The Impulse Purchase by Veronica Henry: A heartwarming and uplifting read - book review -

Sixty-nine-year-old Cherry Nicholson has always loved an impulse purchase, but buying a rundown pub in a rural village is truly letting her heart rule her head.

By Pam Norfolk
Tuesday, 8th February 2022, 12:30 pm
The Impulse Purchase by Veronica Henry
The Impulse Purchase by Veronica Henry

With her daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter in tow to help with the daunting project, has Cherry bitten off more than she can chew this time… or will it prove to be her best buy yet?

Everyone’s favourite feel-good storyteller, Veronica Henry, is ready to whisk you away to the heart of the Somerset countryside in a beautiful novel of love, hope and caring that is guaranteed to bring a thrill of joy to the hearts and minds of readers in need of an end-of-winter uplift.

Henry’s gorgeous books always come packed with her acute insights into family life and relationships, and this inspirational, sunshine-filled odyssey explores the powerful and insoluble bonds between the different generations of a family.

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And true to her aim to bring us stories featuring situations and dilemmas we can all relate to, The Impulse Purchase puts love – not just romantic love but the love of friends, family and place – firmly at its beating heart.

It’s a pivotal time for Cherry Nicholson as Mike, her partner of nearly 50 year and father of their daughter Maggie, retires from his prestigious job as Professor of Art in the cathedral town Avonminster and they make plans for the next phase of their lives.

Cherry might never have had a professional job herself but she has been the lynchpin in Mike’s career… capable, resourceful and the perfect hostess whilst being at the centre of their family which includes Maggie’s daughter Rose, and Rose’s three-year-old daughter Gertie.

Despite many years living away from Rushbrook, the Somerset village where she grew up, it’s still the place that Cherry considers to be her real home. Her own mother recently died there and the family house is being sold so when an incident at Mike’s retirement party rocks her to the core, Cherry immediately retreats to Rushbrook.

And it’s while she’s there that Cherry discovers the beautiful but neglected local pub, The Swan, with its river setting, thatched roof and latticed windows, is in danger of being sold to a developer… and in a moment of impulse, she buys it with a nest egg left by her mother.

It’s obvious to Cherry that she can’t handle the renovation job alone so she calls on her family to help. Maggie, the increasingly disenchanted owner of a PR company, is still reeling from the death of her beloved husband Frank in an accident and desperately needs to move on from the tragedy, while Rose, single mother to Gertie, has anxiety problems that are blighting her life.

All three women uproot themselves and move to Rushbrook to take over The Swan and restore it to its former glory… Cherry is at the helm, Maggie is in charge of the kitchen, and Rose tends the picturesque garden that leads down to the river.

Before long, the locals are delighted to find the pub at the heart of the village is back, bringing all kinds of surprises through the door. Could Cherry’s impulse purchase change all their lives and give everyone the happiness they’re searching for?

Brimming with emotions of every hue – from the anguish of betrayal and the pain of grief, to hope for the future and the love and laughter of shared experience – the three women’s emotional rollercoaster journey to bring new life to both themselves and the idyllic village of Rushbrook will leave readers turning the pages and shedding their own tears.

With the innermost anxieties and dreams of each woman from each generation exquisitely portrayed, a cast of characters you’ll love to meet, and the thrill of a reunion with some familiar faces from earlier books, this is the kind of gentle and relatable escapist read that Henry has made her greatest gift.

Add on Henry’s paean to rural charms – the sense of belonging, the warmth of a close-knit community and what Cherry calls the freedom ‘to behave exactly as you liked’ – and you have a book hug that embraces all the vagaries of contemporary life.

With heart, humour, some gritty real-life topics sensitively explored, and a setting so picture perfect that Somerset may well see a tourism boost this summer, this is a simmering, shimmering, sun-filled story best lapped up before a blazing fire and with a glass in your hand!

(Orion, hardback, £12.99)