Finding Our Family

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Pub Date 9 Nov 2023 | Archive Date 8 Nov 2023

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Sometimes the family you choose is the place you belong

When Marc and Jim move to the small village of Cloverley Green, they are excited about their new start. Happily married, they make up a cosy little family with Vanessa, Marc's spirited 18-year-old daughter. But even now, it isn’t always easy being gay in a small community, and Marc and Jim wonder if they'll ever really be welcome…

As if this isn't hard enough, their family is knocked off balance when Jim’s 23-year-old son, Alfie, has to move in. Thrown together, Vanessa and Alfie find they don't get on. At all. They can barely stand to be in the same room, let alone forge a lifelong sibling bond. As their feuding builds, cracks show in the household and Jim and Marc must face the toughest challenges of their marriage.

They all know family bonds can be the strongest of all, but can they find a way to make their new blended family work?

And can they ever find acceptance in their new community?

An uplifting read all about found family, friendship and community that will warm your heart. Perfect for fans of Mike Gayle and Clare Pooley.

Praise for Charlie Lyndhurst's delightfully inclusive, contemporary novels:

'An absolutely brilliant read with well crafted characters, a fabulous plot and the most wonderful happily every after!' Katie Ginger

‘Perfect meet cutes, great characters, a few laughs, and of course that HEA that checks all the feelgood boxes’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Reader Review

‘I thoroughly enjoyed reading this enchanting novel…It is a fun, heartwarming novel and I can’t wait to read more from this author. Loved it!’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Reader Review

‘An adorable, cozy read full of kitties and a lovely happy ending. I thoroughly enjoyed the sweetness!’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Reader Review

‘Touched my heart in the best possible way…I honestly cannot recommend The Lonely Hearts Lido Club enough. I AM SO IN LOVE.’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Reader Review

‘The writing is beautiful, the characters rich, and the storyline keeps you wanting to turn the pages long into the night.’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Reader Review

‘I absolutely adored the characters in this book. The story line was absolutely amazing as well. I just loved this book all the way around!’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Reader Review

‘This was a delightful book - it warmed my heart, and I kept smiling as I was reading…This is definitely the type of book that I would choose on a day when I need cheering up.’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Reader Review

‘This was a truly beautiful book to read…full of emotion, hope and joy.’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Reader Review

‘Well written with layered and likable characters. So glad I found this gem. My favorite read of the year, I am recommending to everyone I know.’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Reader Review

Sometimes the family you choose is the place you belong

When Marc and Jim move to the small village of Cloverley Green, they are excited about their new start. Happily married, they make up a cosy...

Available Editions

ISBN 9781804365175
PRICE £1.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 35 members

Featured Reviews

I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this book because the characters were so real and so engaging.

Having grown up and been a young adult when homosexuality was still illegal, I’ve always been aware of and horrified by the traumas experienced by my gay friends, this book sadly reminds us that homophobia hasn’t gone away but thankfully the overall message is of a changing world with far more people showing an inclusive acceptance and understanding which has to be the way forward.

I loved this blended family. As a step mother I totally understand the problems, challenges and rewards of blended families - so I loved the story of Jim, Marc, Vanessa and Alfie - who demonstrated the complex relationships and their effects on the family so touchingly.

Congratulations to Charlie Lyndhurst for writing such a heartwarming and uplifting story.

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I loved this story! Told from four POVs (Marc, his husband Jim, his daughter Vanessa and stepson Alfie). The family moves away from London to a small village, in the hope to find a community there but instead are faced with prejudices. Even though it is overall a lovely story with a happy end, it does get quite heavy in between because of how Marc suffers under the homophobia.
The family dynamics were wonderful, and it was nice to read a story about grown up queer characters and how they formed their family. The two kids at first are not happy to live together (Alfie is rather infuriating at the beginning) but a lot of character growth happens and in the different POVs you learn to love each character.

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I was really interested in this ARC as it seemed like it reflected a dynamic which isn’t seen as often in media and I really enjoyed it.

The characterisation was really good and the tension as you move into a new village with a very specific social dynamic felt very real.

It did feel like there were unresolved questions around Colin and that otherwise everything tied itself up in a neat bow which didn’t necessarily ring true with a realistic situation. Still a really enjoyable read and I would recommend.

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From the beginning this book had a sort of Midsomer Murders vibe to it – in a good way! I didn't think I was gonna like either Vanessa or Alfie, both being so absorbed by themselves... and yet..

The scene with the Facebook group gossiping and the next with Marc being in the shower almost made me cry. What a shitty world we live in, life is hard enough as it is... people being judgmental. An invisible hierarchy making us feel like we're not good enough. With 'us' I mean people in general, no matter what label you (voluntarily or involuntarily) identify with. How come it is so normal to be othering?!
So yeah, as you might have guessed, for me this book is not just about stereotypes and homophobia and deserves a place on my being-good-enough bookshelf on Goodreads.

I'm happy to have found this new-to-me author who hopefully will one day write about ableism or (as we're on the subject of stereotypes, nothing to do with being gay) knitting in the same gentle manner :)

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of the book.

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Reading books about how people build families is a passion of mine. I love all the many ways that people can welcome children into their lives. Finding Our Family was an awesome example of the type of story that I devour. The writing was really good and the subject was spot on for my interests. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. Five stars.

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Finding Our Family
by Charlie Lyndhurst
This is a perfect book for me,.,I Loved the family dynamics and how any family can be all they should.

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4* A nice tale, with 2 'kids' that I hadn't expected to be as decent as they were.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, not recognising the CL name as being Liam Livings, whose name I'm familiar with, but not his works. I liked the idea that it was set in the UK, and not in London, as most tend to be and I liked the idea that it might be something other than sex at the heart of it, which was the case.

It was a very ordinary tale, which I mean as a compliment, not a cuss. No major ups or downs, though there were times in the tale that there was what felt like reasonable drama and reactions to some quite unpleasant prejudices, but even those prejudices were done British-style, without the utter vitriol and Karen'ism that we see with so much stuff in US-based tales. It's the kind of book that drew me in because of its believability, because of the realness of its characters, and because I didn't know what to expect. It was in a way, a slice of village life, and it was a look at what counts outside of London. Having lived outside of London, though in a town, not a village, and having met racial prejudice disguised as curiosity and 'I don't really get it', I could empathise with Marc.

What I was taken aback by, was how much of a turnaround Alfie turned out to be, organically. At first, I didn't like him at all, with his cheeky chappie attitude, with how he treated his family, and with how little he seemed to do and yet always fell on his feet, but he grew on me. He had heart. Vanessa had heart. Jim had heart. Marc had huge heart, and even Jim's ex-wife and her husband had heart. Again, all of this was very British and understated (except for Marc who seemed to bear the brunt of what came their way from the locals) and believable. Vanessa wasn't the spoilt NA that I thought she'd end up be, and how she bit her tongue over the apples that seemed to fall into Alfie's lap with him often doing sweet FA, I don't know. Her growing and changing relationship with him, together with how Alfie changed, were a delight to read, and sorry for the overuse of the word, came across as believable and organic.

Some parts were a little unbelievable, like the utterly happy families episode at the end, but the tale was so satisfying - like a cup of tea after a day out, or on a rainy day with a biscuit or two - that I'd happily suspend disbelief for that. I didn't quite manage to do the same with the slight feel of wokeness that felt as if it had been inorganically dumped in, where the people who'd gossiped about Marc and his family were not only shown the error of their ways, but plans were put in place to prevent things such as this from happening again. The intentions were great, but this was pretty heavyhanded and didactic and detracted from what had felt like a very organic and believable tale so far. It felt like a lesson of sorts was being 'forced' on the reader. It was a tad unreasonable for there not to be some 'baddies' in this tale, as IRL, there are always shades of 'baddies'ness', and this is what lost it 1* for me. Had the tale not tried too hard to be a shade of woke here - I'm all for people being educated and doing the right thing and owning up to their mistake and learning from them - but it needs to be organic. Still, it was a solid 4* read, and not something built around the tropes of needing copious MM sex in a MM-orientated book to make it work.

Separately, I sent CL a tiny feedback about a small but important 'hole' in one tiny part of the tale, and he was gracious with his thanks, so that's a plus in my book, no pun intended.

ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Hera books, for my reading pleasure.

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This book was delightful and life affirming. I am not surprised, as I loved Charlie Lyndhurst's previous book, "The Lonely Hearts Lido Club." Lyndhurst is good at writing characters you wished you could know in real life with pages that make you smile. Highly recommended. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

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Thank you for the digital review copy, Hera Books,

This was quite the enjoyable reading experience! I really recommend it.

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Newlyweds, Marc and Jim, along with Marc,'s 18 year-old daughter, Vanessa are moving from London, to the small village of Cloverley Green. Unexpectedly, Jim's 23 year-old son, Alfie ends up having to move in too.

The new step-siblings clash; the village isn't completely accepting of their family. Was loving to Clovery Green all a mistake?

This contemporary novel is a great read for readers of the lgbt community and allies alike.

The small ways homophobia can show really resonated with me, sometimes it really is just small little comments, if they are well meaning.

They coming together of a blended family with adult children is not something we see in literature much.

Really solid, good character development with great growth.

Looking forward to reading more of Lyndhurst's work in the future.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this e-book. I loved seeing the family dynamic in the book. I really enjoyed the characters and watching them grow.

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Solid book about blended families and the challenges facing those who may be considered outsiders in small towns.

For me, the multiple POVS were a little confusing at times, but that is a me thing I suspect. I prefer to have a story from only one or two perspectives.

Good story.

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This was a very enjoyable read, that combined a feel good vibe with some depth and seriousness too.

I found the character development of Marc and Alfie to be the most effective. For Marc, I loved how it showed the pains and perils, but also the rewards of being yourself, when yourself can be in itself an overt political position. His depression and attempts at limiting himself were thoughtfully and carefully drawn and I was constantly drawn to and caring for him. In comparison Lyndhurst did a great job in taking Alfie, a character who appeared thoroughly unpleasant at first, and giving him depth and range, whilst maintaining the realism of his characterisation.

The ending possibly edged just a little too into the unfeasible side of optimism for my cynical soul, but I also understand the desire for a HEA that involves the whole community, so I did my best to swallowed my cynic.

A book full of heart!

*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the free ARC*

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This is definitely a book we shall be shouting about. The voice was strong and writing compelling and original.

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"Finding Our Family" by Charlie Lyndhurst is a touching exploration of the power of kinship, resilience, and the unbreakable bonds that unite us. Lyndhurst's narrative introduces readers to a diverse cast of characters, each grappling with their own family dynamics and personal challenges. As they embark on a journey of self-discovery, their paths unexpectedly converge, and a unique family emerges. The author's keen insight into human nature and relationships lends depth and authenticity to the story.

Lyndhurst's writing is marked by its emotional depth and a vivid sense of place, transporting readers to the heart of the characters' struggles and triumphs. "Finding Our Family" is a compelling tale that underscores the importance of connection and understanding in a complex world. This heartwarming novel serves as a reminder that family can be found not only in blood but in the shared experiences that bind us all.

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In "Finding Our Family," I had the privilege of receiving an ARC from NetGalley, allowing me to delve into a story that explores themes of family, acceptance, and the challenges faced by a blended family in a small countryside community. Written from the alternating perspectives of the four family members, it was intriguing to experience their unique viewpoints. However, this approach sometimes limited the opportunity to explore events beyond the home, such as Vanessa's relationship and the play.

Despite this, the book effectively conveys the emotional impact of small but hurtful comments on one's identity and the pressure to conform to societal expectations. It reminds us of the damaging effects of homophobia and stereotypes and emphasizes the importance of acceptance and inclusivity.

The characters in the story felt remarkably genuine and engaging, making it easy to connect with their experiences and emotions. The challenges faced by Jim, Marc, Vanessa, and Alfie in their blended family resonate with anyone who has experienced the complexities of such relationships. As someone who appreciates stories about different ways people build families, "Finding Our Family" was a delightful read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

This book serves as a reminder that while progress has been made in accepting diverse identities, homophobia still exists, and there is much work to be done. The story ultimately conveys a message of hope and a changing world with increasing acceptance and understanding.

Charlie Lyndhurst's portrayal of the struggles and triumphs of this blended family is heartwarming and uplifting. As a stepmother myself, I could relate to their journey and appreciated the authenticity with which the author portrayed the challenges and rewards of blended families.

In conclusion, "Finding Our Family" is a beautifully written narrative that addresses important themes of acceptance and the complexities of family dynamics. It sheds light on the ongoing battle against homophobia while delivering a heartwarming story of love and unity within a blended family. My gratitude to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this remarkable book. Five stars for this compelling story that speaks to the heart.

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Absolutely loved this book!

The authors writing style is amazing!

I look forward to reading more from them!

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•𝔽𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕆𝕦𝕣 𝔽𝕒𝕞𝕚𝕝𝕪
•ℂ𝕙𝕒𝕣𝕝𝕚𝕖 𝕃𝕪𝕟𝕕𝕙𝕦𝕣𝕤𝕥

Thanks to @netgalley for the opportunity to read this.

Happily married Marc & Jim move to the small village of Cloverleaf Green ready to start a new life. Will they be accepted by the locals & will Marc's daughter Vanessa settle in?

To add to the struggle Jim's son Alfie has to move in & with Alfie & Vanessa disliking each other things won't be easy.

This was a cute read about family dynamics & opinionated neighbours.


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Charlie Lyndhurst’s book found the perfect balance between being relatable and honest and simultaneously uplifting and heartwarming. This story highlights a newly brought-together family as they start fresh in a small country town. I loved seeing how the characters grow and adjust to their new setting and circumstances throughout the book. They’re each very different people, but they find ways to support each other throughout. This book wasn’t the most action-packed, but it didn’t need to be. It was an excellent exploration of a group of people in different phases of life transition and growth and how those around them help them navigate the uncertainty, newness, and tough moments. Overall, a great read. I was kindly given an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

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