*I received a free DRC of this book, with thanks to the author, Transworld Books and Anne Cater of Random Things Blog Tours. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: An uplifting and heart-warming novel about a family reunited, second chances and the power of forgiveness, from the author of Richard & Judy Book Club pick The Funny Thing about Norman Foreman.
Danny is the definition of a man who ‘could do better’. He drinks more than he should, currently lives in his best friend’s garden shed – and he hasn’t spoken to his sister in 16 years.
But when Danny is the subject of a misleading newspaper article, claiming his lifestyle is actually quite enlightened, he suddenly finds himself in the limelight. Letters begin to flood in from strangers seeking his guidance.
Wolfie is the daughter of Danny’s estranged sister, Lou. She’s never met her uncle, but her mother is struggling. So when Wolfie sees Danny’s picture in the paper, she sets out to find him.
Within a week, Danny goes from being responsibility-free to a big brother, an uncle and an unwitting existential ‘guru’ to some very lost souls.
Can he become the man they all need him to be?
I really enjoyed having my heart broken and mended by Norman Foreman, so jumped at the chance to destroy myself again (but in a good way!) with this latest novel from Julietta Henderson.
And I will admit that it took me until about a third of the way through to really settle into the story and characters in this book. The story is told in alternating chapters from the point of view of Danny – drinking himself to death in his best friend’s shed – and Wolfie – struggling to breathe under the weight of caring for her mum. So, at first, both of the main narrating characters felt quite similar in their individual states of despair and isolation.
But approximately 33% into the book, the main characters are brought together under one roof (or, at least, at the same address) and local journalist Pete turns up to persuade Danny to start answering letters to the local paper, agony-aunt style, and the story just took off and completely carried me with it!
The letters and Danny’s answers to them are brilliant – heartbreakingly touching and hilariously funny, and sometimes both at the same time. Wolfie’s struggles felt so very real to me, and while I despaired of Danny’s apparent hopeless avoidance of life in the early pages, I ended up loving his chapters and following the gentle trajectory of his redemption arc.
On the way though, things do go to some dark places, so you should expect triggers for content related to substance abuse/addiction, depression, self-harm, suicidal thoughts and actions. Throughout it all though, there is a sense of hope and resilience and a strong pull towards second (and third, and more…) chances which kept me reading as I believed in the characters and believed they could make it through.
This is the first story I have read that feels like a found-family feelgood tale whilst actually being about blood family, and it is a good reminder of how small actions can create big ripples and how small kindnesses can save or change lives.
The more time I spent wrestling with the tangle of words and emotions needed to come up with the right thing to say to all those strangers, the more important they’d become to me. Because in the search for the kindest and most decent way to help them, the voice of encouragement and wisdom I’d heard most often in my head was my father’s. And the strangest thing was how clear it was, how real, even more than when he was alive, because now I was really listening.– Julietta Henderson, Sincerely, Me
Purchase Link: Sincerely, Me on Amazon
About the Author
Julietta Henderson grew up in the rainforests of North Queensland, Australia. Like many Australians, her love affair with Europe began when she came to London on a working holiday and stayed for more than a decade.
Now a full-time writer, Julietta divides her life between Melbourne, the UK and wherever she can find winter.
The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman was Julietta’s debut novel. Sincerely, Me is her second.
Don’t forget to stop by the other blogs on this tour (see the poster below for details) for more great content and reviews!
One thought on “Blog Tour: Sincerely, Me – Julietta Henderson”
thanks for the blog tour support x
LikeLiked by 1 person