I was very kindly sent an E-ARC of this book by Emma in exchange for an honest review. This is the first time I have been sent and reviewed an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of a book, so I am really excited about this and a big thank you to Emma for letting me do this. So, here we go…
The House on Beckett Lane is Emma Rogers’ writing debut and is a collection of short stories that she is self-publishing with Blurb.com. There are five short stories in the collection and they explore the lives of five families who are connected by the fact that they all live in the same house on Beckett Lane at some point in their lives. The stories explore many themes including marriage, relationships, abuse, grief and mental health.
I heard about this book on Emma’s Instagram when she released an IGTV video announcing her writing debut. I was intrigued to read the book, and offered to review it when she asked if any book bloggers were interested.
Emma said in the video that this book began for one of her university assignments and when she achieved a First for the assignment, she decided to continue with the project.
I am really pleased to be able to support a fellow graduate and debut writer and I hope that this review might encourage some of you to check out Emma’s book.
I would like to start by saying that I think this book is excellent. I was unsure what to expect, but I was hooked from the first page or two. Emma’s writing style is great and she effortlessly switches tone and pace as required for each story.
The book shifts easily from one story to the next and despite each story being super short, I found that I was invested in each one and felt like I got to know the characters really well. Emma creates well-crafted characters and I like that the stories are very character-driven. Although the house is the connecting feature and is an important part of the stories, the stories are more of an exploration of people and it is Emma’s characters that are stuck in my mind after finishing the book.
Some difficult themes are covered in the stories, but Emma does this well by adapting the tone of each story to suit. I think that this work shows Emma’s writing abilities as each story feels quite different but she is flexible enough to write them all to a high standard.
This was a very quick read, but I think it will stay with me as the stories are memorable and have given me things to think about. Additionally, Emma ends each story in a way that a narrative arc has occured, but you know there is more to come for the characters. These stories are only a snippet of the character’s lives and I wanted to read more of every story and I did not want to leave some of the characters behind. I think I will be spending a while thinking about what may happen next in each story and if anyone reads this book, I would love to discuss what you think of the stories and what might happen next.
The only thing I think that I would have liked would have been to have some more chronology to this book. I think I wanted to see more of how these characters are connected by the house through who lived there first, who changed things about it, what did the characters like or dislike about what other people had done to the house. I just wanted a bit more connection between the characters I suppose, but I don’t think the book necessarily needs that at all.
Overall, I loved this book and its characters, I liked the variety of stories and I enjoyed Emma’s writing style and think that she has done brilliantly with this one.
The House on Beckett Lane will be released on Saturday 1st August and will be available to buy on Blurb.com for £5.99. I believe Emma will be putting the link in her Instagram bio, so you can find it there too.
You can find Emma on Instagram @itsareaderslife and she also has a blog (www.itsareaderslife.wordpress.com).
I wish Emma the best of luck with this book and I can’t wait to see where her writing goes next.
Will you be looking up The House on Beckett Lane?