Cover Image: Hello, Again

Hello, Again

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

A warm uplifting summer read. The descriptions of the cities visited are outstanding, you really feel that you have been to these places without leaving home  - and at the moment when travelling is well nigh impossible that is a huge bonus.
Was this review helpful?
Philippa Taylor (or Pepper to her friends) experienced a certain amount of tragedy in her life and this is why it's not easy for her to open up. She's insecure and doesn't dare to paint again. She lives in a small coastal town in Suffolk and has never travelled but when she befriends an older woman, Josephine, it's all about to change. Pepper is not easy to persuade but then decides to accompany Josephine on her journey to Lisbon, to find her long lost love. It's the beginning of changes in Pepper's life, and bumping into the handsome Finn is only the promising start. Is she going to find what she's been looking for almost her whole life? Will she move forwards?

The characters are interesting, however I missed more depth to them and I didn't engage with them as much as I'd like. Pepper is a complex character though she was not completely my cup of tea, to be honest. I'm not sure why. Maybe it was because she was so much reserved? Not believing in herself? Her glass was always half empty? Finn also didn't convince me completely, there was something in him that made me feel untrusting towards him, and I personally thought that Pepper had deserved someone better, someone less selfish, someone who will take her as she is.
The relationship aspects, especially those concerning the closest family, were really well written, even if, after a while, I started to feel desperate with Pepper's mother. But they were well explored and close to life.

This time the author takes us to Lisbon, Guernsey and Hamburg, and you can see that Isabelle Broom has done her research. The descriptions of those unusual places, as well as of the food and drinks were colourful and vivid, bringing them all to life. And I liked the end! It was not so obvious, so that's brownie points from me!

The author follows her proven formula - she takes us on a journey abroad, to another lovely carefully selected setting, where we go on a rollercoaster journey of feelings and emotions, together with the characters. There is everything in the book, all the most important points, girl meets boy, both have a past, both try to overcome their fear, there are ups and downs, and of course an older character that is oh so wise, and we all know how it's going to end - perfect, right? Only, it's not perfect. It's flat and old and I think that the author could do so much better, one shall not live by setting alone, I missed life and authenticity in this story, the characters felt too wooden and really, I had a feeling I've read this story thousand times already, only the names of the characters changed. But I guess it's my problem, as so many of you have already enjoyed this book, so don't feel put out by my thoughts.

Nevertheless, the quality of Isabelle Broom's writing is truly to appreciate. It's eloquent, chatty, warm and so incredibly vivid, especially when it comes to the setting. However, the story at the heart of this book feels too dull and monotonous. I skipped some pages, to be honest and had a feeling that it didn't make any difference to the story, that I didn't miss anything. There are too many things that shouldn't have found their way to this book and it felt too repetitive.

"Hello, Again" is a light summer read about love, friendship, second chances and new beginnings. I only think that I want more texture and not another travel - guide. But overall, this book is a great addition for Isabelle Broom's fans, probably I've simply outgrown such stories.
Was this review helpful?
Be prepared to really give this book a chance, I nearly gave up but I am glad I didn't, once the adventure begins it makes for a really good read. The fun the two main characters had while travelling around Europe makes for a great story. Read and enjoy this, it was well written. 

Thanks for the ARC and this is an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
A very romantic and engrossing story that kept me hooked till the end.
Well written and with a cast of great characters.
It's the first book I read by this author and won't surely be the last.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this arc, all opinions are mine
Was this review helpful?
This is a beautifully written story about love, friendship, loss and forgiveness. I felt as if I was with Pepper throughout this story. I was transported with her on every adventure. I loved everything about this book. 

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
Was this review helpful?
This book was so beautiful. The chararacterisation (including the places Pepper visited) was incredible. The story kept you guessing until the last word of the last chapter, and the epilogue, wow!!!

Pepper is a bit of a lost soul having lost her sister at a young age. She resigned herself to the fact that she should give up her dreams, stay in her home town and look after her mother. 

This changed when she met Josephine who took her abroad to start an adventure of a lifeline, where Pepper finds love and life reboots.

The relationships in this book with tangible as if you are standing alongside the characters. You cannot fail to fall in love with them, want to travel with them and see the sights for the first time and cheer them on. 

This is a must-read!
Was this review helpful?
A tender and sweet read. I love Isabelle Broom’s writing, it whisks you away and her characters are likeable and have you rooting for them.
Was this review helpful?
Hello Again by IsabelIe Broom. I lucky to receive this from Net Galley. I am a little disappointed with this book. Finished this a couple of days ago and not sure how to sum up what I thought about it. There were parts where the story was stronger and was interesting, however most of it was weak and bland (and believe me it pains me to say that because I am a fan of the authors). I suppose because I liked the author I wanted to believe in this book and as I am a fan of some of her other books so wrongly or rightly,  I had certain expectations about this one and they just weren’t met. Thinking of positive things to say about this book and all I can say is that it’s ok and an easy read. I read other people’s reviews and they seem positive so maybe I just wasn’t feeling this one. The book is about Philippa and her journey to achieve her dreams and the bigger picture that gets her there, her past and her present and the people in it.For me the story seemed to drag on, the ending in my opinion should have happened far sooner that it did, it almost felt especially towards the end that there was a lot of page filling and not for the right reasons. I couldn’t seem to find a connection with the characters, it felt like I was just reading a book and turning the pages to get to the end and for me reading a book, getting a connection with everything inside that book, so much so that you want it to end but don’t want it to end, is so so much more than just reading a book. It’s really hard to put into words why I didn’t like this book, apart from the fact that it just wasn’t for me and I’m disappointed by that fact. A bit of a let down for me unfortunately.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley, Hodder & Stoughten and Isabelle Bloom for gifting me an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review! 
	This was my very first Isabelle Broom novel and according to fans of her writing, I am seriously missing out! I’ve been in quarantine since March and I am dying for a vacation. Hello, Again took us on a literary journey through to Barcelon, Lisbon and many more beautiful and culturally rich places. Isabelle Broom really brought these forgeign cities to life for me. The detail put into each spot as they discovered new things about themselves and remembered things long forgotten I was totally swept away. 
	While at the end of the day this is a romance, I really think there is so much more to this one than that. Pepper’s relationship with her mother is both heartbreaking and relatable. We are all reminded at some point that are parents are flawed humans just like us.  Josephine’s story was beautiful and I really felt connected to her. I absolutely would have travelled abroad for her too. 
	Hello, Again will redefine what Happily Ever After means for you.
Was this review helpful?
I absolutely loved all of the destinations "we visited" in the course of this book - Lisbon, Barcelona, Hamburg and Guernsey. Isabelle's writing is always so beautifully descriptive.

I have to confess, I was becoming extremely concerned while reading the first 65% or so that the book wasn't going to be the one I wanted and that the ending was going to be wrong, in my opinion. I wasn't feeling a connection between characters that I normally would. Thankfully Isabelle had planned all of this and I got the ending I was very happy with!

As usual with Isabelle's books, the story will stay with me for a long time.
Was this review helpful?
Be prepared to be swept off your feet, just like our heroine Pepper as this delightful romance takes you on a whirlwind journey from Aldeburgh, Suffolk to Lisbon to Hamburg to Barcelona to Guernsey. 

Artist Pepper is about to embark on a journey of self discovery thanks to her lovely friend, Josephine who although elderly is still bursting with joie de vivre and harbouring a mischievous streak. Accompanying her on a trip to Lisbon, Pepper helps Josephine indulge her desire to reminisce about her long ago romance with Jorge whilst she still can and revisit their old haunts. Stepping out of her comfort zone but wholeheartedly relishing in all Lisbon has to offer, Pepper is captivated by both Josephine’s stories of her first love as much as she is by this artists paradise. With an incredibly chance (and highly convenient!) encounter with handsome stranger Finn, could Pepper be following in her friend’s long ago footsteps and find love?? 

Hello Again is a charming life affirming read perfect for lockdown escapism with wonderful characters. As I read this on a gloomy drizzly summer’s day in July I welcomed how this storyline enveloped me in a cozy bubble of happiness, every fibre of my body warmed by an imaginary sunshine. I felt as if I was being treated to a whistle stop tour of Europe where I could soak up the sights and smells of Portugal, Spain and Germany alongside Josephine and Pepper, gorging myself on Portuguese custard tarts, Spanish tapas all rounded off with far too many sangrias or beers or Josephine’s favoured G&T’s.

With characters as likeable as Pepper and Josephine it’s hard not to let these imaginary people into your hearts especially when you understand that Pepper and her mother are still reeling from a tragic event that happened years ago, one that still has a powerful hold over them in the present. Both Pepper and her mother Trinity are like light bulbs that have been permanently dimmed thanks to the tragic death of sister/daughter Bethan years ago. The difference between these two women is that beneath the heartache and guilt Pepper’s true spirit is laying dormant, aching and ready to be set free. Underneath her sorrow is a colourful character wanting to be brought to life, her yet unexplored sense of adventure waiting to be ignited. To me,Pepper has a true zest for life that has been well and truly buried until Finn enters the frame and sweeps her up in a whirlwind of romance that makes you wistful for those heady days of a new love, experiencing all those intense exciting emotions that can make you feel invincible. Her hunger to devour all the wonderful sights these countries have to offer, satisfying the artist within whilst falling head over heels in love makes your heart swell with hope that Pepper’s future can be bright. Love may pose all kinds of risks such as hurt, rejection and deception but there’s nothing quite like falling in love as Pepper will undoubtedly discover. 

Finn is perfectly cast as Pepper’s knight in shining armour, reawakening her thirst for love and adventure and believing she is a credible artist. It’s impossible not to hope that he can be her Prince Charming, that love at first sight truly does exist.

Trinity on the other hand is a character devoid of any light or colour, it’s as if it’s all been drained away with the death of her daughter and the break up of her marriage. Left behind is a shell of a woman whose sadness emanates from every pore, her misery casting this huge shadow over the pair of them, her bitterness preventing their ability to move on from the past. This mother/daughter relationship has been fractured for a very long time but maybe there’s still chance for the cracks to heal.

Although I don’t have a creative bone in my body I loved the combination of art and romance this storyline provided. I marvelled in Pepper’s abilities to create beautiful pieces of art, spreading this love to other people through teaching. References to Gaudi and azulejos are sprinkled throughout the narrative, vividly bringing alive the history and delights of these regions. 

There are many life lessons to be learned by both Pepper and her mother along the way, aided by the wise and incorrigible Josephine. Life is precious and they need to learn to leave the past firmly where it belongs whilst recognising they’ve been looking at life from entirely the wrong perspective. I loved the analogy between the broken fragments of their lives and the mosaics so adored by Pepper. There is beauty to be found in these broken pieces shaping the people they are today so that Bethan’s death doesn’t have to define their futures.

Blissfully romantic and hopeful, Hello Again is a book I thoroughly enjoyed reading and would recommend to those who revel in the chance to (virtually) escape to sunnier climes and daydream to your hearts content about being swept off your feet by a charming handsome suitor such as Finn.
My thanks as always to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for my ARC. 

Pepper is an artist still living with the grief and guilt over her sister's death, an event that destroyed her family, leaving her mother perpetually grieving and her father leaving them to find happiness elsewhere. Disillusioned with life, when Pepper's elderly friend offers her a trip to Lisbon to reconnect with her past, Pepper agrees. What follows is a story about friendship, grief, and beauty as we follow Pepper through Lisbon, Barcelona, and Hamburg.  

To be completely honest, the main reason I decided to pick this book is because I'm Portuguese and there aren't many books set in my country. So I was curious to see what Lisbon would look like through the eyes of a foreigner. It was a very interesting read, the author clearly knows Lisbon and it's landmarks, and is appreciative of our azulejos, like the lovely ones we see on this cover. Perhaps, that was the reason I couldn't connect with the characters as much as I wanted. There wasn't anything wrong with them, but I found Pepper and Finn's encounters rather forced. This was a story about an English woman with other countries and it's people as the background of said story, though I appreciate the author's ability to catch the beauty of these countries.
Was this review helpful?
I loved the tag line for this about life not being about the destination but the journey, because it’s so true, but also that’s how I felt reading this beautifully written book. The author takes you on a well crafted and skilled journey. I loved how you travel with Pepper and watch her grow and learn, that due to the wonderful descriptions by the author you feel like you travel with Pepper to Lisbon, Barcelona etc. I absolutely loved the journey this book took me on because it was one of joy and happiness, please pick this book up to read, it will make you smile and take you on a journey you can’t currently take, but this book may just make up for it.

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
Was this review helpful?
This is my first book by this author, and I can’t believe I haven’t read any of hers before now! Such a charming story. A moving story, which was easy to read and had great characters in. 

Thank you NetGalley for my complimentary copy in return for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Despite not having yet read them all, yet, I absolutely love Isabelle Broom’s books and this one may just be my favourite so far. 

Hello, Again is an enchanting love story that transports you around the world. 

Pepper is lost in life and takes the opportunity to travel to Europe with Josephine, her elderly friend who has her own love story to tell. It is as they travel to Lisbon and Barcelona that Pepper learns lessons about love and life from Josephine and also Finn. 

The characters of Pepper and Josephine are captivating and both have aspects that I am sure everyone can relate too. It is how their stories entwine that is one of the many reasons why this book is so lovable. 

One of the features of Isabelle’s books that always makes me pick them up is the escapism and her ability to transport you across the world with her writing. In this book alone she features, Suffolk, Lisbon, Barcelona, Hamburg and Guernsey. She writes in such a way that not only are you caught up in the characters stories but also as if you are right there on the streets of the places you are reading about. 

I adored this love story and can’t wait to pick up another of Isabelle’s books.
Was this review helpful?
This is a story about Philippa Taylor and her journey through life. Pepper is her nickname and she is just about managing to live her dreary life as best she can. Her relationship with her mother is fractured and her dreams have been put on hold. Memories from when she was thirteen haunt her and prevent her from moving on in the direction she knows would have been her destiny. If only it had not happened she knew she would have bloomed. Her main favourite activity was always art, so naturally that was what she had always wanted to be, an artist. Now she teaches art but her creative flair has almost ebbed away, as has her ambition. She lives alone with her guilt and memories of times past, both good memories and bad. 
Her family split up as a result of the one thing that she regrets most in her entire life. Her mother can scarcely look at her and she feels her judgement all the time. She is never tactile or encouraging; she does not love and cherish Pepper and has been cold with her since that fateful day. Her absent father is not much better. He is planning to get remarried to a girl years younger than him and will most likely start a family with her after they are married. Still single and living alone in the cottage in coastal Suffolk that once belonged to her grandmother, Pepper is dragged down and disappointed with herself. She lacks self-confidence and has well and truly lost her mojo and her creative streak. 
One day, out of the blue, her elderly friend Josephine invites her to travel to Lisbon in Portugal as her companion. She wants to see the sights she enjoyed with the love of her life and share her romantic memories with Pepper. Josephine is the one shining light in her life, her very best friend despite the difference in their age, but Pepper is unsure about accepting the generous offer. She was in a rut and just cannot see herself as a traveller or an adventurer. She has never flown in an aeroplane, never even ventured out of the country on a ferry for a day trip. She takes her time to make up her mind, but finally agrees on accompanying her to assist her in her quest. Josephine is overflowing with happiness and has plans to stir up Pepper’s non-existent zest for life and indulge her and treat her for four whole days.
Not long after they arrive they meet a tall, handsome German tourist. He invites them to join him and is obviously intrigued and interested romantically in Pepper. She brushes off the encounter although she knows she is attracted to Finn. She doesn’t want to start anything with only four days before their journey home. It just isn’t worth the hassle. But Finn is persistent. He knows what he wants and is driven, determined, and persistent. This is their story of what happens next in a whirlwind where Pepper steps out of her usual dull life. Hang on to your seatbelt, read on for yourself and you may get a heck of a surprise, just like Pepper did.
Romance, friendship and family are at the very heart of this story. It is life affirming and you’ll be on tenterhooks until the very last few pages of the novel. Isabel Broom writes compelling and tender romance stories straight from her heart and her characters are interesting, diverse and full of surprises. She is both talented and compassionate and this story is heart-warming and well planned. I enjoyed the issues that came with this book: grief, guilt, love and loss. My favourite character was Pepper because she learned a lot about herself throughout the story and I thought ultimately that she was very courageous. The way the story ended surprised me and I thought it was thought-provoking.
I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Hodder & Stoughton through my membership of NetGalley. Thank you for my copy sent in return for an honest and unbiased review. It’s a 3.5* review from me.
Was this review helpful?
Hello Again is a delightful story which transports you to lovely locations. Home for Pepper, the main character, is Aldeburgh in Suffolk but early on through circumstances Pepper for the first time in her life, sets out on journeys that enable her to explore and experience a whole new way of life. First stop is Lisbon in Portugal with its beautiful colourful city where she meets and has a mutual attraction to Finn a handsome German. Their fondness for each other is so strong that Pepper agrees to go to his home town of Hamburg a few weeks later. Here she gets to know Finn and his way of life bit more while soaking up the atmosphere and friendliness of another country. Pepper is not long back home when her dearest friend Josephine arranges a trip to Barcelona in Spain.  Visiting places that Josephine had been to many years ago and sharing her knowledge Pepper is again enthralled to be part of new cultures. The final destination is Guernsey to her Dads wedding which is problematic from the onset to say the least.

A lot of soul searching and ups and downs are packed into this story as Pepper overcomes her guilt that she has been carrying around since the death of her sister. I particularly liked Josephine with her straight honest and exuberant traits. Being transported to different locations is always a plus when I read a book so to visit so many in this story made it a joy to read.

My thanks to Net Galley for the ARC , this is my own opinion of Hello Again.
Was this review helpful?
If like me you are missing your summer holiday and craving a change of scene you can always rely on Isabelle Broom to take you on a voyage of discovery and a little literary sightseeing. Her books are always the most perfect descriptions of the cities and destinations and Hello, Again is no exception.

Phillipa Taylor - Pepper to her friends - has always lived in her small coastal town in Suffolk. As a child she had dreams to travel around the world but a series of events have conspired to leave her back where she always has been. When her elderly friend Josephine begs her to join her on a trip across Europe to relive the heady days of her youth it seems like a dream come true. While searching for Josephine's lost love in Lisbon they literally bump into Finn and it seems like he and Pepper may be destined to be together. 

This is a sweet story with just the right amount of pathos and interest, liberally combined with a vivid travel guide to some of the most beautiful European cities. Travel restrictions aside it makes you want to jump on a plane and discover the sangria and paella for yourself. The sights and sounds of travel come alive in this book as the story of Finn and Pepper unfolds. 

Supplied by Net Galley and Hodder & Stoughton in exchange for an honest review.

UK Publication Date: July 9 2020. 320 pages 
Was this review helpful?
DNF at 10%. I was so bored and uninterested and I could barely make it through a couple of pages without leaving it. I found the writing style and Pepper so proper and dull, it was all very stuffy and I couldn’t force myself to hang in for when it got exciting. I don’t think this is a bad book, it’s just not for me.
Was this review helpful?
This is another beautiful book from Isabelle Broom. In this book the main protagonist is Pepper, like many of the Authors previous characters, she is struggling with a life changing incident. The death of her Sister has left feeling guilty and her grief means that she is struggling to live her life and be happy. Her family is fractured and each of them   blame themselves. It is a complex and delicate subject, but it is well thought out and well written.
Isabelle's books always feature an exotic location. This book takes us to Lisbon, Barcelona and Hamburg, 3 locations instead of the usual single location. This means that the locations are not described in as much detail as they usually are, but it is enjoyable and interesting to read about the different locations and Pepper's reactions to them.
I enjoyed reading this book, the characters were relatable and likeable. There were scenes that were very emotional, but also amusing and uplifting moments. The only thing that I can fault this book on is the ending. It would have been nice to read about Pepper instead.  I look forward to reading more books by Isabelle Broom in the future.
Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for my ARC.
Was this review helpful?