Cover Image: The Start of Something

The Start of Something

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Member Reviews

A really lovely feel good book, I throughly enjoyed The Start of Something and fell in love with Lachie and  Bethan  rooting for both of them equally along the way
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This was a cute story about Lachlan and Bethan who live across from each other but have never met. I loved the grit and determination of Bethan as a single mum who is trying to find her path in the world. Lachlan was stuck in his flat rehabilitating after an accident left him learning to walk again. Overall a sweet story sprinkled with joy.
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When Bethan moves into her new flat with her son Noah, things are really looking up; but the one thing she doesn't have is a friend that she can talk to. 

Lachlan is recovering from a serious injury, he's frustrated and losing motivation; but when he sees his new neighbour move in, he takes a risk by putting a note in the window, and it will be the best risk he has ever taken.

This is a sweet, positive and uplifting novel, which was a joy to read. Written in first-person narrative and alternating chapters between the two main characters.
I loved the biscuit academy and it really got me thinking about my choice of biscuits and their dunkability; and when Lachlan and Bethan met each other for the first time, through the cat-shaped hole in the hedge, I was so happy I smiled so hard my face hurt. 

Dickinson writes the main characters for us to fall in love with; while the minor characters are enemies or friends. I found myself with my back up or irritated with the characters of Riggsy and Darren, but this simply confirms how Dickinson's style of writing can make the reader feel so much emotion towards these characters. 

This is definitely a novel I would recommend to someone. A truly uplifting novel
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Another great read by Miranda Dickinson. 

The Start of Something tells two stories of Bethan and Lachie. Both stories develop throughout the book. Gradually Bethan and Lachie exchange messages and soon develop feelings for each other - but there's a complication. This was a nice story that had me gripped from the beginning. 
Looking forward to what Miranda has in store for her next book. 

Thanks for NetGalley for the chance to read this book, in exchange for an honest review.
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Being a mum I could relate to this story and her grit and determination! I loved the book and would read more from the author
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A nice wee story, although the second one I've read recently which was about written messages in windows! I enjoyed the development of the relationship, and how we discovered Lachie and Bethan's back stories. Some lovely moments with three year old Noah. Overall, a feelgood read. #netgalley #thestartofsomething
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Such a good book, I read a similar book last year about messages in windows and I adored it - this book falls into that category too.

I really enjoyed this book and loved the fact that one of the characters was a single mum that was being awesome and progressing on her own grit! If you want a sweet romance (with external drama and maddening misunderstanding) this book is for you!
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Lachlan is stuck in his flat, recovering from an injury when he notices a new neighbour moving in across the way. On a whim, he puts a sign in his window to say hello... 

Bethan, rebuilding her life after a rough patch, decides to respond. 

As the two continue to communicate via messages in the window, so their friendship grows. But the distance also allows them to hide the parts of their lives they aren't quite ready to share or confront. This book is a sweet romance and overall, I enjoyed it. Some elements were a little bit too "fairytale romance" for my personal taste but ultimately it's a lovely read to snuggle up with.
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The Start of Something is a story about new beginnings, and fresh starts from a place of zero expectation. 

A budding friendship that is triggered by an innocuous question about a vase of flowers. We meet single parent Bethan as she works the clock around painting a flat before moving in with her son Noah and Lachlan who lives in the flat opposite with Ernie & Bert his rescue cat and dog.

Bethan is hoping for a fresh start with Noah and dreams of a better life for her and him. Hoping this new flat will be the catalyst to a better future. Lachlan is obviously recovering from an accident and he comes across as hard and angry. Both have a back story that we have no idea about, both of their characters and actions raise questions. 

Both of them have independantly observed each other from a far, each wondering about the other. Bethan had noticed Lachlan’s cat sat basking on the windowsill and a tattooed arm stroking it - this sets off a wonder - she’s intrigued and would like to know the story behind the tattoo’s. Lachlan notices a bunch of flowers in the window of his new neighbour, and decides to post a question in his window asking what they are - what they turn out to be are a catalyst. A catalyst to a journey of self discovery, hurt, anguish and eventually self awareness and friendship. A single note becomes a series of notes and questions. Each one pushing them outside of their comfort zone, forging a bond that’s safe and secure - each safe in their own flat.

This was such a beautiful read, both Bethan and Lachlan's hearts and lives were so tangled in their own back stories, both were complex, heart rendering and sad. I was cheerleading from the sidelines, urging them on to gain courage and confidence, to build a proper friendship based on trust. They proved their own worst enemy time and again, the inner voices in their heads beating a tattoo that didn’t match the actual spoken words. Each translating the words they heard into a totally different meaning. For every step forward they took, they seemed to tumble two back. Self esteem, self believe and trust for both of them were fragile and shattered.

But, Miranda Dickinson sprinkled her magic, and as emotional as it was at times it was just beautiful to be a fly on the wall and watch as they each grew in strength and character - each fighting their own demons, needing to heal and grow before being able to cement a friendship on an equal footing. 

As much as this was a heartfelt, at times emotional read, the back stories raw it was also hopeful and uplifting at the same time. There was shining moments to counter the darker moments. As the story ended it wasn’t just Beth and Lachlan that had gone full circle, each stronger and happier, I too was left with a lighter heart and a smile on my face. Thank you, Miranda for yet another beautiful story centred around real life, open, honest characters, trust, love and friendship delivered in your usual sensitive, kind, straight-forward style - just perfect - I loved every single page.
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I'm not usually one for romantic fiction, preferring mysteries and thrillers, but sometimes you need a change and I'm so glad I opted for this book.
I absolutely loved reading this tale of Bethan and Lachie, it had everything you could possibly want in a book of this genre and more besides.
I found the characters very relatable and I looked forward to picking the book up to continue with the tale. In fact as I neared the end I didn't want to put it down at all.
Delightful!

Thanks to Netgalley for an advance copy.
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This is a sweet and clean romance (there are no profanities throughout the book either) but it is quite insta-lovey. 

I also felt the characters were a little flat. Bethan's main characteristic was being Welsh, and Lachie's that he had been in the military. Their stories aren't really developed past this enough for me to enjoy the book as much as I wanted to. 

The ubiquituoius third act break up wasn't really that well done for me, I felt it was quite immature and rather unnecessary. 

But, I did love seeing a character who has a physical hinderance, and uses a mobility aid.
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This was a gorgeous, heartwarming read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a treat to disappear into Bethan and Lachie’s world. Miranda Dickinson has a natural talent for drawing you in, letting her characters lead the story so that you are quickly invested in them and their fate. I was drawn in and it was just the perfect piece of cosy escapism. Perfect for these late winter months whilst waiting for spring to arrive.

Bethan has just moved into her flat. Just her and son Noah as they attempt to leave the trauma of their past behind and embrace a fresh start. Lachlan is recovering from an accident that almost took his life. Both are lonely and in need of a friend. And so we watch their love story unfold. Of course there are obstacles and misunderstandings in the way but on their journey they both discover something about themselves and exactly what they are capable of. I loved the whole ensemble of characters (excluding the snake along the way) and the friendships and love that grew within the story.

It’s a story about truth, love and reaching out from time to time. Filled with wonderful characters (my favourite were Burt and Ernie), love and humour, it’s a book I thoroughly recommend.
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Lachlan is stuck at home following an accident that stalled his army career. While gazing out the window one day, he notices a vase of flowers in the flat opposite and decides to strike up a conversation by posting a message in the window. Bethan has recently moved to the area with her son Noah, and is slowly rebuilding her life. One day, she notices a sign in her neighbour's window... 'What are those flowers called?' and so begins the start of a beautiful friendship. 

Aww this was so good!! 'The Start of Something' is a heartwarming, feel-good story, tinged with a hint of sadness. With themes of love, relationships and lonliness, I thought the plot was very original... albeit a little predictable in places! It's the kind of book that will make you smile, and want to leave notes in your window to the neighbours! 😊 

Lachlan and Bethan are the type of characters you immediately fall in love with, and you're rooting for them to get together. ❤️ Told from the two perspectives, I loved that we found out more about Lachlan and Bethan's backstories as the book progressed. It definitely helped balance out the book, so it wasn't just one big slushy romance! By the end, I almost wanted to read more... I wonder where Lachlan and Bethan are now. 🥰 

I would recommend this book to those who enjoyed 'The Flatshare' by Beth O'Leary and 'The Lido' by Libby Page.
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A sweet story about finding love in the unlikeliest of places. The premise of this gave me Taylor Swift vibes, which drew me in. The window messages. were cute, and it was nice to get both characters POV in this situation. Bothe the characters are recovering from their own trauma, which was great as they could help each other heal. However, I did feel like there was just a lot going on and it took away from the love story a little.
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Take two characters who are vulnerable and dealing with horrible injustices brought on by others and give them one of the nicest meet cutes without actually meeting. Then as if that wasn’t enough to win me over throw in an aloof cat called Ernie. There is also a dog called Bert for all you dog lovers out there.

But cute pets aside this is really the story of two neighbours Lachlan/Lachie and Bethan with her dragon loving son Noah. The author wrote them in such a way that you knew through all their despair and weakness that they had amazing inner strength and if ever there were two to root for these were it. I’m not sure who was looking forward to the notes in the windows more, them or me?

For me though the best part of this book was the author’s writing on the stigma of being a single mum. So thank you from someone who proudly wears that T-shirt. Darren riled me with his views, but he was one of the best and most realistic baddies I’ve come across and I was itching for him to get his comeuppance.

While I would have been more than happy to stay with Lachie and Beth, there are so many more wonderful characters. From army mate Rigsy who was full of something I just wasn’t sure what! To all of the staff and customers at the garden centre. As in life they represent a whole spectrum of different personalities and some you will love while others not so much.

This is a book that is as happy as ranunculus, like watching and waiting for seeds to germinate the will they won’t they is a test of patience and the bloom is always worth the wait.
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To be honest, if I wasn’t reading this for NetGalley I’d have DNF’d and not written a review. 
Zero chemistry between the main characters. I did not care about their ‘romance’. A while ago, I read a book with notes in windows between neighbours and it was better 😬
I feel awful that I just went through the motions with this book but I’m sure many others will enjoy it.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley. Clearly these opinions are my own.
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I have to say that right from the start I was hooked on Bethan and Lachie’s story. Their individual story arcs and their moments ‘together’. I loved their vulnerabilities and their individual strengths. I also really enjoyed how the author was able to pull on her own experiences of isolation during the national lockdown as their feelings of loneliness and isolation (despite the fact that they had the freedom to leave their homes!) There’s some great supporting characters in this read too - I particularly enjoyed Bethan’s interactions with Patrick. 

I thought that they were perfect for each other, but for me it felt that their relationship could have benefited from a bit more development so you can truly appreciate just how much they’ve come to mean to each other.  But this was an enjoyable read. This was my first read by Dickinson - it won’t be my last!

Thanks to NetGalley, the team at HQ and the author for the opportunity to read this review copy.
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A hug in book form. What a lovely story. I got so engrossed in Bethan and Lachie's worlds. Two perfectly imperfect people trying to get through life while trying to get over their pasts. There was something so raw and authentic about them. The messages exchanged on the windows were so entertaining and lovely. The Start Of Something is just a lovely story that will leave you smiling.
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Plot 

Two lonely people.
One note in the window.
And what happens when they reach out…

Lachlan Wallace is stuck at home after a car accident stalled his army career. With months of physiotherapy still to endure and only his rescue dog and cat for company, he’s taken to gazing out of the window, watching the world spin on without him. And then he notices a vase of flowers on the windowsill of the apartment opposite his. Drawn to their hope and colour, he decides to reach out and sticks a message in his window…

Bethan Gwynne is a stranger in a new town. Bringing up her son Noah by herself, she is slowly rebuilding her life, but loneliness is one obstacle she has yet to overcome. She’s intrigued by a glimpse of her neighbour in the apartment across from hers – and then, one evening, she sees a message in his window just for her:

WHAT ARE THOSE FLOWERS CALLED?

And so begins a love story of two people reaching out, daring to trust a stranger…

Review 

Oh my god heart! Seriously I’ve gone through every single emotion in the two days it’s taken me to read this book. It’s a beautiful variation of boy meets girl but has serious issues at the heart which are not glossed over in any way whatsoever. 

Bethan is the perfect heroine.  Feisty, independent, an incredible mother and of course my bias showing but a fiery Welsh girl 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 Should be more Welsh female leads in books in my opinion. 

Lachie’s depression over his injury is not shyer away from and I am so pleased to see this represented in such an open way. And I do love a bit of ink on a man!

The Bright Hill gang are fabulous and a wonderful addition to Bethan’s circle and Noah, is the most adorably written toddler this side of my nephews. 

Daren and Riggsy made me want to claw through the pages and rip their hair off their heads which is exactly how I want to feel about “baddies”. No redeeming qualities there and it’s wonderful. 

It’s so original, heartwarming and heartfeltly (that even a word? It is now!) written, you can feel the love that was poured into this book right from the first word. Do yourself a favour and go read it! 

Rating 

5/5


Recommend 

Hell yes! 

Thank you to HQ and Netgally  for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. 

This review was part of a blog tour all opinions are my own.
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The Start of Something was a sweet read. I really liked the idea behind the story.

- Messages in windows
- Two strangers
- New neighbours
- Both hiding something 
- Animals
- Army
- British humour

But it was missing the romance I expected and waited. And it took a long time for the story to take off.

Still, a good read with interesting characters and plot. Just not what I expected.
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