Cherished, Loved, Cheered On
Always On My Mind by Beth Moran is the most beautiful contemporary novel that has warmed my heart and left me smiling.
I never wanted the book to end. The characters were more than just characters in a book – they were my friends and as such, I cared for their fates.
This is a book about love and forgiveness. There are many types of love within the novel – and the reader stands on the touchline, cheering them all on.
We see the love for a group of elderly people. Life seems to have forgotten that they were once young, and put them in a box marked ‘Elderly. Listen to Vera Lynn while tea dancing.’ They were once young, vibrant individuals and inside each one of them, nothing has changed. They still have hopes and dreams which are encouraged by the appearance of the young and bubbly lead character. There are moments that are absolutely hilarious – I don’t think I shall ever forget the make-over experience! Juxtaposed are moments of pathos where tissues are needed.
We see a character drowning in guilt and unforgiveness, who has a self-imposed exile on her life. “Punishing myself hadn’t changed anything.” Why is the face in the mirror so hard to forgive? We forgive others but are really tough on ourselves. A carefully worn mask hardly ever slips. We learn of the loving care given to her by an elderly woman several years earlier. “What I needed most was a place to take off the suffocating mask of acting as if I was fine and let the tears fall without having to explain.” We all need that one person who will sit quietly with us and just let us be ourselves. No words. No explanations. Just pure love. This love and bond with remain.
The novel has the theme of being yourself. We meet many characters who have various challenging special needs – they draw close to my heart as I worked with teens with special needs in the local schools for sixteen years. Too often in life, people look for ‘perfect.’ In Always On My Mind the local under nines football team is made up not of ‘perfect’ but of enthusiasm and love. Regardless of ability, everyone can have a go. All are welcome. All are encouraged. The under nines football team may not score the most goals but they are all cherished, loved and cheered on. “In believing in them you dared them to believe in themselves.”
I cannot get enough of Always On My Mind. I have ‘lived’ this book and loved the characters. Thank you Beth Moran for another absolutely beautiful book.
I received a free copy via Rachel’s Random Resources for a blog tour. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.
Always On My Mind
Sometimes when you can’t see the way forwards, the best thing to do is to look back…
When Jessie left home at eighteen, she swore she’d never go back. But when life takes a turn for the complicated, she’s forced to move in with her twin, Isaac, and his two best friends. To her dismay, one of these is Elliot, the boy Jessie once loved, until his life was changed forever by a terrible accident that Jessie still blames herself for.
Cohabiting with three alarmingly unhouse-trained males was not in Jessie’s life plan so when Isaac, Elliot and Arthur offer her a generous rent discount if she’ll help them with their ‘Boys to Men Project’, designed to end years of disastrous dating, she reluctantly accepts the challenge.
As Jessie embraces the comfort of being home, revelling in her new job at her parents’ day centre full of people determined to grow old disgracefully, she realises her housemates aren’t the only ones needing to make some changes. And maybe, if she can finally forgive herself for Elliot’s accident, she can start to look forward to a future, with or without him by her side.
Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3GgymZV
Author Bio –
Beth Moran is the bestselling author of romantic novels including Christmas Every Day and Just The Way You Are. She regularly features on BBC Radio Nottingham and is a trustee of the national women’s network Free Range Chicks. She lives on the outskirts of Sherwood Forest.
Social Media Links –
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Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/beth-moran