Review: Then. Now. Always. by Isabelle Broom

Challenge criteria: A book set somewhere you’ve never been but would like to visit

Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher, Michael Joseph Books, in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way affected my opinion of the book, nor the outcome of this review . 


Twenty-eight year old Hannah is ready for an adventure. She and her colleagues are in Spain for a month to film a documentary, and it’s a dream come true. Not least because Hannah will get to spend long summer days with Theo, her boss (and crush). If only Tom (Hannah’s best friend and cameramen) and Claudette (the presenter) would stop getting in the way…

Then things become even more complicated when Nancy, Hannah’s half-sister arrives. What on earth is she doing here?

For once in her life, can’t Hannah just have one perfect summer, free of any drama?

What I liked:

As soon as you pick this book up and the characters get off the plane, you’re instantly transported to Mojacar in southern Spain. Perfect antidote for reading in the pouring rain of Ireland, but probably best enjoyed sitting on a beach sipping cocktails.

This is a pretty realistic portrayal of broken and step families. While I’m not from a broken family, I know of some people with separated parents  and this is a pretty real portrayal of their life.

What I didn’t like:

I couldn’t understand why Nancy was so adamant to come on her sister’s work trip, or why Hannah’s colleagues were so OK with Nancy gate crashing. Though it did make a little more sense later in the novel, I was quite puzzled by it at the beginning.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Theo, and didn’t think he was a particularly responsible boss. Hannah’s crush on him also read as a little juvenile for a 29 year old woman.

Out of five:

Four. One of my bug bears was the slightly cliff hanger style ending – but maybe that means we’re getting a sequel?


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