I gave Go Small or Go Home by Heather Wardell 4*out of 5
The book blurb”
“Massage therapist Tess Grayson has long dreamed of turning her hobby of building intricate miniature dioramas into an art career. She’s finally ready to grab for that tiny brass ring, but her potential new massage client shakes her resolve. Forrest Williams had finally healed from the car accident that killed his fiancée, but a new injury now threatens his professional hockey career. Even allowing for everything he’s suffered, the depth of the emotional and physical pain Tess senses in Forrest at their first meeting shocks her, and she puts aside her artistic aspirations for two months to help him recover.When Forrest shows Tess’s dioramas to his mother, who owns a top Toronto art gallery, she agrees to sell Tess’s work but her rules and restrictions stifle Tess’s creativity. Giving up the career of her dreams is unthinkable, but losing the freedom and joy she’d always found in her art is unbearable, and Tess can’t seem to find a way to have both at once.”
I enjoyed Go Small or Go Home; it’s the first time I’ve read a true Romance. It was a quick read but no less enjoyable for that; Heather Wardell has a writing style that flows, is easy and fun to read. The story immediately engaged me from the start and I soon connected with the main characters, Tess and Forrest. The author portrays each them as having ambitions with strong outward appearances; strong – minded, yet also vulnerable; each has their own frailties, their weaknesses. And the way they are shown to be gradually drawn together worked for me.
We learn much of the story through the first person point of view from Tess, It works well; we learn of her ambitions, her determination to succeed in them, the way, despite her resistance, she falls in love with Forrest.
Both the dialogue and the internal dialogue is believable and differentiates all the characters. Indeed I would say this is one of the author’s strengths.
The main plotline is threaded through by the sub plot and is well balanced; it’s a love story as well as a life story. And I was glad there was only a skimming over of the background setting of the story; that of the ice hockey. I think I might have quickly lost interest if there had been any ‘information dumping’ of the ins and outs of the game.
The descriptions of the settings provide a good sense of place and an authentic background to the story.
The whole of the book has a steady pace. I was surprised by the denouement; the open ending f
I was pleased there was an epilogue. I like an epilogue (much as I like a prologue) I feel it takes me beyond the perimeters of the story; that there is more to reveal. It’s an added layer. The last line (without giving any spoilers, I hope) “I had all the time in the world.”, said it all . Hopefully we will hear more from these characters.
Buuy copies here