The Comfort of Others by Kay Langdale – Book Review
The Comfort of Others by Kay Langdale – Blog Tour
Publisher – Hodder Paperbacks
Pages – 256
Release Date – 6th April 2017
ISBN-13 – 978-1473618428
Format – ebook, paperback, hardcover, audio download
I received a free copy of this book
Minnie and her sister Clara, both spinsters, live in a dilapidated country house in the middle of a housing estate, built when their father sold off the family’s land. Now in their seventies, their days follow a well-established routine: gone are the garden parties, the tennis lessons and their suffocatingly strict mother. Gone, too, is any mention of what happened when Minnie was sixteen, and the secret the family buried in the grounds of their estate.
Directly opposite them lives Max, an 11-year-old whose life with his mum has changed beyond recognition since her new boyfriend arrived. Cast aside, he takes solace in Minnie’s careful routine, observed through his bedroom window.
Over the course of the summer, both begin to tell their stories: Max through a Dictaphone, Minnie through a diary. As their tales intertwine, ghosts are put to rest and challenges faced, in a story that is as dark as it is uplifting.
Eleven-year-old Max lives with his beautician mum, on a housing estate that surrounds an old manor house. Minnie, now in her 70’s lives in the manor house, Rosemount, with her sister Clara.
Max and Minnie’s bedroom windows overlook one another. Through a series of life stories, Max via his Dictaphone, Minnie via her diary, the two tell you all about their lives. Max about the present, and what he feels the future holds, now that his mum has got herself a new boyfriend and has pushed Max aside. Minnie about her past, and the extraordinary life that she led.
Eventually the two finally met, where an unpredictable, beautiful friendship occurs. Each is trying to come to terms with their lives, what they held and have yet to hold.
The Comfort of Others, is a majestic story of two very different people needing the comfort of one another. Max, who is an adorable young man, loves his mum very much. He does everything he can for her, including helping her with her beautician work. But when she takes on a new boyfriend who doesn’t particularly like him, he is left feeling alone and shut out. It has always been just him and his mum, now he feels that he has no-one.
Minnie is stuck at home. She watches the world go by from her bedroom window. Although she has Clara for company, she still feels isolated, plus she is living with a burden that she has held for many years. She is a sweet old lady, and just wants someone to talk to, and enjoy the company of another.
The story is heart-warming, and heart-breaking all at the same time. At periods throughout the book it is a hard read, because of the emotions that you will feel. The book is enthralling, whilst at the same time enchanting. It will have you falling in love with these two extraordinary people who are very real, and very likeable.
Ms. Langdale has an ease to her writing and knows how to suck you into a story, keeping you firmly attached to it. The Comfort of Others, was thought-provoking, vividly descriptive, and an absolute joy to read.
Book reviewed by Stacey
Kay Langdale was born in Coventry, England.
From a young age she loved to read and to write.
She attended Bedford College, London University, graduating with a first class degree in English Literature and then went to Oxford University where she completed a doctorate on Samuel Beckett’s prose fiction. She briefly taught twentieth century literature at St Edmund Hall, Oxford before beginning work as an account handler and copywriter at a brand consultancy.
She is married to a South African entrepreneur, with whom she has four children who are now mostly grown. Kay divides her time between their homes in Oxfordshire and Devon.
Now writing her eighth novel, Kay also works as an editor for the charity The Children’s Radio Foundation which trains young broadcasters in six countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
When not writing Kay enjoys running, ballet barre, yoga, swimming, coastal walking, learning Italian, cooking and reading. Always reading.