A Year and A Day by Isabelle Broom
Published: 17th November 2016
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Available in Paperback and on Kindle
BlurbWelcome to a city where wishes are everywhere
For Megan, a winter escape to Prague with her friend Ollie is a chance to find some inspiration for her upcoming photography exhibition. But she's determined to keep their friendship from becoming anything more. Because if Megan lets Ollie find out about her past, she risks losing everything - and she won't let that happen again . . .
For Hope, the trip is a surprise treat from Charlie, her new partner. But she's struggling to enjoy the beauty of the city when she knows how angry her daughter is back home. And that it's all her fault . . .
For Sophie, the city has always been a magical place. This time she can't stop counting down the moments until her boyfriend Robin joins her. But in historic Prague you can never escape the past . . .
Three different women.
Three intertwining love stories.
One unforgettable, timeless city.
This is the first book I’ve read by Isabelle Broom so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I just knew that the cover was stunning and the premise had me very intrigued. What I found when I read this book is that Ms. Broom is a brilliant writer and in A Year and a Day, has created to truly emotional and magical read.
Three couples are heading to Prague for a few days, some for the first time and for some it’s like returning home. Megan, a photographer, has agreed to go with best friend Ollie who wants to research the city before he teaches it to his students in the New Year. She’s worried as she knows Ollie wants more than friendship from their relationship and deep down she doesn’t know how much longer she can resist her handsome best friend.
Hope and Charlie are heading off on their first romantic trip as a new couple. Charlie can’t wait to spoil Hope with everything she wants but Hope is feeling more and more uneasy about their relationship. Can Hope pluck up the courage to tell Charlie what she really wants.
Sophie has come alone, a few days before boyfriend Robin is due to catch up with her. Being without Robin is new to Sophie as the pair have been inseparable since they met ten years ago on the Charles Bridge, right here in Prague. As Sophie wanders the streets the familiar streets as she waits for her love, she becomes more and more lost in her memories of the past.
The first thing that stood out when reading this book was just how well Ms. Broom has captured Prague, she has described places in great detail and the city has taken on an almost magical quality within the pages of A Year and a Day, at some points it really felt like I was actually there. I loved the old folk story discovered by Hope which gives the book its name and love how it wove its way into each characters story. Having read A Year and a Day, Prague has definitely worked its way up my list of places to visit as it just seems to ooze character, history and magic.
Although Megan, Hope and Sophie all appear to be very different, it’s clear that these three women just want to follow their dreams and in Prague they find the courage to do so. Initially I have to confess I didn’t gel with them totally, I’m not really sure why. As their stories are told through the switching narratives I began to understand more about them and what their fears and dreams were. After this I began to warm to Megan and Hope, but still felt something wasn’t quite right with Sophie. As the story unfolds Sophie’s behaviour becomes clearer I just wanted to give her a big hug.
This is a wonderful novel which was very difficult for me to put down, I loved the setting, and I found the relationships described to be honest and real and heart-breaking at times. It’s a novel which is incredibly romantic and a novel which says don’t let go of your dreams no matter what you’ve been through.
Thank you to the publishers for sending me a copy to review and thank you to Ms. Broom for writing such a beautiful novel, I can’t wait to see what you write next.