebe emerges from her beige dull world, finds true love with a man who not only loves her but respects her. There is a little sex, a lot of laughs, a few awww moments and a time or two when I had to wipe away a tear. Is it a true romance? No, this story isn't so much about Phoebe finding romance but about finding herself, however, she does find true love and a happy-ever-after.

HOUSE ON PLUNKETT STREET by Lorena Bathey might be different. It might not be a romance. It might be a tad bit slow near the beginning but if you're a fan of stories with something to teach you about life and love, friendly ghosts, and happy endings, I think you'd enjoy this chick-lit and like me, find the romance swirling beneath this life affirming story.  It's certainly one you can recommend to friends who turn their noses up at the romances we love - this is one to let them read then tell them they just read a romance.

If you'd like to learn more about Lorena Bathey and her books, please visit her website.

Happy Reading Everyone!

HOUSE ON PLUNKETT STREET by Lorena Bathey, Amazon Digital, available now in print (limited) and ebook formats - borrow for free with Amazon Prime.



Nikki said...

You sold me at ghosts...I went and bout it because of you!! :P

Aimee Duffy said...

Great review Amy! Sounds brilliant. I was sold on the blurb too, but your review has sealed the deal :)

Amy Valentini said...

Nikki and Aimee, I'm glad you liked the review and I hope you enjoy the book. It's a bit different from what I usually reveiw here but the ghosts snagged me too. They are delightful characters and truly are the highpoint of this story. I've always been a huge Christmas Carol fan so I fell victim. Plus I really liked the sweet ending. LOL!

Lorena Bathey said...

Thank you for the amazing review. I am so glad you liked the book.
Lorena Bathey

Amy Valentini said...

Lorena, thank you again for offering to have me read it. I wish you great success. : )